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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Enforcing Daycare Payments
pixsydust 08:18 AM 09-01-2011
When a parent refuses to pay their fees what are some steps I can take to get my money from them? I know daycare homes are considered a business, but are we able to send the DCP to a collection agency? I'm not sure how this would work. I just want to be prepared and know what my options are before it happens to me.

I have a pregnant DCM that owes me money (we set up a payment plan to fit her budget) and she was planning on bringing her kids back to me after she has the baby. She told me yesterday she isn't sure if her kids will be returning or not. She owes me money and I don't know if she thinks I'm just going to forget about it if she doesn't bring her kids back. She is supposed to pay me off with her tax money, which she did for last year's care and it worked out fine. She is my husband's cousin. I would never make that deal with non-family. I'll never do that for anyone again actually.
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SilverSabre25 08:21 AM 09-01-2011
You can look around for a collections agency that will deal with you or you can take her to small claims. Either way, a good first step is to send her a certified letter stating how much she owes, a due date for the funds, and the steps you'll take next if you don't receive payment by that date.
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Meeko 10:00 AM 09-01-2011
I use a collection agency. That way, I don't have to deal with it or even talk to the client again. The agency takes care of everything and I don't pay them a dime...they get their fee from the client.

I have it all in my contract and parents know it is going to cost them big time if it goes to collections (they add 40% to the bill for themselves) AND it goes on their credit report.
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pixsydust 10:42 AM 09-01-2011
Meeko, could you give me the contact information for the collection agency that you use?
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Meeko 11:18 AM 09-01-2011
Originally Posted by pixsydust:
Meeko, could you give me the contact information for the collection agency that you use?
I use Advance Credit Management in Orem Utah. I haven't had to use them for several years now (thank goodness!) but they were very nice and helpful.

801-224-6200

867 N. 900 W.
Orem UT 84057

I just called and spoke to the lady in the office. They take accounts from all over the country, not just here in Utah.

So feel free to call them! Using their services didn't cost me one red cent. They tack on their fees to the client. They do the chasing, the garnishing wages etc. Only thing to remember is that once the account is taken over by them, you CANNOT accept payment from the parent. I have this in my contract and the parents have to sign it.

If a parent gets notice from the collections and rushes over to pay you, you have to refuse it. They have no choice but to pay the collection agency and the extra 40% fee. If you accept their money, then YOU have to give the agency their 40% commission! That's how they make their money.
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Unregistered 01:07 PM 09-01-2011
Originally Posted by pixsydust:
When a parent refuses to pay their fees what are some steps I can take to get my money from them? I know daycare homes are considered a business, but are we able to send the DCP to a collection agency? I'm not sure how this would work. I just want to be prepared and know what my options are before it happens to me.

I have a pregnant DCM that owes me money (we set up a payment plan to fit her budget) and she was planning on bringing her kids back to me after she has the baby. She told me yesterday she isn't sure if her kids will be returning or not. She owes me money and I don't know if she thinks I'm just going to forget about it if she doesn't bring her kids back. She is supposed to pay me off with her tax money, which she did for last year's care and it worked out fine. She is my husband's cousin. I would never make that deal with non-family. I'll never do that for anyone again actually.

I never deal with family, a recipe for diaster. My parents pay me weekly on Monday. If someone doesn't pay by Wednesday I don't watch their child until payment is made. I once told a person that kept.. "forgetting" their check, that it was ironic that they still remembered to bring the kid. Only a few have skipped out that way, and I get to keep their walkers, graco's, ect. so it probably evens out. I lose out on the notice but usually I can fill my space quickly.
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MarinaVanessa 01:51 PM 09-01-2011
Originally Posted by Meeko60:
I use Advance Credit Management in Orem Utah. I haven't had to use them for several years now (thank goodness!) but they were very nice and helpful.

801-224-6200

867 N. 900 W.
Orem UT 84057

I just called and spoke to the lady in the office. They take accounts from all over the country, not just here in Utah.

So feel free to call them! Using their services didn't cost me one red cent. They tack on their fees to the client. They do the chasing, the garnishing wages etc. Only thing to remember is that once the account is taken over by them, you CANNOT accept payment from the parent. I have this in my contract and the parents have to sign it.

