one to think about . . . - Posted by Steve-WA

Posted by JT on July 13, 2005 at 17:39:22:

Fine, I’ll throw my hat in the ring. I can’t imagine anyplace I would rather NOT be than in court. I am usually glad that I put closeout carpet in to begin with and spend my time selling that mobile to the next person in line. I have on occasion let the PM go after them for the lot rent even though I made the back pmt. Revenge? My god, if I went around taking out revenge I would have to work at it 25 hours a day! :wink:

one to think about . . . - Posted by Steve-WA

Posted by Steve-WA on July 13, 2005 at 13:40:12:

this does NOT regard eviction, but a tenant or a buyer who has abandoned/moved out.

Suppose they left you holding the bag on some amount of money, i.e., they trashed the 3-month-old carpet, they left owing lot rent, they owed you a back month or two, or whatever. Say it was well within your jurisdictional limitation for small claims - $500, or $1200, or whatever.

And let’s say that you suspect that even if you went to court and got a judgement, they would not be collectible.

How many of you would go for the judgement anyway, on principle? Why or why not?

Would the amount of money make a difference? What if it was $400? $300?

update . . . - Posted by Steve-WA

Posted by Steve-WA on July 14, 2005 at 18:50:19:

went today - two cases. One for 1100 - didn’t show. My judgement.

Other wasted the new carpet and left after 6 mos owing me a month. Argued that there were electrical problems - judge said, didn’t you inspect it first? He: no (his wife did, and her parents). Judge: then why are you crying?

Judge took it under consideration (~$950.00) and will mail response - should know in a week.

Was funny - they had all these papers and photos (like thirty of them) of stuff that they agreed to buy as-is. Thing is, it was all stuff that came up after the fact. Lots more funny stuff, but blah blah blah, and I need to outfit the RV for a week-long trip.

Anyway, I am glad ray @lcorn is on my side - his reasons are why I follow-through.

See you in a week

Re: one to think about . . . - Posted by TeddyB_SC

Posted by TeddyB_SC on July 14, 2005 at 09:35:09:

Here is another reason you might want to get the judgement in addition to Ray’s response. A guy purchased a truck via owner financing. While he’s paying on it, his wife sets it on fire and totals it. Insurance would’nt pay because it was his wife burning it and the Solicitor would’nt prosecute the wife because it was her property also. The guy stiffs the seller and stops making payments. The seller gets a judgement and sits back. 3-4 years later the guy’s father dies and leaves him a MH and lot. Seller goes after the free and clear property to collect his judgement. Day before the Sheriff’s sale the guy gets a loan against the property and pay’s the judgement.
The guy never cleaned up his act, but the seller was able to collect anyway.


been there hated that - Posted by JD (IL)

Posted by JD (IL) on July 13, 2005 at 21:37:37:

I agree with Ray if you’re full time. Unfortunately I’m not in that position… I’ve taken people to court, won, and had them declare bankruptcy (actually graduated from high school with her! (b…ch)

Anyway, I don’t do it. If I’m full time, no other 50 hour a week job, I’m getting the judgement. Part time, taking vacation time to go to court, taking time away from family and getting the dang thing cleaned up and sold again… I’m not going to spend it chasing them. But that’s my priority list.


Re: one to think about . . . - Posted by ray@lcorn

Posted by ray@lcorn on July 13, 2005 at 19:29:10:


We always get the judgment. Two reasons:

First, as someone said below, people do clean their act up and later want to buy a house, or have some other reason to clean up their credit. The judgment at least puts us on the radar for a phone call. The cost is minimal (about $50 here), and the court appearance just something else on the schedule.

Second, and probably more important, there is a larger issue of how we are known to do business. We have been in the business for almost thirty years, and pride ourselves on a reputation of being both firm and fair. Word travels, and a weak landlord is a sitting duck for deadbeat tenants. We don’t want them on our rent roll, and assuming they pass our screening, they know we enforce the lease to the full extent of the law.

That’s not to say we don’t work with people. We do, and often. But they have to live up to their end of the bargain, meaning that if we agree to a “set-up” (weekly installments, etc.), then we expect them to perform or we will evict and bring suit.

