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#1 of 15 Old 01-12-2010, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a home daycare provider and I recently had a family move away. The mother called me on a Wednesday and told me that her daughter would no longer be coming and that she would come by that weekend when they were in town moving, to pay me. She asked how much she owed, I told her $750 for the previous month and that I would have all her daughter's things ready when she came. She never showed.

I sent texts on both Saturday and Sunday asking her to let me know when she was coming so I would be here. She friended me on facebook on Sunday night. I called on Monday and left a message asking how she wanted to get her daughter's things and get me payment. No response. Then the following Saturday I sent her a message on facebook telling her to please let me know what the situation is and when I will be getting my money. Nothing back, although on my news feed she has been quite active on facebook everyday.

Ok, my BIL, who is a lawyer, told me I need to send a letter demanding payment. I do have an address for them where they are now. It is from her emergency contact form, her mother's house in the same town where they moved. I need help with what to say in this letter.

I also need opinions on how much to ask for. I told her she owes me 750 which is the monthly flat rate. However, in my policy manual it states that I need two weeks notice or two weeks tuition when they are no longer enrolled. I didn't get either of these. When we spoke and she told me they were moving I just quoted her the 750, but now with all this crud I kind of feel like asking for the 375 as well.

Any help would be appreciated. I have already ammended my policy to be paid in advance and have a deposit when they first enroll. Thank you so much.
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#2 of 15 Old 01-13-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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I think you have the beginnings of your letter all ready there. Start with stating that per your conversation with her prior to her leaving on X date, she owes you X amount for services rendered. Cite the manual.

Then document briefly the methods you have used to contact her stating that you hope the matter can be resolved quickly. Include a deadline for contact and payment.

You are a business woman. Your business happens to be daycare but that doesn't mean she does not owe you for services. Find an example letter online for a telecom or other company. Mark it first notice and be prepared for her not to pay you. When you send it again as a Second Notice, inform her that you are contacting your attorney if you have not heard from her by x day.

Good luck!

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#3 of 15 Old 01-13-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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since you are considering asking for the additional $375, you could state in your letter that she owes $750 for the previous month, and $375 in lieu of two weeks' notice per your policy manual, but that if payment is made by x date (like 10 days) you will waive the $375.
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#4 of 15 Old 01-13-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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It's unlikely that you are feeling charitable or trusting toward this woman, but if you are, you may want to extend an offer to work out a reasonable payment schedule if she's having financial difficulties. Moving can be pretty expensive, and an extra $1000 can be tough to find. If she's willing to provide post-dated cheques or execute an agreement (contract) to pay over a period of time, you may be more successful in the long run, even if you are entitled to all of the cash upfront.
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#5 of 15 Old 01-13-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
It's unlikely that you are feeling charitable or trusting toward this woman, but if you are, you may want to extend an offer to work out a reasonable payment schedule if she's having financial difficulties. Moving can be pretty expensive, and an extra $1000 can be tough to find. If she's willing to provide post-dated cheques or execute an agreement (contract) to pay over a period of time, you may be more successful in the long run, even if you are entitled to all of the cash upfront.
This is how I feel. You certainly are entitled to the full amount upfront, but I think you'll get much farther making a payment plan in writing. Is it possible that financial difficulties necessitated the move? I've known a lot of people who have upped and left seemingly in the middle of the night with hours notice because of severe hardship. I, personally, would entertain the idea of waiving the extra $375 if she has a suitable explanation.

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#6 of 15 Old 01-13-2010, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Her and her DP lived in different states, she worked three on three off and would go back to his place on her days off. She has been having issues with her manager and I guess she had a big blow up with him and just quit. Then she just moved back where her DP lives.

I would be willing to waive the fee and even work with her on payments if she would pay me. That would be much easier than involving attorneys! It is just so frustrating that she won't even talk to me at all.
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#7 of 15 Old 01-13-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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I agree with everything that pp's have said. And I think you're being very generous in being willing to work with her, even though she's been brushing you off for the last little bit. It is very sad that she quit her job - but just because she decided to leave her place of employment doesn't negate the fact that she owes you for caring for her daughter for the past month while she was working.

I like the idea of offering her the discount on money if she pays promptly. The fact is that she really does owe you the $1125 and it's very generous to write $375 off just to close the matter. Perhaps it will encourage her to get payment to you promptly. But I also think that if you split her payment up into installments that she needs to be charged for those installments. Because by not paying you the $750 and giving you the agreed upon 2 weeks notice she is depriving you of an opportunity to make a profit, find another child to fill her child's spot and keep your operating expenses down. Not only is she creating more work for you (time is money in a business, right?) - she is also potentially causing you to be late paying your creditors/vendors, thereby incurring late charges yourself.

