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  #1  
Old 12-08-2016, 05:04 AM
DashaW12
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Exclamation Mother Won't Pay

Hello I'm not sure if this has been said before but I have a problem. I've watched someone kids 5 times without be paid my full balance. Me and their mother agreed that she would pay me $160 a week and her first payment would be on the 7th of this month for watching her 2 children because the job she had recently took was holding her first check for 2 weeks. My rates are normally higher but due to her circumstances I made an exception. I asked her however could she at least give me $20 a day and pay the remaining on the 7th, which she managed to do twice. Between November 17th-December 7th however I only watched the boys 5 times so I explained to her after she pay me on the 7th for them I would have to start charging her daily because she isn't bringing them by the week 5 days consecutively to get the weekly rate. We agreed she would pay $40 a day for them. Fast forward to December 1st , the day before she was supposed to be dropping the off, she sent me a text saying her sister in law was going to be watching the kids starting tomorrow December 2 so she no longer needed a sitter but she was still going to pay me on the 7th. Then she sent a text 3 hours later saying she lied yes they well be with me. By this time I'm already gone doing personal things so I wasn't in position to watch them simply because she said she didn't need me so I went and did my own thing. I did however send her a text specifically stating that I was not home. Mind you this is the 2nd time she's switched plans at the last minute. So I haven't heard from her from December 2-December 7 , she never contacted me again about watching the boys. So on the 7th I texted her and asked was she bringing my payment in the morning December 8th before or after work. She then states that she had to put the boys in daycare because she couldn't get in touch with me and she will not be paying me the money. She then says to sell her sons play pen and get the money from that. I responded telling her that she had a verbal and written contract through text agreeing to still pay me the money on the 7th and if she is refusing to pay I was gonna have to take her and her husband to small claims court. Now she's texting me to stop texting her or she is gonna file harassment charges. Am I in my legal right to take her to court? Or is what I'm doing harassment?
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:51 AM
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You're in your legal right, but most of us would say--spare yourself the grief, spare yourself the time off work to go to court, spare yourself the increased chance that she'll libel you online or in other ways that could damage your reputation.

You have to think about cost-benefit. What do you stand to benefit? In the grand scheme, very little cash and no other benefit. What do you stand to lose? Your time, reputation, and sanity.

So this becomes a learning experience, and while it's painful, it could have been worse. You learned: The worse the sob story, the LESS you need to offer. No pay, no stay. This woman could have borrowed money from a relative or had somebody else watch her kids until the first paycheck came in. People in desperate situations can still be responsible and respect the dignity of the folks providing child care.

Definitely stop texting her. Again, you stand to gain nothing from it.
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Old 12-08-2016, 06:06 AM
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You're in your legal right, but most of us would say--spare yourself the grief, spare yourself the time off work to go to court, spare yourself the increased chance that she'll libel you online or in other ways that could damage your reputation.

You have to think about cost-benefit. What do you stand to benefit? In the grand scheme, very little cash and no other benefit. What do you stand to lose? Your time, reputation, and sanity.

So this becomes a learning experience, and while it's painful, it could have been worse. You learned: The worse the sob story, the LESS you need to offer. No pay, no stay. This woman could have borrowed money from a relative or had somebody else watch her kids until the first paycheck came in. People in desperate situations can still be responsible and respect the dignity of the folks providing child care.

Definitely stop texting her. Again, you stand to gain nothing from it.


Thanks for the advice. My gf said that we should chalk it up as a loss and to know to never do that again. She's had her doubts about this woman from day 1 & I see I definitely should've listened. Hearing about her separating from the kids dad which I forgot to mention , he picks them up in the afternoon, had me feeling bad and wanting to help but never again ! It just irks my nerves that there's no consequences for her actions but I'm wrong for wanting my payment and I'm "harassing" her.
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Old 12-08-2016, 06:08 AM
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While I agree with the above poster in regards to this being a learning experience, I don't agree that you should simply let it go.

You provided the services, she owes for that. period.

I don't care if someone wants to say bad things or try to ruin my good name....actions speak louder than words and I personally give my fellow human more credit than to just assume everyone will take someone's rant about not wanting to pay their provider at face value.

What Sally says about Susie says more about Sally than it does about Susie.

I would stop texting her. Send a written, certified letter asking for payment by X date. Let her know if she does not pay by X date, you will file in small claims court.

If she does not pay by X date, file in small claims court.

If you feel it's not worth your time or your efforts, then don't use that method of collection as a threat in the future and consider revamping your policies to where the parent pays BEFORE services are provided. That way you aren't just blowing smoke and you aren't working for free.

