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How to sue for back rent from a tenant

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Pat Roszkowski

Accountant from clarendon hills, Illinois

Nov 08 '08, 03:59 AM


I have evicted a tenant in florida and never collected a dime from him for 75 days. I wanteda cashier's check after first month and security deposit bounced. What can I do after eviction to collect the rent? He is working and can I garnish wages? :


Edited Jun 26 2010, 06:20


Jon Holdman Moderator

SFR Investor from Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Nov 08 '08, 04:01 AM
2 votes


You may be able to take him to small claims court. Call or drop by the court and find out the process.

So now you know, first month rent and security deposit IN CASH before they get the keys.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 06:20


Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC


Will Barnard Verified Moderator Donor

Real Estate Investor from Santa Clarita, California

Nov 08 '08, 04:55 AM
1 vote


Jon gave you very important advice. All deposits and 1st month's payments must be paid in cash, cashiers check, money order, or hold until personal check clears before giving out keys.

File small claims, win the case, they probably will not show. You have their bank info from the ckeck so you can have their account "raided" in many cases. (Check you state laws)
You can also contact a collection agency who will know exactly what you can & can not do to recover funds.


Edited Jun 26 2010, 06:20


Medium_be_logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc.
Website: http://www.barnardenterprises.com
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Jon Singleton

Nashville, Tennessee

Jul 26 '09, 10:25 AM


Tenants Love:
Often times, one of the biggest things that is easily overlooked when you start off in the real estate business, rather you are flipping your property or renting it out until the market turns around it your tenants. Well what I am about to say is a real life testimony. I am what you may call a novice investor, prior to three years ago, no experience, no mentor, no set of skills, just a passion to do something. This past year has really taught me allot. I own two houses, both were bank foreclosed and needed much work. However, in the past 30 days I have had my only two tenants move out on me at the drop of a dime, broke the lease.
With one situation in particular, my roomate, finds a girlfriend while I was away on active duty. When I come back she basically changed the entire house around. When I approached him about how the rent would go up by adding another person, plus her two kids, I noticed a big change in his personality. I gave him 30 days to make his mind up, but he and her decided to pack up and move in 17. Not only did I not have an iron clad contract I didn’t even get his personally information incase I needed to hunt him down. Part of this was because I” trusted” him enough to follow through with the contract, which would end next year, but the other half was that I didn’t expect this to happen underneath my own ears. What a valuable lesson learned….

[WEB SITES REMOVED]


Edited Jun 26 2010, 09:07 by Moderator


Skip Sylvestre

Property Manager from Jacksonville, Florida

Jan 25 '11, 05:43 AM


Just for informational posting purposes, if you think the tenants have damaged the property, or if you know you want to sue for the past due rent at the time you are filing your eviction, you can file a Count I and a Count II eviction. The Count I is the eviction itself, and the 2nd count is for damages, e.g. the past due rent. It costs a little bit more, but the whole thing is neatly wrapped up into one package. It's usually easier and cheaper than having to file a small claims case later on down the road.


Edited Jan 25 2011, 06:12 by Administrator: Self-promotion removed.


Mitch Kronowit Donor

SFR Investor from Orange County, California

Jan 25 '11, 07:29 AM


Pat, so others can learn from your example, what did you do in the way of screening this tenant? Thanks.



Steve Babiak

Real Estate Investor from Audubon, Pennsylvania

Jan 25 '11, 08:51 AM


Pat hasn't been on BP in like two years ...



Steve Babiak, Redeeming Properties, LLC
Telephone: 6109082183
...


Mitch Kronowit Donor

SFR Investor from Orange County, California

Jan 25 '11, 10:26 AM


Originally posted by Steve Babiak:
Pat hasn't been on BP in like two years ...

Drat, sucked in again!



Joel Owens Verified Moderator

Commercial Real Estate Broker from Canton, Georgia

Jan 25 '11, 02:01 PM


Mitch 2 years!! LOL Just kidding.

I would like to add cashiers checks,money orders etc. can be fraudulent as well !

Chase bank where I have my accounts will hold the cashiers check for so many days before crediting it.I wouldn't let any tenant move in until payment was verified.

Chase has told me they have even had social security checks bounce from the government.I am not joking...............

On what you can do to collect you first have to get a judgment.The in most areas you can go for a bank levy or a wage garnishemnt.

For the bank levy you cannot touch social security,pension,or retirement funds.If those are pulled out the money will be reversed back to their accounts and credited.

On a wage garnishment you can only collect up to 25% of income from their check and that's if they make over the federal poverty guidelines.If they don't make over the guidelines you can't do squat.

If they make over 25% that is the total that can be taken out period.So if 2 garnishments are before yours you get what is left over out of that 25%.Generally the people will not stay at the job and will move to an all cash job to avoid the garnishment or they will file BK.

