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  #1  
Old 04-04-2011, 11:00 AM
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Default Parents Pulled DCG W/O Warning...Help With Getting Money Owed

I posted earlier about the fact that 9 mo dcg didn't show this morning. I finally heard from the dcd and he said that they are pulling her effective immediately because dcm is (ostensibly) not returning to work as of today. I reminded him that the contract they signed states that I'm owed a two weeks' notice with pay--and that I'm owed the two weeks' pay even if she won't be coming. He said that they won't be paying for time that dcg won't be in care. I explained that if they won't pay me then I will be forced to go through small claims court. He said that he'd be advising his lawyer of the situation and that he "wishes things could have ended more professionally".

SO.

Here is my termination policy:
Quote:
Termination Policy
This agreement may be terminated by either party by giving two weeks' written notice if the child or children are to be permanently withdrawn from daycare. Payment is expected for the FULL two weeks even if the child will not be attending care. Any unused vacation time is forfeited. The Provider will also give the Daycare Family two-week's written notice of intent to cancel this agreement except in cases of family emergency (Provider's) , gross misconduct on the part of the parent or child, or during the first ten days of care (Trial Period).
I just now discovered that I don't have a late payment policy in my handbook (oops--but it's never been an issue before so I didn't notice) so i don't think that I can try and get any late fees in addition to the two weeks' pay--opinions?

I am planning on sending them a certified letter demanding payment by X date--the two weeks' payment plus late fees if you guys think I have justification even though it's not in the handbook. If they don't pay, I AM fully prepared to take them to court.

So how do I got about writing this initial letter (and how do I send a certified letter, anyway?)
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:12 AM
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This is what I would do:

Prepare your demand letter, and also prepare a small claims complaint. Send the demand letter, with the prepared complaint and note in your letter that if payment is not received by whatever date you choose, you will be filing the attached small claims complaint, and that, once you have obtained the judgment against them, they will be responsible for *** amount of fees (whatever your county filing fee and service fees are), plus statutory interest at XX% (whatever it is in your state).

Good luck with this. I've never had to collect in court, but it's not too difficult since you have a signed contract.
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2011, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
He said that he'd be advising his lawyer of the situation and that he "wishes things could have ended more professionally".

Well if he can afford a lawyer to protect him from two weeks of pay he can afford the two weeks of pay. I would tell him thanks for reminding him of the lawyer. You will advise your lawyer too. Even if both lawyers are advised, he still needs to pay his bill.

"wishes things could have ended more professionally" translated means "wishing things could have ended more free"

I would just send them a certified letter including his bill for the two weeks notice with an end date to when it needs to be paid. Once that has expired go file in it small claims. Just be prepared for a child abuse accusation or licensing visit. That's the thing they CAN do with just "adivising". It's free to call in complaints and the parent who ows money really enjoys that option. If you are licensed you may want to give a heads up to your licensing worker to let them know they owe you money.
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  #4  
Old 04-04-2011, 11:28 AM
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Definitely call your licensor. Saved my butt big time this Fall.

While you took a phone call termination, your termination policy clearly states written notice. I'd be tempted, tho I'm not sure how it would play out, to start sending invoices for the weeks missed until you get that written notice. Start the small claims process after two weeks for non payment of those weeks of care & the 2 week termination period. But I've never done this before, just what I'd be tempted to try. Just as a matter of principal for what my contract actually said, iykwim?
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  #5  
Old 04-04-2011, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
I posted earlier about the fact that 9 mo dcg didn't show this morning. I finally heard from the dcd and he said that they are pulling her effective immediately because dcm is (ostensibly) not returning to work as of today. I reminded him that the contract they signed states that I'm owed a two weeks' notice with pay--and that I'm owed the two weeks' pay even if she won't be coming. He said that they won't be paying for time that dcg won't be in care. I explained that if they won't pay me then I will be forced to go through small claims court. He said that he'd be advising his lawyer of the situation and that he "wishes things could have ended more professionally".

SO.

Here is my termination policy:

I just now discovered that I don't have a late payment policy in my handbook (oops--but it's never been an issue before so I didn't notice) so i don't think that I can try and get any late fees in addition to the two weeks' pay--opinions?

I am planning on sending them a certified letter demanding payment by X date--the two weeks' payment plus late fees if you guys think I have justification even though it's not in the handbook. If they don't pay, I AM fully prepared to take them to court.

So how do I got about writing this initial letter (and how do I send a certified letter, anyway?)
Funny how people have the money for an attorney but not to pay their child care bill?!?!

I would check with your state because in my state attorneys are not allowed to participate in small claims court. You can consult with one for advice and such but they can not come to court with you and/or represent you in the courtroom.
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  #6  
Old 04-04-2011, 11:51 AM
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You may find that his "notifying his lawyer" threat is just that...a threat. My guess is that he thinks that will shut you up.

The fact is, he signed a contract and if he DOES have a lawyer....his lawyer will tell him to pay up unless he wants to go to small claims!

