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Thread: Liens and legal issues

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    Terminating Central Station services is relatively straight forward, giving notice, etc. The key component is you MUST keep the fire department/fire official in the loop when you do this. I remember a presentation by one former state official who was a bit extreme, claiming you couldn't terminate Central Station without a hand-off to another provider. I asked him in the Q&A if he was going to help us collect on the accounts, and he didn't have much to say.
    Understandable for buildings with public access. Other buildings and especially single family dwellings, yes the phone company would likely still give a notice after some time that states if payment or other arrangements not received by a certain date the service will be interrupted. I don't think they would even need to notify fire dept. maybe not even on public access buildings.

    Always hear people saying the POCO can't shut you off during winter months even if you can't make payments. Not true.
    They can and will. Most of them will make arrangements if you just call stating you have a hardship, but you still need to progress on making payments or eventually you still will be shut off.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    Understandable for buildings with public access. Other buildings and especially single family dwellings, yes the phone company would likely still give a notice after some time that states if payment or other arrangements not received by a certain date the service will be interrupted. I don't think they would even need to notify fire dept. maybe not even on public access buildings.

    Always hear people saying the POCO can't shut you off during winter months even if you can't make payments. Not true.
    They can and will. Most of them will make arrangements if you just call stating you have a hardship, but you still need to progress on making payments or eventually you still will be shut off.
    Key component right there. Don't just ignore the bill; things won't magically get better. You swallow your pride or freeze in the dark. Your choice.

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldstar View Post
    I've tried the "nice guy" approach. Should I be knocking with a Louisville Slugger or should I just call "Guido" ?

    Granted, I'm annoyed at this but I'm not going to let it eat up my intestines (if you know what I mean). I just wanted to post this for any of our subscribers who don't know or aren't aware of the time limitations regarding criminal action and/or when to file liens.
    No Guido... Call Luka Brasi
    Mt. Falls, Va.
    "Not a sermon, just a thought"
    A licensed electrically-related individual

  4. #94
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    I just happened to notice this in Mike Holt's recap of popular threads of 2018 (# 19) and I realized I never posted the fact that I eventually got paid. The GC contacted me in June and told me to go ahead and re-deposit the bounced check for $15.5K. I did so and the check cleared. I was able to satisfy the loan I had taken out and I'm now in the black.

    As a point of information, it cost me $1K to file the lien, $250.00 to file just the application for the loan and about $250 in interest on the loan for the few months that I had the loan outstanding. In short, it cost me $1500 to collect $15.5K.

    I've continued to stay in touch with the GC who informed me that he has still not been paid by the tire company and that he has been in court with them. He told me that he paid me out of his own account. He also asked that I keep the lien in place to put pressure on the tire company. That lien is coming up for renewal in March or April I believe. If he has not settled with the tire company he will either have to pay me to renew the lien or I'll have it removed. I'll keep you all posted.

    Thanks for all your replies and advice.

  5. #95
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    It's an interesting coincidence that I see this posted today. On the way home from a job today I was thinking about clients who have not paid me and what the text of a letter threatening to place a lien and the related legal costs would be. Something like "pay me or I will place a lien on your property. If that happens, you will have to pay $x,xxx in legal costs in addition to the outstanding bill." I'm not sure the law allows me to pass on those costs, but I'd like to.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrofelon View Post
    What many people dont realize about mechanics liens is that the point is not really to just wait out till they sell or try to borrow against the property. Liens can, and actually have to before too long, be enforced or foreclosed. This means that if a judge decides in your favor, the county or other jurisdiction will foreclose on the property to pay your debt. You have to enforce the lien during its active period. It can sometimes be renewed but it varies from state to state. Whether you can collect attorney's fees also varies from state to state. Some say you can, some say you cant, some leave it up to the discretion of the judge.