There are collection companies that will buy the debt from you outright for very cheap or you can have an arrangement where they get so much of a percent of whatever they collect and the rest is yours.

You can set it and forget it and put your time to other uses.Judgments are easy to get and very hard and time consuming to collect.

The moral of the story is to screen your tenants very wisely and make sure the money is in hand.When I sell stuff on Craigslist I only take cash and I have a pen to check the bills.

Some might call that over the top but I have never been scammed.Just like my friend said I was paranoid always looking for cops so I wouldn't get a ticket.

My driving record is perfect and he has 2 tickets in the last year jacking up his insurance rates.

no legal advice



Medium_allworldrealtyJoel Owens, All World Realty
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 678-779-2798
Website: http://www.AWcommercial.com
www.AWcommercial.com 678-779-2798 [email protected]


George P.

Real Estate Investor from Baltimore, Maryland

Jan 26 '11, 01:26 AM


Originally posted by Steve Babiak:
Pat hasn't been on BP in like two years ...

Moderators - please find him so he can tell the rest of the story



Steve Babiak

Real Estate Investor from Audubon, Pennsylvania

Jan 26 '11, 03:54 AM


Originally posted by George P.:
Originally posted by Steve Babiak:
Pat hasn't been on BP in like two years ...

Moderators - please find him so he can tell the rest of the story

Pat's profile indicates gender to be female, so her is the word you wanted to use ...

Joel - nice detailed explanation!



Steve Babiak, Redeeming Properties, LLC
Telephone: 6109082183
...


Just Don

Jan 26 '11, 07:08 AM
1 vote


I havent collected a dime on any judgement I have had in last 20 years,,,I quit doing them wasting my time money and brain power.

First of all you have to have a valid address and place of employment before the sherrif will even atempt to serve summons in first place,,,if they move out of area not worth the hassle.



Steve Babiak

Real Estate Investor from Audubon, Pennsylvania

Jan 26 '11, 08:08 AM
1 vote


We just got lucky on one at end of 2010. Girl who was evicted and owed moey was getting married, and they wanted to buy a house I guess. Paid judgment in full.

And a guy I know got really lucky last year. He won judgments for possession and dollars. He asked me what will happen next. I said he is coming out as well as could be expected by most if he gets the keys back and their stuff all gets moved out. On the day the sheriff was there to put the stuff out, he got paid in full in CASH. Sometimes you just get lucky, but don't count on it.



Steve Babiak, Redeeming Properties, LLC
Telephone: 6109082183
...


Bryan Hancock

Real Estate Investor from Round Rock, Texas

Jan 26 '11, 10:50 AM


I agree with Just Don...unless they damage things considerably I don't see how it is worth the time to get a judgement. It may make you feel good, but good luck collecting blood from a turnip.



Medium_inner10_logo__updated_Bryan Hancock, Inner 10 Capital
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 1-800-577-0401
Website: http://www.inner10capital.com/deals
Our Recent Austin Business Journal Article - http://tinyurl.com/Inner10Capital


Joel Owens Verified Moderator

Commercial Real Estate Broker from Canton, Georgia

Jan 26 '11, 03:22 PM


Yep many judgments never collect.

Just like deficiency banks will go after a borrower sometimes and wait.

With both types they just pay an attorney to file and record it.You leave it alone and eventually one of 3 things will happen.They will file a BK.They will want to buy a house or clean up the credit and will offer to pay part of the balance for a release or pay in full.

So if the amount owed is substantial you pay the attorney to file and play the percentages on collection.



Medium_allworldrealtyJoel Owens, All World Realty
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 678-779-2798
Website: http://www.AWcommercial.com
www.AWcommercial.com 678-779-2798 [email protected]


David Alyea

Homeowner from San Francisco, CA

Sep 01 '11, 10:11 AM


Originally posted by Joel Owens:
Yep many judgments never collect.

Just like deficiency banks will go after a borrower sometimes and wait.

With both types they just pay an attorney to file and record it.You leave it alone and eventually one of 3 things will happen.They will file a BK.They will want to buy a house or clean up the credit and will offer to pay part of the balance for a release or pay in full.

So if the amount owed is substantial you pay the attorney to file and play the percentages on collection.

Thanks for your comments on this issue. I'm owed $3,500 in rent, but my tenant moved from NC to NY. I know she and her husband both have jobs, but they were supposedly having bank account issues. I have the mother's name and address. I have email contact with my tenant, but she won't give me her address (I have mail to forward to her since she just moved out 2 weeks ago). On the plus side, she left the house in good shape. Still, I'd like to pursue getting what's owed me. Do you think it's worth my while having to find a valid address in NY and then getting her served? My end goal is to work a settlement with her for like 60% and then release my complaint.



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