We’ve managed dozens of parks and apartment properties with this policy, and do the same with commercial projects. Our deliquency rate is very low, and every now and then we get one of those calls that ends up sending us unexpected money!


didn’t Joe Kaiser write an article - Posted by Marty (MO)

Posted by Marty (MO) on July 13, 2005 at 15:33:26:

about this? I think if it makes sense (time, energy, effort, money), I’d do it, but only if it made sense to the business.

Instead of revenge, I think I’d try to figure out how I could reduce the chance of this happening again.


Maybe I’d take 'em to court, have some bizzarro porn mailed to their next door neighbor’s address with their name on it, call the county health inspector and tell 'em there’s rats running around their property, and then call the anonymous drug hot line and report suspicious activity.


Re: one to think about . . . - Posted by osupsycho (OK)

Posted by osupsycho (OK) on July 13, 2005 at 15:04:19:

I would say what are the circumstances? Face it if you are pretty sure that you are not going to get the money anyway (as in your example) then it is just revenge. I would say is it worth my time and effort to get REVENGE on these people. The amount of money would play some part, but for me it would be how much I feel “wronged” by these people.

The only other thing I would say is that it might be worth going after them because that judgement may come up for them in the distant future (the better ones that is) and they could come to you looking to get rid of it (ie give you $$$). But you did not make this a part of the example.

I’ll second that - Posted by IA Jeff

Posted by IA Jeff on July 14, 2005 at 07:58:55:

I agree with Jody. I, too thought about going after a jackass that signed a one year lease and then left after two months. That 50 hour a week J.O.B. gets in the way, so I spent my free-time taking care of business instead of pursuing the guy.

I must say though, other than that one incident in 5 years, I really haven’t needed to take anyone to court. I am kind of looking forward to it so I can learn how it is done…so when it happens a second time I know what to do and it is automatic.

If you haven’t done it before, (like me) maybe you should do it just to learn.


let the record show that I’m - Posted by Marty (MO)

Posted by Marty (MO) on July 13, 2005 at 23:30:06:

changing my earlier response to mirror Jody’s!

I could be honest and say I’m lazy, but this sounds much better…

oh, geez marty! - Posted by Lin (NC)

Posted by Lin (NC) on July 13, 2005 at 17:22:38:

Wouldn’t you rather be out making money ?

That Joe Kaiser article is very good. I went looking for it, and couldn’t find his website anymore. It was but now I’m confused.

To answer Steve’s question, if it’s not too much work, or too expensive, I’d try and stick something on their credit, if for no other reason than to save other investors a headache.

But then who the heck am I to talk? What a hypocrite! I’ve got buyers who haven’t paid me since I moved in January. Who will have the last laugh? I don’t know.

Maybe it’s time to put Guido on the payroll.


revenge? nah . . . - Posted by Steve-WA

Posted by Steve-WA on July 13, 2005 at 15:31:43:

if there is a judgement, it WILL show up on their credit. That’s the big thing. If they are working, wages can be garnished. And, one day they may want to buy a house - and it will need to be cleared.

Re: let the record show that I’m - Posted by John

Posted by John on July 14, 2005 at 16:03:25:

If you do, go for the max allowed, When they do not show up for court you will likely end up with the max judgement. For what its worth. Then turn it over to a collector and forget about it. Blue sky

Guido was one the guy we tried to take to court - Posted by Marty (MO)

Posted by Marty (MO) on July 13, 2005 at 23:36:00:

he used to be our handyman- ripped us off. I know, I know… astonishing. So, we decided to take him to court to get our $900, but they couldn’t find him to serve the papers.
This was a scary looking, Sonny Barger- hell’s angel-looking character and he just disappeared for a while with his biker buddies. Ray and I just chalked it up as being a handyman management seminar…

Changing the rules… - Posted by osupsycho (OK)

Posted by osupsycho (OK) on July 13, 2005 at 16:27:18:

Mr WA I bet thats really an alias, you liar,

You would go and change the example on me.

You said if you have no reason to believe you would get the $$ back, would you proceed (that or I am a little loopy today and didn’t understand, which is a very real possibility).

It is possible that you will never see the money even with a judgement (real deadbeat, aka big screwup when you sold to them). This is what I was taking as your example and then it is just revenge (but is it sweet revenge??).