If a parent gets notice from the collections and rushes over to pay you, you have to refuse it. They have no choice but to pay the collection agency and the extra 40% fee. If you accept their money, then YOU have to give the agency their 40% commission! That's how they make their money.
This is really good to know. Most places take the % out of what they collect for you. It's nice to see that this company doesn't. Question for you though, do you have to add a clause into your contract or handbook about the client paying the debt PLUS the collection fees? I would assume that we would need to don't you think? If you do have a clause how do you have it worded?

Also does anyone know if you can first take a client to court and if you win and the client doesnt pay the $$ can you then send them to collections? I know that there's many ways to attempt to recover a debt (small claims, garnishing wages, collection agencies) but in which order should they be done in? For example, someone once told me that once you send someone to collections you can't take them to court??? Is this an agreement between you and the agency or are there other reasons etc. Sorry to hijack, this thread just got me thinking.
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Unregistered 02:13 PM 09-01-2011
Originally Posted by Meeko60:
I use Advance Credit Management in Orem Utah. I haven't had to use them for several years now (thank goodness!) but they were very nice and helpful.

801-224-6200

867 N. 900 W.
Orem UT 84057

I just called and spoke to the lady in the office. They take accounts from all over the country, not just here in Utah.

So feel free to call them! Using their services didn't cost me one red cent. They tack on their fees to the client. They do the chasing, the garnishing wages etc. Only thing to remember is that once the account is taken over by them, you CANNOT accept payment from the parent. I have this in my contract and the parents have to sign it.

If a parent gets notice from the collections and rushes over to pay you, you have to refuse it. They have no choice but to pay the collection agency and the extra 40% fee. If you accept their money, then YOU have to give the agency their 40% commission! That's how they make their money.

If it doesn't cost anything then you can't lose. But I wanted to add check out your state for garnishment laws. I live in a creditor friendly state, they garnish for everything, even credit cards at the drop of a hat. BUT many states it is virtually impossible. Florida is one of them, and that is a debor friendly state. Very difficult to garnish for unsecured debt fyi.

I would send a certified letter first, stating that payment is due and if not made by such and such date, legal action may incur. Mainly I would weigh if the amt. of money is worth it.
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Meeko 10:37 AM 09-02-2011
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa:
This is really good to know. Most places take the % out of what they collect for you. It's nice to see that this company doesn't. Question for you though, do you have to add a clause into your contract or handbook about the client paying the debt PLUS the collection fees? I would assume that we would need to don't you think? If you do have a clause how do you have it worded?

Also does anyone know if you can first take a client to court and if you win and the client doesnt pay the $$ can you then send them to collections? I know that there's many ways to attempt to recover a debt (small claims, garnishing wages, collection agencies) but in which order should they be done in? For example, someone once told me that once you send someone to collections you can't take them to court??? Is this an agreement between you and the agency or are there other reasons etc. Sorry to hijack, this thread just got me thinking.
Yes. It's all in my contract. My clients know up front what my collection policy is. I put the name and info of the collection agency right in there too.
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MarinaVanessa 10:44 AM 09-02-2011
Originally Posted by Meeko60:
Yes. It's all in my contract. My clients know up front what my collection policy is. I put the name and info of the collection agency right in there too.
Thanks again for the info. I added the info to my contract too .
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Crazy8 11:15 AM 09-02-2011
wow, I always thought I'd have to pay a collection agency if I wanted to use them. Do they all work that way???

I have NEVER had an issue with payments though - the key is not to provide services without payment first. You can't pay, you can't bring your child. That same person wouldn't even consider going to their job if they weren't going to be paid for it - why should we.

I'd go the certified letter route first, it might "scare" them enough to pay up when you mentioned you have a signed contract and will send them to collections or take them to court (personally court sounds a little scarier to me, LOL). But I'd also take it as a lesson learned.... no payment, no child care.
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MarinaVanessa 11:23 AM 09-02-2011
Originally Posted by LittleDiamonds:
wow, I always thought I'd have to pay a collection agency if I wanted to use them. Do they all work that way???
Nope. The one I had on hand in case I needed to use it would charge you a percentage of what they collected for you, if they didn't collect anything then you didn't pay anything at all. I was looking at Meek's and they charge the client the amount that you are owed AND charge THEM the fee too. I really like that.

I had always figured that sending a payment to collections and getting back a percentage of what I was owed and paying the other percentage to a collection agency to recover my $ was better than not getting anything at all KWIM? I think it's awesome that this company charges the client not me.
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Tags:payment - contract, payment collection, small claims
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