I'm sorry this parent decided to stiff you....I see fault on both sides but again, lesson learned. I do hope you are able to collect.
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Old 12-08-2016, 06:10 AM
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It just irks my nerves that there's no consequences for her actions but I'm wrong for wanting my payment and I'm "harassing" her.
Yes, that's the hardest part, isn't it? Unfortunately, you can't make unjust people act justly toward you. I've learned that it feels morally wrong to let something like this go, and so I have to put my feelings in check in order to act in my best interests.
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Old 12-08-2016, 06:13 AM
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Thanks for the advice. My gf said that we should chalk it up as a loss and to know to never do that again. She's had her doubts about this woman from day 1 & I see I definitely should've listened. Hearing about her separating from the kids dad which I forgot to mention , he picks them up in the afternoon, had me feeling bad and wanting to help but never again ! It just irks my nerves that there's no consequences for her actions but I'm wrong for wanting my payment and I'm "harassing" her.
You are not wrong, and she sounds like this isn't her first time dealing with bill collectors
That said, what is in writing? You have a better shot in small claims if you have contract in writing. Moving forward make sure to write down any agreement and have them both sign and initial it. As Pestle said, payment is always in advance of services and no pay, no stay.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Send a written, certified letter asking for payment by X date. Let her know if she does not pay by X date, you will file in small claims court.
Great advice! A lot of reading I've done regarding pay/refund issues suggests doing this. Many businesses (or individuals) will settle small payments when you show you're really serious.
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Old 12-08-2016, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
While I agree with the above poster in regards to this being a learning experience, I don't agree that you should simply let it go.

You provided the services, she owes for that. period.

I don't care if someone wants to say bad things or try to ruin my good name....actions speak louder than words and I personally give my fellow human more credit than to just assume everyone will take someone's rant about not wanting to pay their provider at face value.

What Sally says about Susie says more about Sally than it does about Susie.

I would stop texting her. Send a written, certified letter asking for payment by X date. Let her know if she does not pay by X date, you will file in small claims court.

If she does not pay by X date, file in small claims court.

If you feel it's not worth your time or your efforts, then don't use that method of collection as a threat in the future and consider revamping your policies to where the parent pays BEFORE services are provided. That way you aren't just blowing smoke and you aren't working for free.

I'm sorry this parent decided to stiff you....I see fault on both sides but again, lesson learned. I do hope you are able to collect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Play Care View Post
You are not wrong, and she sounds like this isn't her first time dealing with bill collectors
That said, what is in writing? You have a better shot in small claims if you have contract in writing. Moving forward make sure to write down any agreement and have them both sign and initial it. As Pestle said, payment is always in advance of services and no pay, no stay.
all of this. You provided services, you deserve to be paid. End of story. Who cares what she says about you? I wouldn't. She is the one who failed to pay her bills.

In the future, make sure you have a great contract AND get payment before services are rendered. No pay=no stay.
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2016, 10:41 AM
DashaW12
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Yes! Normally I would have had her sign the contract on paper but the one time I run out and take someone's word I get burned so honestly I have only myself to blame. Although I did get legal consultation and if I do decide to go forward with the court claim the text messages of her agreeing to pay me on the 7th are said to be enough evidence. She keeps threatening to file harassment on me but again I was told as long as I'm not threatening , using obscene language or claiming false amounts of money that I am not harassing her. I'm only asking for what I worked for nothing more. I don't honestly wanna pay $96 bucks just to have to take her to court but as an adult she needs to understand that those type of actions come with consequences. She is the most unstable parent I've ever dealt with so I commend myself for having patience but been used and thrown out like trash is unacceptable. I even contacted her husband to see if he could either pay it or convince her to so we can avoid court. But she still said I was harassing them. At this point I've tried to do the right thing and give her to Friday to pay but she blatantly texted me "You are not getting any money, do not contact us again" so now it's action time!
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Old 12-08-2016, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DashaW12 View Post
Yes! Normally I would have had her sign the contract on paper but the one time I run out and take someone's word I get burned so honestly I have only myself to blame. Although I did get legal consultation and if I do decide to go forward with the court claim the text messages of her agreeing to pay me on the 7th are said to be enough evidence. She keeps threatening to file harassment on me but again I was told as long as I'm not threatening , using obscene language or claiming false amounts of money that I am not harassing her. I'm only asking for what I worked for nothing more. I don't honestly wanna pay $96 bucks just to have to take her to court but as an adult she needs to understand that those type of actions come with consequences. She is the most unstable parent I've ever dealt with so I commend myself for having patience but been used and thrown out like trash is unacceptable. I even contacted her husband to see if he could either pay it or convince her to so we can avoid court. But she still said I was harassing them. At this point I've tried to do the right thing and give her to Friday to pay but she blatantly texted me "You are not getting any money, do not contact us again" so now it's action time!
Most small claims court districts have policies that allow you to waive the filing fee if you meet certain income requirements. Also in most states the party that loses the lawsuit has to pay the filing fee so if you win the filing fees will be added to the amount the parent owes you.
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:19 PM
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Contact for the purpose of collecting a debt is not harassment it is collections. However once someone advises you to stop you have to heed their warning or it could be construed as harassment.

