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Thread: how do i collect for an unpaid business to business transaction?

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    Default how do i collect for an unpaid business to business transaction?

    my father is a small business owner of an embroidery shop. a couple years ago we started doing work for a screen printing company. they had some customers that wanted embroidery and they only did screen printing, so we did the embroidery for them, and im sure they just jacked up the price and made a small profit which is cool. problem is my dad made a poor decision and did the work with no cash up front with only a verbal contract. eventually they owed over $600 and came in to get more stuff done. my dad told them that hes not doing any more work for them until they start paying on their bill. we never seen them since and dont even know if these scammers are in business. i try calling them and no answer. i think it's kind of a husband and wife that just work out of their home. my dad keep slacking on the issue letting it go. hes also in the process of having someone else take over the business(hes ready for retirement and i got a more profitable job) so it seems like he hes losing interest but it really has been bothering me that these people get away with screwing over my dad. and hes too nice of a person to do anything about it so i feel like i have to take charge. i mean thats his hard earned $600. i dont care what these other people's financial problems are, they could have at least contacted us and made some kind of payment plan. my dads fault though for not making them sign a contract but i know sometimes verbal contracts are still valid. i tell ya i wish i could put my hands on this dead beat and make him pay with his teeth but then i'll only be owing his dr bills and court costs.

    so where do i go from here? is it worth getting a lawyer? can we make them pay our lawyer costs if we bring him to court? i know if he doesnt have any money to begin with we can garnish his wages, just have to find out where he works and bring the court papers in. exactly what my friend had to do to someone that owed him rent money. at least how it usually works in michigan. but do we have enough evidence to bring a case to court? i suppose if he didnt show up we'd win. i dont care if i have to travel all over michigan to find where he works cause im real good at finding people. even if i use over $600 worth of gas it's still worth it to me to make a deadbeat pay his debts. scum like this are ruining the american dream! almost would be worth making him pay the hard way but i dont want to risk my newer job.

    thanks good hearted business friends

  2. #2
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    Unless you are part owner or hired by your father as a collector, you can't do anything. It is even possible that you father could get in trouble for discussing this financial issue with you.

    Your father could take him to small claim court. For $600 I would not hire a lawyer. However, even if he wins he may never see your money. It might be better to consider the $600 as payment for the reminder to get cash up front.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anarchski View Post
    so where do i go from here?
    You personally, nowhere. Only your father would be able to take action on this debt.

    Quote Originally Posted by anarchski View Post
    is it worth getting a lawyer? can we make them pay our lawyer costs if we bring him to court?
    I would say this is not worth pursuing due to no contract in place, but you might want to seek out a free consultation from an attorney in your area first.
    Regarding the costs, I'm not positive about your area...but in FL if I sue someone and win, then reasonable attorney fees will be included in the judgement amount.

    Quote Originally Posted by anarchski View Post
    i know if he doesnt have any money to begin with we can garnish his wages, just have to find out where he works and bring the court papers in. exactly what my friend had to do to someone that owed him rent money. at least how it usually works in michigan. but do we have enough evidence to bring a case to court? i suppose if he didnt show up we'd win. i dont care if i have to travel all over michigan to find where he works cause im real good at finding people. even if i use over $600 worth of gas it's still worth it to me to make a deadbeat pay his debts. scum like this are ruining the american dream! almost would be worth making him pay the hard way but i dont want to risk my newer job.
    First, you have to sue the business not the individual themselves (Unless you had a contract that designated personal responsibility if the business failed to pay). This means no wage garnishment...and since you don't even know if they are still in business it may not even be worth pursuing.

    However, if you did proceed and were to win this case then you can likely have an order issued to garnish their business bank account directly after a period of time has passed (At least here in FL).

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    it is not worth getting a lawyer you will end up paying more, effort and time will cost more than 600 even if you do it yourself, yes you can go to small claims court but you need to proved to them that you had a dealing either verbal or written but if they are no where to be found/ again that is a different story and problem. Sorry to say your situation is hard to claim but if you believe in karma then let it come there way.

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    Perhaps the reason your father has "lost interest" in collecting the debt is because he realizes it's not worth the headache.

    One thing I've learned over the years is that sometimes people *will* disappear and leave bad debts. Short of getting all your money up front (which most clients are not going to agree to), it's bound to happen. In your case, perhaps the other company simply has no money - even with an ironclad contract and court judgement, you may never collect what is rightfully owed.

    So, I'm sorry you lost that money, but take the lesson from it, and move on. Your father obviously has.

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by nealrm View Post
    Unless you are part owner or hired by your father as a collector, you can't do anything. It is even possible that you father could get in trouble for discussing this financial issue with you.

