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How to Collect $$ from A CHURCH?

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How to Collect $$ from A CHURCH?

Old 01-19-2010, 10:25 AM
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Default How to Collect $$ from A CHURCH?

A friend started his own HVAC/Electric company and has got himself into a $40,000 debt for installing a new system into a local church. He hasn't seen a dime.

Without the obvious could'a, should'a, would'a that we know would have marched this job down Draw Lane, he's a nice guy; trusts the lord and those that associate with Him.

Filing a lien doesn't seem to have done much; especially if the church doesn't borrow money. That leaves leg-breaking or lawsuits; both of which are costly.

My inclination would be for him to find a contingency attorney that would bring every deacon and pastor into court for personal breach of promise and breach of contract litigation. I'm no attorney, obviously.

What alternatives does this guy have to get some money quickly? He's facing foreclosure on everything he owns unless something happens soon.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:31 AM
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I would find out what their reason for not paying is. For 40K he's not outstepping his bounds with the big man to ask that simple question.

After I found out the reason, I would have to alter may approach accordingly.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:47 AM
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Mike is dead on, but assuming they do not have a workable answer, your friend should forget the whole church angle. Sad to say, but he may be in a tough spot. IF the church feels it is above the law based on its moral position, he may have to get serious with them (lawyers etc).

I had a friend lose his business because of a no pay for a homeless shelter. Bottom line is, they felt like their noble mission trumped his tawdry and petty demands for money.

In this case, I would ignore the fact that they are a church, and assume that their motives are entirely without God.

Lightning bolt on 3 2 1 .......
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:51 AM
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is there a contract?

if there is, the church should be treated just like any other defaulting party
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:59 AM
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To add to the above advice,

In 25 years of self employment, there has never been an incident with a customer where the customer claims we did a good job for the price we quoted in the time span we offered, where the customer claims to have the funds, where we weren't paid.

Never.

Find out why. Nothing to do with a church, and my guess is the answer has nothing to do with them being a church.

How long have they owed the money? I normally wait 3 months before worrying.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:20 AM
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Church or no Church business is business.

He could file a lawsuit and name all of those in power(Preacher, Deacons, etc).
Those of us in business have ALL done things without a contract and should have know better but most times it is not a big deal however if the work is done and no problems then it is time to get an attorney to send a letter to the church, biggest problem with that is going to cost him money he did not calculate into the job.

Some cases you can recoup legal fees but not sure how that works, you don't want to ask me about lawsuits right nowTRUST ME

Not sure who all he has contacted but I would make sure I contacted Chairman of the Deacons and Finance Committee and let my intentions be known and tell him to NOT LOOSE HIS COOL
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:49 PM
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Contact an attorney and then post that your going to sue on the front page of the paper.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:51 PM
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...it keeps getting worse and worse. Seems he's the mechanical sub-contractor on an insurance job. Insurance company denied the claim after the church contracted the work...but didn't tell the GC until the job was almost done.

The contract was written that the GC would get paid when the church got paid...normally OK but in this case, bad juju.

Their option is to foreclose on the church and they're looking at doing that...but until then he's up to his ears in debt...so fingers crossed that he can weather the storm.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
he's a nice guy; trusts the lord and those that associate with Him.

.
That was his first mistake, someone being associated with a church means nothing. Look at Falwell, Baker, and the countless other con artists that were associated with churchs. Secondly they are nothing but a business, take them to court. They have blown away any supposed religous boundries there may have been when they failed to pay. Theft is theft. If they were putting everything I have at risk, Id go after them like they were common criminals.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
...it keeps getting worse and worse. Seems he's the mechanical sub-contractor on an insurance job. Insurance company denied the claim after the church contracted the work...but didn't tell the GC until the job was almost done.

The contract was written that the GC would get paid when the church got paid...normally OK but in this case, bad juju.

