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Client vanished on payment

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by datoshway, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. datoshway

    datoshway Member

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    So we just wrapped a large truck, client paid half (per our TOS) and the other half was to be paid on delivery. Well we let the truck go with the good faith that he would pay. Now he's gone and cannot be reached. Ironic isn't it.

    Since we have an actual product on this guys truck (vinyl) and we are not talking about a service here, isn't he basically driving around with stolen goods? He doesn't own the vinyl so I almost want to take that approach.

    Help me out here.
     
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  2. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    You're outa luck, he owns it once you put it on his vehicle (or property/building).
    Been discussed to death here.
     
  3. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

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    Personally I would just find the guy. You know his business. You wrapped it all over his truck. Find him and repo the vinyl.


    HMMMMMMMM>........ New show possibility there. The vinyl Repoer.
     
  4. showcase 66

    showcase 66 Very Active Member

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    Have a friend who owns an auto body/mechanics shop. He just went through this with a client and a paint job. His lawyer put a lien on the vehicle in question. A chattel lien or something like that.

    Basically this guy can never sell this vehicle unless the lien has been paid off. Here in AZ if you have not paid the lien in so many months or years (not sure which) they can hold off registration on your vehicle. At least that is what the MVD told me.

    Something to look into at least.
     
  5. eahicks

    eahicks Very Active Member

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    Ditto on the lien. As long as you have proof of deposit and remaining balance and his signature that he agreed to those terms. Just like the auto mechanics do.
     
  6. ThinkRight

    ThinkRight Active Member

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    You could research the business and put a lien on the truck .?
    Or maybe a classified add stating that "Loser Trucking Company" did not pay for services and material from you.
    Or call his house and harass him .
     
  7. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    how long has it been? your first mistake was letting it go without payment. if it's been less than 30 days, I wouldn't worry about it yet, 30-60 days, I would send a letter registered mail demanding payment.

    if that doesn't work, I would get creative, put up some signs in front of your shop telling everyone that he owes you money and is unwilling to pay. if that still doesn't work, spill some solvents on the wrap by accident.
     
  8. yukon

    yukon Member

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    We've taken similar clients to court. and WON. And since we had done business before where he paid by check, I requested a copy of the bank deposit from that past job. The copy shows his actual check (with account number) and I was able to freeze his business checking account for the amount he owed. After 30 days, the bank sent me a check for his balance plus all the court costs. SWEET!

    I wouldn't harass, be professional and patient with the justice system and you'll prevail.

    Yukon
     
  9. royster13

    royster13 Very Active Member

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    I am thinking some of the ideas presented here will get you in trouble....So best get "real" legal advice rather than from signs guys who play a lawyer on a forum....
     
  10. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

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    You do not want to remove the vinyl if you bring a law suit against this nice gentleman.
    Its sort of like if someone does not make their car payments, the bank has to go through steps before they can repossess the car. Once you remove the vinyl you have no recourse for payment and you also have put more time in the job.
     
  11. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    While all of the revenge advice dispensed in these waters might be amusing and fun to play out in your mind, keep it right there. In your mind. If you attempt any of that childish nonsense you'll end up either in custody or at the wrong end of a lawsuit.

    File suit in small claims court. Have that served on him, I assume it's a 'him', by a professional process server, don't do it yourself.

    When you get to court be prepared with all of the documentation, photos, witnesses, etc. you can muster to support your case. You will prevail. Either the defendant will not show in which case you will get a default judgement or you win on the facts. Assuming they are exactly as you have stated them.

    Once you have that judgement in hand, he's yours. You then get a Mechanic's Lien on his entire business, not just the vehicle. The local sheriff will be happy to serve it for you. At that point, he either satisfies the lien or is out of business and you take possession of whatever assets named in the lien.

    The exact procedure varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but that essentially is the way it works. You'll have to front some money, court filing costs, process servers, lien service, etc, but all of that is added to the judgement and subsequent lien. You'll get it all back.

    You might search this sand pile for an old post wherein I told the most entertaining story of my boss at the time doing exactly what's outlined above and, for the price of a leather sport coat, ended with serving a lien on one of PSA's airplanes [the airline is now defunct having has one of their airplanes land early in downtown San Diego in flames] about to depart San Jose International Airport. He said, after it was all over, that it was worth the price of admission just to see the various PSA people running about insisting that 'You can't do that!' while he and a sheriff's deputy were indeed doing it.
     
  12. john1

    john1 Guest

    Stop trusting people so much. I learned that a long time ago.

    Simple
     
  13. Red Ball

    Red Ball Active Member

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    File suit in small claims court. Have that served on him, I assume it's a 'him', by a professional process server, don't do it yourself.

    When you get to court be prepared with all of the documentation, photos, witnesses, etc. you can muster to support your case. You will prevail. Either the defendant will not show in which case you will get a default judgement or you win on the facts. Assuming they are exactly as you have stated them.

    Once you have that judgement in hand, he's yours. You then get a Mechanic's Lien on his entire business, not just the vehicle. The local sheriff will be happy to serve it for you. At that point, he either satisfies the lien or is out of business and you take possession of whatever assets named in the lien.

    The exact procedure varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but that essentially is the way it works. You'll have to front some money, court filing costs, process servers, lien service, etc, but all of that is added to the judgement and subsequent lien. You'll get it all back.

    [/QUOTE]

    :thumb:
     
  14. weaselboogie

    weaselboogie Very Active Member

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    Unless the customer doesn't own anything, and you know some basic info, you can nail their *** to the wall.

    I was really surprised by the power of the court when my first delinquent called about a year after I won in court saying that he was trying to sell some property and he couldn't because I had a lien against his property ( unbeknownst to me ) . If you follow through , you'll get paid.
     
  15. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    if its been over 30 days and hes not answering or anything find the vehicle and strip sections off of it. I would do it. We got some on here that would strip it and others that prefer to go thru the proper methods.

    He has already disrespected you BUT you should not have handed over keys until you were paid
     
  16. datoshway

    datoshway Member

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    Thanks for all the replies guys. It looks like in my state there is a $2500 max on small claims so I will need to pursue this in a higher court if I want to settle this properly. Otherwise it's quite tempting to go and just rip it off the truck
     
  17. surf city

    surf city Active Member

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    I was just in RI 2 weeks ago, I would have helped ya find this guy...lol. Actually, I would file a lien and go that route.
     
  18. Farmboy

    Farmboy Active Member

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    Small claims
     
  19. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    small claims court is a waste of time IF the other party knows how it works
     
  20. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    How, exactly, does knowing how it works keep it from working? Sounds remarkably like a contradiction.
     
  21. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I have to agree. There is a difference between knowing how it works and knowing how to work the system.

    The only possible exception to that would be if someone did self help and then tried to get the party in small claims and the other party counter sued about the self help. That's when knowing or not knowing would come in handy, but ironically that's the system working.

    I would also say that very few people actually know how the system works. Those that advocate self help and that didn't get into trouble (although a few did based on what they said here) is a testament to that. Those that like to say that the march to their own drummer and their reasoning for that, that's the same reasoning that the people that they complain about can use for stiffing them with non paying.
     
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