What to do with a non paying client?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Andrew Pratt, May 30, 2004.

  1. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had a pronto client living in fairfax Virginia that I've been working with for several years as he's a custom installer. He'd contract me to do all the pronto's in the clients house he was installing into so I've done over 16 remotes for this guy. Anyway he's always been slow to pay me and I've had to nag a lot on occasion to get paid. Well he's now 6 months past due on the remaining $600 US he owes me and he isn't replying to my emails or voice messages on his cell phone. I know he very likely just got divorced and he moved out of the house (his home number isn't working anymore and it doesn't give a new number) I've tried implying that if he doesn't pay I'll take it to the next step but honestly I'm not really sure what that would be. I figure there's got to be a small claims type court but how does that work when you're out of state (and country!)?
     
  2. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    1,994
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would suggest that it really isn't worth the trouble. With you being in another country, him being transient and probably a breath away from chapter 7, it is just not worth it. Send it to a collection agency if you wish and you may get half someday, otherwise live and learn.

    Or you could hire some think-necked goons to knee-cap him!
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You're likely right that its not going to be worth the effort on my part but it still ticks me off that he'd do this to me given how long we've been working together.
     
  4. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2000
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry to hear that. Just live and learn. I lost $1100 last year on ebay. Your time is too valuable.
     
  5. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If he doesn't have the money, you unfortunately aren't going to get paid. Although you may not get this $600, it looks like you have made a good run of it with over 16 installs that you did get paid for, which isn't all that bad. I think my next step would be to send him another note that says if he doesn't have the $600 now for the final install work due to personal problems that you'll wait and he should send it to you when things get better. If he's under the gun financially and is in the process of getting divorced your threatening him with further legal actions isn't likely to help you get your money, ever.
     
  6. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Andrew,

    Being that Fairfax is only about 4 miles east of me, this caught my attention. Not sure if the individual that you dealt with lived in Fairfax City or just "Fairfax" because both border each other.

    However, small claims court for both localities falls under General District court for Fairfax County. You might want to give the personnel a call on Tuesday - we have a holiday here tomorrow - Memorial Day.

    Fairfax District Court

    Also, another idea did come to mind. I'm sure the United States Post Office was involved with some of your transactions. Since this is possibly the case, mail fraud could be an issue here and the penalties involved are even much greater than the $600 at issue.

    If you ever got back in contact with the individual, he might laugh off the idea of you filing in small claims court. But, the issue of mail fraud might get his attention.

    Best of luck to you. [​IMG]
     
  7. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Wayne his address used to be...but I don't know how far he moved...not likely very far as I would think he'd want to be close to his baby and his cell phone is still the same number.

    (Admin note - name/adddress posted is not appropriate here.)
     
  8. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Andrew,

    Do you know this "gentleman"'s date of birth? Or any other info such as a phone number or former address? Let me know and I may be able to help you out.
     
  9. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rob I'll email you all that I know in a moment.
     
  10. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I know some thick-necked "goons" for hire! (Although they prefer the term "motivational feedback consultants") [​IMG]
     
  11. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Andrew,

    Check your e-mail. All I was able to come up with was a middle name. Plus a good idea for your next course of action. Is this guy clever enough to cover his tracks? In the meantime, here's an interesting article: 5 Ways to Make Them Pay.

    About small claims court; even if you win, all you have done is obtained a judgment against the guy. You still have to collect the money. Which puts you in the same position you are right now.

    Good luck to you.

    p.s. This is not legal advice, just a friendly opinion. Only a lawyer can give legal advice.

    p.p.s. What's the difference between a catfish and a lawyer? One is a bottom-dwelling scum-sucker, and the other is just a fish. [​IMG]
     
  12. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Rob
     
  13. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    depends on the location....
    In Oregon any expense you go to in order to collect a judgement is recoverable, so once you have a judgment you hand it over to your lawyer and he goes to work. The guy has a business- easy to collect from.

    My dad is a small businessman, and over the years has always used small claims for everything from a few hundred to several thousand. Half the time they won't show up and he'll get a default judgement anyway.

    Don't know how it works up in the great frozen canukistahn.
     

Share This Page