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  1. #1

    Default Client Owes Money And Doesn't Want To Pay In Full

    My question involves business law in the state of: Washington

    I am the owner of a business that services bank owned properties. This broker is the banks realtor. The broker asked us to mow the lawns for 42 properties that he had listed. I told the broker the intial cuts were going to be about $100 and the bi-weekly would be $50. He agreed. I sub-contracted the work to be done. It was completed and the broker was invoiced.

    The broker initially told us that he would pay us weekly. He did not pay the first week and did not tell us to stop service. We continued service for the 2nd week. After all the lawns were mowed he told us "stop all lawn services I am trying to figure out why you and another guy and mowing the same lawns." Then he said every lawn we mowed had already had an initial cut done. Which was not the case.

    He had told me a few days earlier that an elderly man mowed 3-4 lawns a month for him.

    Long and short. He told me directly that he is not going to pay us in full and he has no contractual agreement with us. He said his bookeeper would send me a check for what is fair. I got a check in the mail today for $900. The total invoice was over $4,000 and I've already paid my sub-contractor over $3,000. I dont want to accept $900 for total payment. What should I do with the check? Also, I've thought about going to small claims court. I've got my sub-contractor that can prove the weight of the grass. Also, I have emails to and from him but no signed contract.

    Not sure if it makes any differnce but he also owes us $3600 for another project we completed. I have before and after photos of this project. I've talked with the county auditor and I can record a lien for $42. What should I do?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toledo, OH

    Default Re: Guy Owes Money And Doesn't Want To Pay In Full

    What should I do?
    Take him to court.

    He does, in fact, have a contractual agreement with you - verbal contracts are legally enforceable, and the more evidence you have referring to that oral agreement (like your e-mails), the better.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Guy Owes Money And Doesn't Want To Pay In Full

    What should I do about the $900 check? Cash it or return it to sender? Also, should I lien the properties? Sorry for the string of questins just not 100% sure and don't want to make a wrong step.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Re: Guy Owes Money And Doesn't Want To Pay In Full

    Does it indicate anything - "payment in full", "accord and satisfaction", or anything other than "Pay to the order of [you] $900"?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Il.(near StL,Mo.)

    Default Re: Client Owes Money And Doesn't Want To Pay In Full

    If the check does say anything other than just pay to the order of "you", you might not want to accept/cash it. You don't want to cash it if it might be taken that you are accepting it as payment in full.

    Just for your info - if you sue, you can sue in small claims court in Washington for up to $4,000. Above that amount, you would need to sue in a higher court.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Client Owes Money And Doesn't Want To Pay In Full

    The check does not say anything about invoice paid in full. The letter that was attached with the check said they are willing to pay is $900 for the work performed. I sent the guy an email stating that we would accept this $900 check as an intial payment towards the amount owed. I don't think I am going to cash the check. I am going to take this to court and I think the judge will at least grant me the $900 if nothing else.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Client Owes Money And Doesn't Want To Pay In Full

    Should I retain the services of an attorney in the event we foreclose on the lien or have to go to small claims court? And if so, can I recoup any of the legal fee's in court?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Client Owes Money And Doesn't Want To Pay In Full

    Depending on the nature of your business, you may have to hire a lawyer to pursue any foreclosure. Corporations are generally unable to represent themselves. Why not consult a local lawyer, find out what the lawyer would charge to handle the case, and see if the lawyer thinks you'll be able to recover any fees (although I expect not).

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