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Thread: Collecting on a debt

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Michigan
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    2,434

    Angry Collecting on a debt

    I need some advice. I am not going to bad mouth a person who owes me a debt, I figure their actions have spoken for themselves....

    I made ten pens quite a while ago for a person I considered somewhat of a friend.

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...light=ten+pens

    It has been a long time and I still have not been able to collect on his debt....(371.00) I have gotten several replies to both mine and the wifes emails to him asking that he please send the $$$.

    I always get the same answer..."I know I owe it and I am gonna pay this Monday"...not sure which Monday he is referring to?...

    My wife works at the courthouse and certainly knows the right people to contact to start collections....I really have hated to up to this point.

    I can imagine him being in the "lending" business will not speak well for him when the County Civil processor shows up at his place of business to serve him papers as well as the business since the pens were done for him to give to his "preferred" clients.

    A part of me hates to do that over just $371.00 (no interest either) the other part of me says "It's my money he has...go after him and make him feel like crud"


    So...would you go the "Civil processor route" or,... email him on a weekly (Monday) basis and ask when the $$$ is coming or is that harassing him?

    I've also got a couple others who haven't "Paid in full" for work done on their houses which is large enough I am going to turn that over to collections, but I'm interested in hearing what or how you would handle the pens problem?

    Wife says I am too nice and it's time to do something
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    1,325
    It's been 9 months ... he's accepted the goods ... he's acknowledged his debt ... I would give him one last document that states a time limit and what will happen if that time limit is passed. This informs him that further action will be taken and he had better pony up. It also shows you're serious and not a door mat. When the Nice Guy doesn't make it happen, you gotta let him know you're not afraid to call in Guido and Vinny.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt
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    Yo Steve, you want we should pay a visit to this guy and bring a baseball bat?
    Don't believe everything you think!

  4. #4
    Well that really stinks Steve. So much for "friendship". I think I would send him a past due bill via registered mail. Yeah, it costs a few bucks, but not as much as a collection agency. Net 15 days - via certified check or postal money order only - with a note that interest will accrue from that date at an incredible percentage rate and a collection agent will become involved. If he doesn't respond, then have the collection agency go after him. He will most likely respond with his "Monday" routine and possibly indignation at your letter. Let him be indignant - he isn't a friend if he has pushed things this far. Oh, if he tries to negotiate a lower price, ignore him and stick to the original agreement.

    FWIW,
    Wes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ozarks
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    4,992
    jesse`s got it almost right......march your upset hinny down to his place of business and politly ask for payment.....don`t be put off.....i`m here for my money and if i leave with out it i won`t be friendly any longer...no threats, no ball bats.....if he doesn`t have it offer to accompany him on his lunch break to a pay-day loan store.....that ought to get some thoughts running through his little ol` pin-head....if it comes to the point that you`re asked to leave and HE threatens to call the law, then and only then, file a complaint....be sure to add interest and collection fees to the original complaint don`t add them after it`s been filed.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    8,983
    Its always hard when a 'friend' can't manage to pay a debt. I have a similar problem. My sitch is supposed to be resolved this weekend.

    I agree with others that a hard line must be drawn no matter how painful. Remember, they created the situation, not you. Hopefully you can avoid small claims.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 09-18-2007 at 04:19 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Beam View Post
    It's been 9 months ... he's accepted the goods ... he's acknowledged his debt ... I would give him one last document that states a time limit and what will happen if that time limit is passed. This informs him that further action will be taken and he had better pony up. It also shows you're serious and not a door mat. When the Nice Guy doesn't make it happen, you gotta let him know you're not afraid to call in Guido and Vinny.
    I guess I kind of did that back in April with this email....

    Name omitted

    __________________________________________________ _____________
    I have been more than fair waiting for my money from the pens that you ordered along with the pen boxes I bought per your request. I have called you and emailed you over this matter and nothing has arrived in my mailbox in regards to paying for the goods you have received months ago.

    While I do appreciate the business, I am eager to receive payment in order that I can also pay my bills. As you know money has been tight in the construction business in Michigan, so it is not at my luxury to give out goods without payment.

    Please pay before Friday or else I have no choice but to take the next step in the collection process.

    Thank You,
    Steven Ash


    ...and his acknowledgment....

    __________________________________________________ ________________

    I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I have been off for an extended period of time. You WILL have payment by Friday. I am so sorry that this has taken so long to get paid. I am paying for them out of my personal account. You will get a check in the mail from my LLC. account. I take full ownership for the non payment to date. I did not follow up Like I should have. I am embarrrassed by this and feel horrible that this was not paid. I will take care of this myself and not put this thru accounting. Please email me once you recieve payment
    Last edited by Steve Ash; 09-17-2007 at 10:56 PM.
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    11,697
    I've been a debt collector. An in-person confrontation can produce undesired results. I suggest an arms length business-like, but no nonsense approach. As suggested, send a certified letter with a deadline to pay. Include your costs of mailing, no matter how trivial it may seem to you. If he doesn't pay by the deadline, use your small claims court and file suit. He will lose and pay not only the original debt but your cost of filing. And it will be on his credit record for (if I recall correctly) seven years. Remind him of that in your demand letter. Make the letter straightforward, no wild threats or name calling. Let us know what happens.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Based on the message you sent in April, I'd say he's had more than ample warning. You promised to elevate the problem to a collection agency back then...I'd follow through with the promise. (OK, since he's a "friend", maybe one certified letter telling him it's going to collections in 5 days if you don't see the account paid in full before then.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Steve,

    It's a tough situation, but it's your money, time and frustration that need to be taken care of. I would also give him one last notice, registered mail with return receipt letting him know he has one week to pay the amount in full or you will begin legal proceedings to collect the debt and notify the other organizations of the problems you have had. Wait for the check to arrive, take it to one of his bank's branch and cash it. If it bounces, you have even more to use as leverage...talk to the bank manager about the check.

    72 hours later, take out papers to collect if it is still unresolved.

    One down, move on to the next. Your wife will probably appreciate cleaning up the debts but especially like seeing you less stressed about getting the run around by one(s) you trusted.

    Best of luck.

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