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Collecting on a small claims judgement

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Collecting on a small claims judgement

Old 02-13-2020, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Brad1 View Post
So I went to the magistrate's office this morning. They provided me with a certified copy (ie. their seal impregnated) of the judgement. I now have to take that to the county courthouse to have recorded. At that time, they will provide me with a case number. If I do nothing more, it will hit his credit in 30 days. However, if I so chose, I can walk over to the sheriff's office with the case number and get a writ of execution, at which point the sheriff's department takes further steps in order to obtain what is owed. I expect to find out more about the writ of execution when I visit the sheriff's office several days from now.
Exactly what I would have done.
Old 02-13-2020, 10:32 AM
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Here’s what bothers me-

What this contractor did was commit a crime. It’s a felony in my state to do this. (OP, any charges filed?)

But the other way around and it’s only a civil action. As a contractor I have $40-50k in unpaid invoices. Many of those I am certain the client hired me with no intention to pay.

what’s the difference between a contractor taking money and not performing work, and a customer taking work and not paying? How come one is a crime and one is not?

I have paid over $10,000 in legal feels placing liens and other collection attempts and at some point it feels very lopsided. One client in particular we were able to uncover a series of lies - she was flooded. We were hired to re-wire the home and at the end she said she had no money and couldn’t pay. Turns out she got an insurance settlement, also under the SBA refinanced the home for repair costs, and also the majority of the non skilled trade work was completed by baptist association volunteers. She is clearly pocketed payout money and dodging all the contractors she hired.

For the record this is why we collect money up front now. Yes I can afford to buy everything for the job. Some people think that is is my responsibility to front all the costs and get paid at the end of the job- unfortunately the history of dealing with people has taught me that you can not do business that way and stay profitable. People like that are the reason why job deposits have to exist.
Old 02-17-2020, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by AsurfAholic View Post
..................
For the record this is why we collect money up front now........................ People like that are the reason why job deposits have to exist.
With todays tech, you can easily collect weekly or daily progress payments. This helps keep both sides honest.
Old 02-18-2020, 10:21 PM
  #104  
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Here's the latest. The writ was served by the county sheriff to the defendant's bank last Tuesday. Last Friday, a "Praecipe for Appearance" was sent to the county sheriff by the attorney for the bank. It merely states: "TO THE PROTHONOTARY: Kindly enter my appearance on behalf of <the bank name>, in the above-captioned matter."

I'll continue to monitor the case via the county's website and if there are no updates in the next two weeks, I'll contact the county sheriff. If the attempt to garnish does not successfully result in me getting paid the judgement amount, I'll pursue the next option which is the writ for levy.
Old 02-19-2020, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Brad1 View Post
Here's the latest. The writ was served by the county sheriff to the defendant's bank last Tuesday. Last Friday, a "Praecipe for Appearance" was sent to the county sheriff by the attorney for the bank. It merely states: "TO THE PROTHONOTARY: Kindly enter my appearance on behalf of <the bank name>, in the above-captioned matter."

I'll continue to monitor the case via the county's website and if there are no updates in the next two weeks, I'll contact the county sheriff. If the attempt to garnish does not successfully result in me getting paid the judgement amount, I'll pursue the next option which is the writ for levy.
you the man. Thanks for the updates. It’s very interesting
Old 02-19-2020, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Brad1 View Post
Just a follow up since my last update. Went to the county two weeks ago to have the certified copy of the judgement (from the local magistrate) recorded with the county. That will go against the contractor's credit. Takes 30 days to go against his credit from the date the judgement was recorded. That step cost me $69. Next step was to get a writ. That is also through the county. That cost $41. You need a writ in order to file for a writ of execution with the county sheriff. Last week I got the writ, then walked over to the county sheriff to file a writ of execution for garnishment. The writ of execution for garnishment cost $150. What it does is freeze the contractor's bank account and takes the judgement amount from it and sends it to me. If that doesn't work, the next step is a writ of execution of levy which is how you get the sheriff's office to seize (and sell) assets in order to get your money. That cost $250. But I'll wait to see if the writ of execution for garnishment gets my money before I take it any further.
In my experience if you don't give up, you get paid. The suckers who say, "it's not worth it" are the ones who don't get paid.

As long as the $ to follow through is < what he owes you. I say, I hammer him.

Also, don't forget social media, review sites, etc. Make it hurt and he will be compelled to act. It sucks that this is where society is - but it is. I've had to go down that road too many times. It sucks.

Lastly - don't underestimate a "review domain" meaning... say he's BobTheContractor.com -- then buy and create BobTheContractorSucks.com -- keep it 100% factual, NO emotion. ONLY facts of the matter.

He'll call you to pay up. They do, every single time.
Old 02-19-2020, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by johnny.dollar View Post
With todays tech, you can easily collect weekly or daily progress payments. This helps keep both sides honest.
That's ridiculous, a contractor does not order material and supplies by the week!
Large supply orders get discounts and above average service.
I had a new metal roof installed 2 years ago and local contractor required 50% up front.
He stated that he had a 5 week backlog and was here a few days early because we had a nice dry spell.
He has his own panel machine and had to have shop staff rollform and cut panels to size for my job.
I saw his shop and machine and he is licenced, insured also well respected with local inspectors.
Old 02-19-2020, 06:01 AM
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I won a small claims judgement when I lived in PA, and also ran into a non-payment situation. It was small enough that the costs the OP is dealing with wasn’t worth it to me, so instead, I took out an ad in the local newspaper stating the contractor’s name and business name, the facts as reported to the court, and a photo of the judgement decree.

Had my money within a week.
Old 02-19-2020, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Stim View Post
That's ridiculous, a contractor does not order material and supplies by the week!
Large supply orders get discounts and above average service.
I had a new metal roof installed 2 years ago and local contractor required 50% up front.
He stated that he had a 5 week backlog and was here a few days early because we had a nice dry spell.
He has his own panel machine and had to have shop staff rollform and cut panels to size for my job.
I saw his shop and machine and he is licenced, insured also well respected with local inspectors.
Glad that worked for you and your contractor. I'm merely presenting ideas to deal with an issue...don't hate the player, hate the game.
Old 02-19-2020, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by raybark View Post
I won a small claims judgement when I lived in PA, and also ran into a non-payment situation. It was small enough that the costs the OP is dealing with wasn’t worth it to me, so instead, I took out an ad in the local newspaper stating the contractor’s name and business name, the facts as reported to the court, and a photo of the judgement decree.

Had my money within a week.
That is amazing!

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