    Your father could take him to small claim court. For $600 I would not hire a lawyer. However, even if he wins he may never see your money. It might be better to consider the $600 as payment for the reminder to get cash up front.
    it is not illegal, it all happen right in front of me. i worked with my father almost everyday. i even did a lot of the invoices and such. even if my dad never said nothing, i would still have known anyway. we also had a list of every customer that owed money and what they owed. no ones debt is kept secret. Even though im not hired as a collector, he could hire me as a collector as of now. and i'd do it for no paycheck.

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    It is violation of the Fair debt Collect act to discuss a persons debt with non-related parties. So unless you were employed by your father in either account receivables, debt collection or an other position that would require that type of information, he would be in violation of the act. It would be seen the same as if your father told the debtors neighbor.

    Of course, if you were doing invoices and such, then you would naturally have access to that type of info.
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  8. #8

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    thanks everyone for the input. i appreciate it. just as an update on the issue, my dad has retired and sold the business. it's actually going very well for the new owners. they even decided to expand to screen printing. good friend of mine has a lawyer in his family and he's going to look into it, maybe even send them a letter to try and scare them into paying.

    i figure if i see that dead beat in town i might just do what i shouldnt. i hope his kids are watching too so they dont turn out like him. i've got away with doing it before for other reasons. small chance i get caught i will have money for bail, plus probably just get community service. if i miss work i dont care, my boss would totally be cool with it and a couple other workers would be glad to get more hours if i had to miss some time. i know it's the wrong thing to do but i know the law and assault isnt really a big deal unless with a weapon or if you seriously hurt them which i would never do. i know its wrong but im gonna do it for all the good businessmen out there and throw the trash down where they belong. i also have no record which means lenience. i just hope i see the guy again. thanks to cell phones though, if anyone i know sees him i will be right on him.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by nealrm View Post
    It is violation of the Fair debt Collect act to discuss a persons debt with non-related parties. So unless you were employed by your father in either account receivables, debt collection or an other position that would require that type of information, he would be in violation of the act. It would be seen the same as if your father told the debtors neighbor.

    Of course, if you were doing invoices and such, then you would naturally have access to that type of info.
    technically, yeah, i was account receivables. it dont matter though about the law as far as that. there is no proof of us discussing anything other than what i typed on this forum which no one could track me anyway cause i use a proxy. even if then, it would be worth for the government to persue. i tell u what, i know a lot of people that work at places with access to this kind of information. a few are even small business owners. we discuss people's debt's all the time in public. helps everyone know who NOT to trust. it's a small backwater hick town here.

    also how is that illegal if businesses all over post names of people that write bad checks? i know it's not exactly discussing, but it's not much different. i mean it's showing names of people that wrote bad checks and how much. the town i am in have it it stores all over. the place i work at now they even tell me when someone writes a bad check or owes on their bill. the fair debt collection act can just go in the garbage. people that dont pay their bills should be exposed and i could care less what anyone else thinks.

    also i know several landlords in town. i used to be one myself. they always discuss names of people who didnt pay and who not to rent to and such. if you're right about their being a law like that than they sure dont enforce it lol. where has their ever been a case of this happening to someone where they got in trouble?
    Last edited by anarchski; 09-27-2012 at 09:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anarchski View Post
    i figure if i see that dead beat in town i might just do what i shouldnt. i hope his kids are watching too so they dont turn out like him. i've got away with doing it before for other reasons. small chance i get caught i will have money for bail, plus probably just get community service. if i miss work i dont care, my boss would totally be cool with it and a couple other workers would be glad to get more hours if i had to miss some time. i know it's the wrong thing to do but i know the law and assault isnt really a big deal unless with a weapon or if you seriously hurt them which i would never do. i know its wrong but im gonna do it for all the good businessmen out there and throw the trash down where they belong. i also have no record which means lenience. i just hope i see the guy again. thanks to cell phones though, if anyone i know sees him i will be right on him.
    Are you serious? You're risking jail time, a criminal record and potenial loss of money (Lost work or this person suing you) over money that isn't even owed to you?

    Let it go!

    Quote Originally Posted by anarchski View Post
    also how is that illegal if businesses all over post names of people that write bad checks? i know it's not exactly discussing, but it's not much different. i mean it's showing names of people that wrote bad checks and how much. the town i am in have it it stores all over. the place i work at now they even tell me when someone writes a bad check or owes on their bill. the fair debt collection act can just go in the garbage. people that dont pay their bills should be exposed and i could care less what anyone else thinks.

    also i know several landlords in town. i used to be one myself. they always discuss names of people who didnt pay and who not to rent to and such. if you're right about their being a law like that than they sure dont enforce it lol. where has their ever been a case of this happening to someone where they got in trouble?
    Yes, it's illegal. Just because others do it and havent been caught/sued doesn't make it right for you to do the same.

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