I installed a bunch of equipment for a customer.He paid the bill.Unfortunately the cheques he paid with bounced like a rubber ball.As others said,once anything is bolted/connected to the building it is now the property of that owner even if he/she hasn't paid for it.Threatening to take them to court would be a good option(serve them with papers,that may change their mind about not paying you)Garnishee his wages mabey?A lien against the property is one way to recover payment but you may be waiting a long time.In my case with the bounced checks,some of the equipment i installed went "missing".The police phoned me about the missing equipment.Of coarse I had no knowledge of what happened.
Last edited by cretan; 08-23-2008 at 06:28 PM.
Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity
Its the salesman's responsibility to get the contract signed BEFORE the installation is started.
Originally Posted by CessnaSovereign
It's time that you broke down and paid a few hundred dollars to a lawyer that specializes in this. Get the "legal" thing to do.
Laws vary greatly from state to state.
Installs, if I don't know them, its 1/2 or more, down, balance upon completion. Service, if I don't know you, its secured by a credit card, OR, you pay the diagnostic, before the system is looked at. No work to be done, unless you sign by the "x" agreeing to pay upon completion. Don't pay, my parts come back off, your parts, oops, you put them back on, unless you pay me.
Installs, if you don't have the payment when my techs finish the startup, and all is to your satisfaction, I get called. I make the decision to remove all equipment right then and there. Legal, IF, the tech HAS NOT left the property. Once they leave the property, it is the homeowners. As others said, here in Florida, you CAN be shot, legally, for going back on the property and removing a unit...
Liens...I have filed a few. 1/2 day filing, time wasted, then 1/2 day before the judge getting it offical. I have one that has been over 7 years, and have not collected.
Small claims...another joke..Say you win. OK, they still don't pay. Take em to court again tp get their wages garnished. They quit..You start all over again.
See my "first" sentance again. Follow it. IMO, you're screwed.......
I crossed the line to almost making this thread a pro B&M thread....
To the OP, apply for pro status.
Thats funny he had BALLS to call the cops for stolen equipment that he himself stole from you thats why I have to work for someone cause I would have to slowly choke him.
Originally Posted by cretan
that sucks, I'm not in the hvac business, but do deal with no payment issues with my job. Two recommendations that i have for the future non paying customers.
On your contract with them place the word "(seal)" beside where they sign. for example: customer signature:___________________ (Seal)
My lawyer instructed me to do it in any case that i might be collecting money from a customer. It allows the lawyer to go after outstanding bills for 7-10 years rather than just 3 years?
In regards to bounced checks, check with your local court system. In my area they have a very aggresive system in place. There are a few hoops to jump through like giving them 30 days to work it out and sending a certified letter. But when they don't respond, a warrent goes out for their arrest and they are responsible for all costs involved. Sweet:-)
Depending on what state you are in, you may still be able to recover money by means of court. See, if this person already paid a partial payment- get a copy of the check and that is a good start to proving a verbal agreement had been made. Especially if the guy wrote anything like 'partial payment' on the check.
However, removing the outdoor unit may get some results, especially if its hot out. Call an attorney, get some facts.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
I have a lien on a customer from several years ago, and my attourney has said the interest just keeps piling on after several years the money she owes me is now double what the orginal amount was. You will have to check with your attourney but once you get a lien on there property and all real property, cars, boats campers, and other title property they will not be able to sell unless the lien you have on them is satisfied. Plus once the lien is filied your may beable to seize there banking account for the amount of moeny owed to you which I am allowed to do here in Wisconsin, so again check with your attourney. Also you may want to just wait for a service call from them and then you can shut the unit down, red tag it bad heat exchanger or some other reason, LOL !!! No but get your attorney to file a Mechanics lien and then that gets attached to all other real property until lien is satisfied.
See, if you were in Texas, you could turn the checks over to the local DA, and he would send his people out to collect payment + fees, you would get paid in full, or collect the customer for theft of services.
Originally Posted by cretan
Sounds good.Unfortunately around here you pretty much got to chase them for your money.Sometimes taking them to court is not worth the hastle,and all the hassle is yours.
Originally Posted by mark beiser
Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity
ARPA has offered good advice here, but I want to add my .02$
1) You don't have a dog in this fight -- its your bosses problem
2) You are not an attorney - don't pretend to be one. Hire an attorney
3) At the end of the day -there is a statute on all the books that deals with unjust enrichment --- in other words, if its not paid for they can't have it.
4) It is VERY true possession is 9/10 of the law. So IF its back on your truck & the police arrive - they will tell you to leave the property & advise the home owner to seek legal recourse (have extra copies of the contract with you.)
5) It is also true that he with the best data wins... I have this added to all sales contracts, it has held up in court. ----"It is agreed and understood by all parties that all equipment sold shall not become fixtures or part of real-estate where it is placed. Said equipment shall remain PERSONAL property and title thereto shall remain the seller until payment in full is received. Buyer agrees that all parts & equipment may be repossessed in the event of non payment. Buyer holds harmless seller for subsequent damages from removal. I have the authority to order work as outlined above. I agree to pay all cost and reasonable attorneys fees if this contract is placed in the hands of an attorney for collection. Venue is ________, Florida.
If you ever have someone bulk at signing this B4 you do a job, thank GOD you found out ahead of time they're a crook - look at all the time you saved each other.
6) The police will not help - they have bigger fish to fry and have no interest in civil matters.
7) I have repo'd many units. The key is not to be told you are trespassing, no notice, no phone calls, no threats - just pick up the unit, post a large colored sign on the wall in a weather proof pouch - your unit has been reposesed along with a copy of the CONTRACT.
8) Will you get some smoking mad calls after you repo a unit -- OH yeah
9) Liens - small claims - don't waste your time.
10) Can you be sued for taking a unit out -- Yes, hell you can be sued for having blue eyes. IF you have the documents in place - you'll be fine. Bring it on dirt bag.
to the OP,apply for pro status and post again in pro section....we'll talk there,i have options you may be interested in...
Thanks for all the advice, guys...
It just realllllllllllllllly pisses me off.. I talked to a collections company who say they call the hell out of them, then take them to court if it's not resolved. 30% commission.. Honestly, I'd pay 90% commission just to see this guy pay!
I can't stand the thought of this guy getting away with this..
I really want back my 90% furnace and coil in his basement too! But.... I KNOW breaking in there is highly illegal!!!
I'm still trying to get everything business related in order, I know I should have had a better contract and made sure it was signed prior to work starting, and I probably should have asked for at least half down.. I'm not too worried about getting stiffed on service work as I am big installation jobs!!
The problem we have is, myself or a saleman will go quote a job and write up a "proposal", well of course we haven't gotten the job yet because they want to get "a couple quotes", so when they do call back and get scheduled to do the job all we have is a copy of the proposal, so the installer is to take a contract to get a signature and a copy. I too am guilty of not getting that signature, I guess I was just too trusting before.. I come from an entirely different line of work, where we got paid upfront for our services, but in HVAC it doesn't seem entirely appropriate to ask for full payment upfront..
I know the guy and his wife work during the day, the kids are back in school monday.. All he knows is I'm pissed, I've made no threats except to file a lein and small claims.. And you know, everyday I get a new phone call about a stolen condenser, especially in the part of town he lives in! Darn hoodlums!
I'm going to apply for pro status, I just have to get my post count up, only registered here yesterday..