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Thread: Dealing with bad debt

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Dealing with bad debt

    I'd like to explore the issue of bad debt, particularly when it comes to "habitual bad debtors." People who struggle to pay their bills is one thing - at least it is not intentional. But there are creatures amongst us who have no intention of paying right from the outset. And there seem to be more and more of them.

    Murdock raised this elsewhere:
    just something i want to mention about bad debts...i have found people are getting caught out by builders...they pay a deposit and the builder ducks...beware of this...make sure they dont dump a load of scrap on your property...then request a huge amount of money...then the excuses start or they just take off with your money.

    i was caught like this ...a builder sub contracted all the work out including the building work without my knowledge...we all started working...myself the builder... plumber..."the contractor" dumped a pile of rubbish in the customers front yard requested a R70000.00 deposit and disappeared with the money...never to be seen again...we all got caught...the scary thing is aparently he has been doing it for years...he just keeps changing his location from province to province.
    That's fraud. But how does this guy keep going?

    I had a spec builder whose modus operandi is to steadily fall behind on the progress draws to subcontractors, and stiff you for whatever is left owing to you once you're done. In our case a rollover problem that grew over three contracts. We handed over for collection, and after a chase to get a summons delivered that was simply ridiculous, he ended up offering 50% of the balance owed in final settlement. We took the offer thinking it was over - but only got payment 30 days of starting motions to make this settlement agreement an order of court - an extra 90 days credit in the whole deal. Two years from start of legals to final payment.

    There was absolutely no reason for us to accept less than every penny we were owed, other than we would have lost more than we were giving away in legal fees trying to collect it.

    But here's the thing - it emerged that this happens with this guy with every contractor he works with. The guy has a squeaky clean credit record so you just don't see it coming.

    Has anyone else got any horror stories like this - and is there any way to stop these sharks?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  2. #2
    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    There is an instruction module somewhere that teaches you how to get 12 months credit and still take a settlement discount.
    It starts like this, wait until the creditor phones for his money, usually between 30-60 days then ask for copy invoices.
    wait for them to phone for money again usually 60-90 days and then ask for proof of delivery.
    And so it goes on making it their fault for 360 days then pay taking your two and a half % settlement discount.

    Last edited by Dave A; 10-Sep-08 at 12:58 PM.

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    Often it's the suppliers at fault, imo. I am one of those guys that hates debt, even for a couple of days. Yet a lot of my suppliers only give 2.5% on payment within 30 days - I normally pay the day I get an invoice, some do not even give a disount. Giving a decent discount for early payment is the best way to get rid of problem clients down the line - if they do not take it there are problems brewing. Overseas, in my bussiness, the norm is 5% but can go to 10%.

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    Reuben

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    I'd like to explore the issue of bad debt, particularly when it comes to "habitual bad debtors." People who struggle to pay their bills is one thing - at least it is not intentional. But there are creatures amongst us who have no intention of paying right from the outset. And there seem to be more and more of them.

    Murdock raised this elsewhere:

    That's fraud. But how does this guy keep going?

    I had a spec builder whose modus operandi is to steadily fall behind on the progress draws to subcontractors, and stiff you for whatever is left owing to you once you're done. In our case a rollover problem that grew over three contracts. We handed over for collection, and after a chase to get a summons delivered that was simply ridiculous, he ended up offering 50% of the balance owed in final settlement. We took the offer thinking it was over - but only got payment 30 days of starting motions to make this settlement agreement an order of court - an extra 90 days credit in the whole deal. Two years from start of legals to final payment.

    There was absolutely no reason for us to accept less than every penny we were owed, other than we would have lost more than we were giving away in legal fees trying to collect it.

    But here's the thing - it emerged that this happens with this guy with every contractor he works with. The guy has a squeaky clean credit record so you just don't see it coming.

    Has anyone else got any horror stories like this - and is there any way to stop these sharks?
    as i understand you have obtained judgement against the builder ,please make sure that the judgement was listed at the credit bureu by the clerk of the sivel court ,if not requested trhat it is done .this is a great stopper

  5. #5
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    That is exactly the problem - one way or another these guys make sure you don't get judgment. They know exactly where the line is and walk you right up to it.

    In one instance where we did get judgment on a fairly small amount, the debtor had an application in for a rescission within a week. More costs and still no money.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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