The closest example of this that I have is an alumni association that I use to work for. Their Couple Lifetime membership was $650 lump sum or members had the option to split it up into 5 annual payments of $140 each because it took more resources, time/manpower to process 5 payments vs. 1. That of course is my $.02 - but then I'm a meanie when it comes to honoring your commitments.

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#8 of 15 Old 01-13-2010, 08:08 PM
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Now that I have read the posts, OP.
Please be very strong about the amount.
Cause I think you will not get anywhere being nice with this person since you are the LEAST of her worries.
I know a lot of mamas are trying to empathize with her, but my empathy goes with you.
Hope you can listen to your lawyer relative.
Good luck mama!
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#9 of 15 Old 01-13-2010, 10:42 PM
 
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I think you already have some good advice here, but I would add in something to reach the mother's emotional sensibilities.. I would think at this point, she is probably thinking to herself, well, she watched my child, if I don't pay her well, she isn't out any money..

Except that you are. You probably fed her child, paid for activities and supplies up front, right? Putting in something about the financial hardship of this unpaid balance due might guilt her into taking care of this now rather than waiting for an attorney? I am not saying beg and plead, but well, maybe I am not explaining that very well.. sorry.
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#10 of 15 Old 01-13-2010, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
I think you already have some good advice here, but I would add in something to reach the mother's emotional sensibilities.. I would think at this point, she is probably thinking to herself, well, she watched my child, if I don't pay her well, she isn't out any money..

Except that you are. You probably fed her child, paid for activities and supplies up front, right? Putting in something about the financial hardship of this unpaid balance due might guilt her into taking care of this now rather than waiting for an attorney? I am not saying beg and plead, but well, maybe I am not explaining that very well.. sorry.
Yeah- I am definitely out of money, this is what I do for a living. I'm out a a big chunk of my monthly income and by having her child it took a spot that I could have filled by another (paying!) family.
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#11 of 15 Old 01-14-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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I know this won't help you now, but I know several child care providers, and they always demand payment in advance, because they have been burned a time or two. Maybe you would consider this in the future.
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#12 of 15 Old 01-14-2010, 01:05 AM
 
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I know this won't help you now, but I know several child care providers, and they always demand payment in advance, because they have been burned a time or two. Maybe you would consider this in the future.
Yes, I agree with this. It should be in your policies, be a hard-ass about it.

For your letter, have you tried searching Microsoft's Word templates? It's amazing how many situations they cover.

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#13 of 15 Old 01-14-2010, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Fuamami View Post
Yes, I agree with this. It should be in your policies, be a hard-ass about it.

For your letter, have you tried searching Microsoft's Word templates? It's amazing how many situations they cover.
I haven't tried that, thank you I will look into that!

Yes I have already ammended my policy manual that I need to be paid in advance and set up an option for monthly or bi monthly payments. I am also asking for an enrollment deposit from now on. Luckily all my remaining families have already been paying me in this manner so it shouldn't be too difficult to implement in the future!
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#14 of 15 Old 01-14-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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I would say that she owes you the $750 plus the $375. It's up to you if you would nix the $375 if she paid immediately, in full. Otherwise I would offer what (to you) is a reasonable payment plan - $300/mo or whatever, but I would add on a $10/mo fee for the payment plan.

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#15 of 15 Old 01-14-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PJJ View Post
Now that I have read the posts, OP.
Please be very strong about the amount.
Cause I think you will not get anywhere being nice with this person since you are the LEAST of her worries.
I know a lot of mamas are trying to empathize with her, but my empathy goes with you.
Hope you can listen to your lawyer relative.
Good luck mama!
My suggestion for a payment plan isn't really due to empathy - it's pragmatism. If she has lost her job, incurred moving expenses and doesn't have $1125, it doesn't matter how nice or not nice you feel or treat her. She won't pay because she can't and she'll have other priorities - like food, rent and possibly her current childcare provider.

Taking legal steps against her will likely cost more than the amount that can be recovered, even if the OP represents herself in court. There are court filing fees for claims and loss of pay while attending court instead of working. Even if she gets a successful judgement, she has to collect - which is difficult and expensive and time-consuming, and may be futile if the woman has no assets. In addition, if this woman has moved out of state, it adds extra wrinkles in getting her served with legal documents and getting her to appear in court.

A good lawyer will tell a client in this situation to try to work it out without going to court. So being reasonable, even if you are entitled to the full sum upfront, may be the realistic thing to do.

OTOH, if the OP knows this woman has assets or resources (her dp, other family members who could give her the money), and she can pay but won't, then I'd be inclined to get tougher.
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