What state are you in? I agree with BlackCat31 in that I would definitely not let it go. I also agree that you should send a demand letter via certified mail.

I have had to do a demand letter 3 times. Where I live it is not common for DCPs to prepay, even at the centers. That is why when I started this I made sure the financial part of my contract is ironclad, but I need to improve, expand, and update my other policies.

In my demand letters, I always let them know that I will seek compensatory damages for the owed fees and late charges. I let them know I will be seeking punitive damages (triple what they owe) I give them 3 business days from the date service is perfected to pay. I advise them that if payment is not received I will pursue a judgment in civil court for the monies owed.

I then warn that their failure to pay will result in my filing a police report and taking out a criminal warrant for theft of services. Then I will post the official state code as it applies to theft of services. I advise them that as I do not know if they have relocated from their home address that I will use their employer's address for them on the criminal warrant.

And lastly I let them know that I take my center's reputation quite seriously as this is my livelihood. I warn them that if they attempt to retaliate for my collection efforts by making derogatory or false claims about me or my business; I will not hesitate to file a defamation suit against them.

When you file in small claims court you can do it via a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis which will waive the filing fee. All courts have this option, but it may be called something different depending on the jurisdiction. If you do pay to file, you can request that she be ordered to pay for your court costs and filing fee as part of the judgment.

Good luck! And please keep us updated.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:42 AM
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Whatever you do in this situation or going forward PLEASE require a deposit before signing anyone for any amount of time. Deposits are there to cover you when this sort of crap goes down and it takes the headache out of these types of non payment situations. You choose to skip out on care? No problem I will keep your deposit and you can find new care elsewhere. It also has the potential to weed out losers because they have to come up with a lump sum of money before care starts.

Good luck!
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:31 PM
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Default Collections agency

I have an account at a collection agency, not that it did any good with my one parent. They ended up filing bankruptcy. But, they took the case with no fees up-front, collecting only a percentage of whatever was recovered. So, I wasn't out anything to place the account, and any money recovered would have been extra income, basically.
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Old 12-27-2016, 04:29 PM
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I don't usually go against my former clients for money owed. Being from a smaller town, all court filings are published in the local paper. I don't like my name in the paper-even when I am the one doing the filing. In my opinion it makes me look bad. It's just my opinion, of course. Also, it costs $75 to file the paperwork, and the time I spend filing, and attending the hearing is all money lost Also, will current (and possibly future families) wonder how much time and energy is taken from their child while I chase a bad debt. Years ago I had a mom who owed me $165. It made me mad because I would see her with a new handbag on FB or going on a girls trip to the casino-but I let it go. In the last two years she has sent at least four people my way with referrals, and she works in an office that employs two of my parents. If I had taken her to court, I'm sure she wouldn't have made those referrals, and she might have also tried to damage my reputation with her coworkers out of anger. It's a mark against her character-not mine-so I just let it go....
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:39 AM
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In April, I had a mother not pay. I also had texts from her showing she knew she owed the money (in my case, I also had a signed contract). I took her to small claims court. I was so nervous. She didn't even show, so they ruled in my favor. Thanks to my late fee of $5/day, the $200 she owed me has turned into about $500. I should be receiving my first paycheck garnishment money here in the next month. >
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  #16  
Old 12-28-2016, 09:20 AM
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Default Not worth it

I'm chiming in to agree with the posters who say to just forget it. I know a woman who took a client to court, won a judgement that she could never collect, and who was then inundated with complaints to licensing that had no basis in fact and I do believe it was this angry ex-client who kept making the complaints and/or having friends do so.

The stress that this caused the other provider was considerable. And THEN she started getting horrible reviews on Care.com under names she didn't know.

Let it go and remember that you never ever ever provide service before receiving payment.

You tried to do a kind thing. You will received goodness 100x over for that. You will. So don't worry about her money. She will lose it 100x over.
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:08 AM
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I'm 54 years old. I have been in business for myself since I was much younger. I have been in the ECE field for 12 years and have my Bachelor's degree. I feel this issue goes beyond your individual case. You should absolutely pursue the debt. This is a pattern I've seen with young parents who think it's all a game. Parents need to realize there are significant expenses involved in raising children. I have witnessed this type of thing too often; she doesn't even have a legitimate gripe. You will see more of this behavior if you let her get away with it it because birds of a feather flock together.

If you have an attorney friend or family member, ask them to write a note on your behalf stating they have seen her agreement with you... blah blah. Some parents think they can just quit a job when garnishments start and that will be the end of it. Not so. Collection agency as has been mentioned is another good idea. Look her up on FB ...

Stand up for yourself and the industry, you are providing a valuable service!
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