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  1. #1
    Brian Cooper's Avatar
    Brian Cooper Guest

    Default Collecting an old bill

    I have an inspection that I have not been paid for yet. I have sent two demand letters to the buyer, and contacted the realtor. I plan to knock on the buyer's door tomorrow and ask for payment.

    If they refuse, can I put a lein against the house legally? If so, how should I go about doing so in South Carolina?

    Thanks!!

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    Putting a lien against the house is questionable. Take the guy to small claims court. But if you do not collect, chalk it up to payment for education. Take this as a lesson to change your payment practice to the old chinese method - "no tickee no laundry". If you move from billing to payment at the inspection you will probably not lose any business and you will enter a new era in your life as an inspector. Try it, you'll like it.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Cooper View Post
    If they refuse, can I put a lein against the house legally?

    In most instances, now. Lien rights are for those who do something which is a "permanent" 'improvement'. As all HI contracts, reports, and even HIs state 'this inspection is for the time of the inspection only'. Can't call that 'permanent' in any stretch of the imagination.

    As John said, reconsider you method of receiving payment (as to the 'when' part of 'when' you receive payment).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Cooper View Post
    I have an inspection that I have not been paid for yet. I have sent two demand letters to the buyer, and contacted the realtor. I plan to knock on the buyer's door tomorrow and ask for payment.

    If they refuse, can I put a lein against the house legally? If so, how should I go about doing so in South Carolina?

    Thanks!!
    Hey Brian. Q. who put the call in for the inspection ? thats # 1 in my book. If its the agent thats one party. if it was the seller then that another party. if the call was from the buyer then deal with him...

    but don't just blow it off. go after this with everything you have. be a BIG DOG On this. or the next HI. Will get stuck for this. in 3o years i can't think of any unpaid inspection... its your money and you should be paid. you need to bark! bark! bark!

    Best

    Ron


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    2,446

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    Knock on the door and ask for payment. If you don't get it, drive straight to the courthouse and file in small claims court.

    UNless the Realtor hired you and signed the contract, might as well leave them out of it.


  6. #6
    Brian Cooper's Avatar
    Brian Cooper Guest

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    I spoke with my lawyer this morning. I sent a third demand letter by certified mail. I also sent the realtor (which is the customer's mother) a notice that I sent the letter. I told them both that I will be taking him to Magistrate's Court if I do not recieve payment by October 10 (30 days).

    Did I mention the customer is a lawyer? My lawyer is foaming at the mouth to get to him.

    Watch this space...


  7. #7
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Cooper View Post
    I spoke with my lawyer this morning. I sent a third demand letter by certified mail. I also sent the realtor (which is the customer's mother) a notice that I sent the letter. I told them both that I will be taking him to Magistrate's Court if I do not recieve payment by October 10 (30 days).

    Did I mention the customer is a lawyer? My lawyer is foaming at the mouth to get to him.

    Watch this space...
    BIG DOG.

    Best

    Ron


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    Better yet tell him that you are contacting the bar association on how he has handled this.

    I have always sent letters to people stating that I'm filing charges on them for "Theft of Services".

    If they called you and made a verbal agreement for your services then they are liable for payment. Now if his mother made the arrangements you might be in for a few problems. If he brings this up that he did not actually contact you and is refusing to pay you, remind him that his realtor who "represents" him in the transaction can make that decision on his behalf which then makes him responsible for payment of the fees.

    If you have problems, do what I did to the last lawyer who tried to screw me by not making good on a return check. I paid a homeless guy a 100. to sit outside on the parkway in front of his house, with a cardboard sign stating that Mr. ______________ does not pay his bills and writes bad checks.

    I got paid around 2pm that afternoon by him and he brought the check to me without me having to pick it up.

    The homeless guy was happy, I was happy, the attorney was pi$$ed off.
    He told me he was going to sue me for defamation of character. I told him it would never hold up in court and never heard from him again.

    rick


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Texas
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    745

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post

    If you have problems, do what I did to the last lawyer who tried to screw me by not making good on a return check. I paid a homeless guy a 100. to sit outside on the parkway in front of his house, with a cardboard sign stating that Mr. ______________ does not pay his bills and writes bad checks.

    I got paid around 2pm that afternoon by him and he brought the check to me without me having to pick it up.

    rick
    I like that idea!!!

    Only question. He gave you a bad check and you took another check from him?


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    Yes I did!

    A Cashiers Check.

    rick


  11. #11
    Brian Cooper's Avatar
    Brian Cooper Guest

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    I may steal that idea Rick.

    Another idea I had was to post a few signs on telephone poles on his street saying he doesn't pay his bills. I figure that my ladder in the back of my truck will get me high enough that he won't easily pull them down before the neighborhood sees.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    Brian,

    Posting on telephone poles around here is illegal and unsightly.

    Be bold and do it right out front of his house.

    rick


  13. #13
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    Brian,
    Try American Agencies Collection company. They charge 25 dollars per collection and they get the job done. I have used them about seven or eight time over the past 5 years and each time I submit a debtor payment is sent within a few days. They don't mess around. Plus you can just tack the collection fee onto the bill.


  14. #14
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    Most of my business is phased inspections, and almost all of my collection problems are for the final inspection. I am considering changing from taking checks, to preapproved drafts on accounts or credit cards. Does anyone have experience, good or bad, with this idea?

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES
    (936)827-7664


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    745

    Default Re: Collecting an old bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Yes I did!

    A Cashiers Check.

    rick
    Duuuh....my bad!


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