Don't be bullied. It what clients like that count on.
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  #7  
Old 04-04-2011, 12:12 PM
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You are doing the right thing to try and collect. I had one family that disappeared on me like this and after beginning a similar process, they sent the check (no letter, call or anything) and just paid up after seeing that I was entitled to that payment. Good luck!
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2011, 12:15 PM
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I agree, send a letter for payment. file at court if you don't receive it immediately. Any lawyer will see it's in the contract and it's owed to you. Sorry you have to deal with this.
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  #9  
Old 04-04-2011, 12:31 PM
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Our small claims court will not allow lawyers in the courtroom. You might check that out.
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2011, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
Well if he can afford a lawyer to protect him from two weeks of pay he can afford the two weeks of pay.

Seriously! What a jerk!

I'd probably not pursue the late fees, since it's not stated in your handbook, but I'd definitely look into small claims court.

I am very sorry you are having to deal with this. That is completely unfair of the parents, and you shouldn't even have to go through all of this.
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  #11  
Old 04-04-2011, 12:36 PM
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Bummer!
Good luck!
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  #12  
Old 04-04-2011, 12:38 PM
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good luck hope you get your money!
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2011, 01:06 PM
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was there a lot of late fees still owed?
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  #14  
Old 04-04-2011, 01:07 PM
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What a stinker! I hope you get a wonderful new client & very soon too. I also hope they will pay you. I find it so disrespectful that they pull with no notice & expect you to be okay with the lack of a notice. Wouldn't the parents flip out if we did that to them?!?!
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  #15  
Old 04-04-2011, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
He said that he'd be advising his lawyer of the situation and that he "wishes things could have ended more professionally".
Oh brother!

It kills me how quick people threaten to contact their lawyer! Most of the time they don't even have a lawyer.

And ended more professionally?

Hello pot you're black! He is the 1 not being professional. They could have at the very least called you. They signed the contract they need to pay. If they say they can't afford it ask how they intend to pay their lawyer!

I wish u luck with this u are totally in the right IMHO!
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  #16  
Old 04-04-2011, 01:37 PM
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You go to the post office to mail a certified letter.

I liked the idea a pp had. that was print out a small claims form and fill it out, send that with a demand for payment letter, and add state court filing fees and xx% interest (interest instead of late fee since you don't have late fee in your contract- YET) if the original balance is not paid by XX date.

In California, use this link for small claims issues, it's a good place to start:
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/smallclaims/

Good luck whatever you dcide to do, and keep us posted!

OH, and he srikes me as a douche.
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  #17  
Old 04-04-2011, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missnikki View Post

OH, and he srikes me as a douche.
Bahaha!!
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  #18  
Old 04-04-2011, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
I would just send them a certified letter including his bill for the two weeks notice with an end date to when it needs to be paid. Once that has expired go file in it small claims. Just be prepared for a child abuse accusation or licensing visit. That's the thing they CAN do with just "adivising". It's free to call in complaints and the parent who ows money really enjoys that option. If you are licensed you may want to give a heads up to your licensing worker to let them know they owe you money.
YEPPERS!

Quote:
Our small claims court will not allow lawyers in the courtroom. You might check that out.
In our state attorneys can't do small claims but at the hearing defendant can waive the right to the small claims trial and ask for a judge to hear the case. Happened to me. She paid WAY more for the attorney than if she had just paid me in the first place. Even better than winning the judgment was the sick green look on her face when the hammer went down.
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  #19  
Old 04-05-2011, 06:18 AM
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Thanks everyone for the advice, sympathy, and commiseration. This is one of the reasons I love this forum! Support is a wonderful thing.

After having taken yesterday afternoon/evening to process things, I'll be spending this afternoon and evening getting the letter and paperwork, etc, drawn up. Tomorrow I'll be mailing the letter.

I really hope he just pays me the damn $240. It would make life SO much simpler.

At least when I look at things more-or-less objectively I can appreciate having had this family as clients...they taught (are still teaching) me a lot.
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  #20  
Old 04-05-2011, 06:52 AM
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I think you are supposed to be afraid of the word "lawyer."


Wooooooooh...scary, scary...

Send him this:

Dear DCD,

Congratulations on your wife's new job! Stay at home Mom! That's awesome. I truly counldn't be happier for your family.

However, as discussed and per my contract, two weeks notice is required and payment is due in the amount of __________. I recognize that you would like the opportunity to discuss this matter with your attorney; I have attached an extra copy of our signed agreement for his review.

In order to allow time for your attorney to advise you, I will refrain from initiating court proceedings until (this date).

Thank you for abiding by the terms of your contract. I appreciate your professionalism in this matter.

Sincerely,
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  #21  
Old 04-05-2011, 06:55 AM
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yeah and put a notation on the bottom that cc's a copy to your own lawyer
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  #22  
Old 04-05-2011, 07:22 AM
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The above two posts are pure gold.
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  #23  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jen View Post
I think you are supposed to be afraid of the word "lawyer."


Wooooooooh...scary, scary...

Send him this:

Dear DCD,

Congratulations on your wife's new job! Stay at home Mom! That's awesome. I truly counldn't be happier for your family.

However, as discussed and per my contract, two weeks notice is required and payment is due in the amount of __________. I recognize that you would like the opportunity to discuss this matter with your attorney; I have attached an extra copy of our signed agreement for his review.

In order to allow time for your attorney to advise you, I will refrain from initiating court proceedings until (this date).

Thank you for abiding by the terms of your contract. I appreciate your professionalism in this matter.

Sincerely,


You should write term letters for a living.
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  #24  
Old 04-05-2011, 10:05 AM
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Thanks! I like it so much, that's one job I'd do for free!
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