Their option is to foreclose on the church and they're looking at doing that...but until then he's up to his ears in debt...so fingers crossed that he can weather the storm.
i am a GC...

it does not matter what the GC/owner contract says, it matters what the sub/GC contract says, regarding payment. if the subcontract does not address payment terms, your friend unfortunately is in a really bad place with little hope except that the ins co decides to honor the claim

the GC should pay the sub enough to recoup his costs, that's what i would do, and what i have done in the past when we get an owner that pays late

i am sorry to hear this...i have seen both GC's and subs go down when insurance work goes bad...but in this case the GC absolutely needs to step up for his subcontractor
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:00 PM
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If all else fails, go to Sunday mass and politely, at the appropriate time, stand up and let the congregation know that this church has defrauded you and what is going on. Don't worry about shaming folks because "God" will forgive them. Rite!!!!!
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:07 PM
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How is the church's insurance company going to continue to cover the church? If repairs had to be made then the Ins. Company should pay the claim. I would threaten legal action on everybody I could. If that doesn't work, I would ruin everyone who had a part in screwing me.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:54 PM
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Put them on notice that you plan to repossess any HVAC equipment. With spring and summer coming up it will be hotter than Hades in that church.

From a contractor's standpoint there are two groups you should never deal with - condo associations and churches. It will bite you every time.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:04 PM
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As a side note, I have a friend who is a finish carpenter in the chicago suburbs. He just finished a job for a church there, and the money manager for the church investments left town in the middle of the night with all their monetary assets.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:29 PM
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sounds like it isn't so much a Church issue as it is a GC and Sub issue.

either way, sorry to hear it for your friend Rick. best of luck with him getting paid for work done etc.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:37 PM
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nice guy that he is, he's four months past on his home, same on boat and truck. He won't take a bridge loan because he thinks that NEXT week will be the one that gets things done for him. Sounds like his deal with the GC was "get paid when boss gets paid". If the GC isn't solid enough (who is, nowdays?) to pay him his costs, then I'd go with the Sunday Morning worship statement....except he's not excited about being surrounded by 500 democrats and calling them deadbeats.
You can't turn a nice guy into a pit bull overnight, so hope he survives. We all need nice people in business for themselves, don't we?
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Sounds like his deal with the GC was "get paid when boss gets paid". If the GC isn't solid enough (who is, nowdays?) to pay him his costs...
respectfully...this is BS
the GC, while not obligated, needs to take care of your friend
that's how it works

as for not being "solid" enough to do so, if this GC is so leveraged/cash poor that he can't stroke a five figure check, than that is likely why he took on such a risky (ie: insurance, no prepayment, etc) job to begin with

sorry, but hearing this makes me angry
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:43 PM
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I work in the construction trades. We mostly deal directly with homeowners, businesses, or municipalities; but occasionally will act as subcontractor to select GC's. Years ago we went to a three draw system contract to protect ourselves. One third deposit, second third at 50 percent completion, and third draw upon satisfactory completion. Now we sometimes have people who slow pay us the final, but we are covered for material and labor from the first two draws. I have found that anyone who is unwilling to work like this is not worth working for. I do allow skeptical homeowners to hold the deposit until we show up to start.
I am in New Orleans, and have seen some real horror stories unfold from situations just like this after Katrina. I wish your friend the best of luck, and he might consider adopting this 3 draw contract in the future.
www.sequoiadeck.com
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by nautiduck View Post
That was his first mistake, someone being associated with a church means nothing. Look at Falwell, Baker, and the countless other con artists that were associated with churchs. Secondly they are nothing but a business, take them to court. They have blown away any supposed religous boundries there may have been when they failed to pay. Theft is theft. If they were putting everything I have at risk, Id go after them like they were common criminals.

Careful bro. These are my brothers and my Father sees all! Where is your soul headed? Might want to thank about it.....God gives the choice, dosen't beg....
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:50 PM
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Need to arrange a meeting with the Pastor and Trustees to sort through the issues. Bottom line, the trustees are responsible for debt of the Church reguardless of what kind of arrangments were made. I believe they will come through for you.
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