    Generally when you go after someone legally, you throw everything at them. There are other options besides a lien. I currently have a suit against someone. We are going after them for 4 things: Foreclosing on the lien, breach of contract, fraud, and unjust enrichment.

    Remember just because you dont have a written contract, that doesnt mean you cant go after them under the contract law. Oral contracts are perfectly acceptable, although granted potentially harder to get a judge to see it your way if it comes down to "he said/she said."
    My case was also resolved a few months ago. Real quick recap: was owed about $3600. Dirtbags. Lied to me about funding. Said they had/were getting grants to pay for the project. Kept lying to me even after I tracked down the grant lady and she said they started an application but it had been closed months ago because they never completed the application. Pulled a mechanics lien, waited a bit, nothing. Took them to court to foreclose on the lien, unjust enrichment, fraud, and breach of contract. Pulling a mechanics lien is pretty easy, but many people dont realize how many steps there are to taking someone to court: Serving papers, request for judicial intervention, affidavits, serving more papers...oh now the court needs another affidavit stating why you thought that person was the owners agent......court decides they want the owner served again.........

    So the day before court, owners agent gives my lawyer a cashiers check for $3600. At first it seems they blunder and give us the check without making us agree to drop the suit. We state we are still pursuing costs. I have spent about 2k so far. I offer they pay $600 additional for costs. Never hear from them. We ask court for costs. Court says we can only get $100 for costs due to a state law limiting cost reimbursement to $100 if the case was not settled by the court - they paid the amount and we accepted it so it wasnt settled by the court.
    Perhaps a blunder on my attorney's part, but thats a tough one: The dirtbag hands you the money they owe you. Do you refuse it and take your chances getting that principle plus costs in court? (and even if you win, hope to collect it - thats another whole thing). So I got $3600 and had to pay $2000 to get it. Really not even worth the hassle. throughout most of it I thought I just wanted them to pay what they owe, even if I didnt see any of it. I got that and them some, but I still kinda want to burn the place down.
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

  7. #97
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    .
    Last edited by Gary11734; 01-04-19 at 11:27 PM.

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coppersmith View Post
    I'm not sure the law allows me to pass on those costs, but I'd like to.
    You cannot pass on the costs unless it is specifically stated in a contract signed by both parties. I learned that the hard way.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrofelon View Post
    So I got $3600 and had to pay $2000 to get it. Really not even worth the hassle. throughout most of it I thought I just wanted them to pay what they owe, even if I didnt see any of it. I got that and them some, but I still kinda want to burn the place down.
    We've had several lawyers come to our contractors' meetings over the years to present CEU's on legal issues. I didn't heed their warnings and went into this project without a contract. However, the one thing I remember is them telling us that unless the outstanding $$$ are over $10K don't bother filing a lien. In my case it cost me about 10% of the money owed to collect the full amount. In your case it cost you 55% + to collect the $$$. Unless you end up in a full blown law suit, the cost of just putting a lien on a job remains relatively the same irrespective of the amount owed. However, placing a lien on the job doesn't mean you'll always get the full amount owed.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldstar View Post
    We've had several lawyers come to our contractors' meetings over the years to present CEU's on legal issues. I didn't heed their warnings and went into this project without a contract. However, the one thing I remember is them telling us that unless the outstanding $$$ are over $10K don't bother filing a lien. In my case it cost me about 10% of the money owed to collect the full amount. In your case it cost you 55% + to collect the $$$. Unless you end up in a full blown law suit, the cost of just putting a lien on a job remains relatively the same irrespective of the amount owed. However, placing a lien on the job doesn't mean you'll always get the full amount owed.
    Yeah , as I said in a earlier post in this thread, many dont understand how a lien does and doesnt work. But that can work to your advantages if the client doesnt either, as it may scare them into paying up. Once you get into having to pursue foreclosing on the lien, thats when you start spending $$ on legal work and court fees.

    In my case, the dirtbag pretty much just ignored everything, until the day before the default judgement hearing.
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

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