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One Creative Method for Getting Paid what Money You’re Owed

Jason Hanson
2 min read
One Creative Method for Getting Paid what Money You’re Owed

I’ve got a favor to ask you. I need to borrow $25,000. We’ll fill out a contract and make everything legal. But when it’s time for me to repay the $25,000 I’m pretty much going to laugh in your face and not pay your money back. What are you going to do?

Well, unless you’ve been in that position, you have no idea how infuriating it can be. It’s happened to me before, for that amount of money, and I ended up getting paid back after a series of “threats”.

I’ll explain these threats in a moment.

Recently, this happened to me again. I had a tenant who had been with me for years and was seemingly perfect. Then one day he just up and left, leaving me bills for cleaning up the place and also lost rent. Well, I still had the tenants contact information and I knew he had an important job in the area. So what did I do?

First, I gave him a chance to do the right thing. I was polite and told him the amount of money he owed me and I even offered him a payment plan over the next 12 months. He agreed to a payment plan, signed the new agreement and assured me the check would be in the mail on the 1st of every month.

But we know what happened. It never came and he constantly lied to me and said the check was in the mail. I gave him a few more chances to be honest with me and pay up, but after one time too many, I resorted to the “press release.”

As I mentioned earlier, this tenant had an important, well-known job in the town where my house is.

So I had a friend of mine who’s in PR, create a beautiful press release about my “deadbeat tenant who was stealing from his landlord and refused to pay the rent.”

I emailed the press release to the tenant and told him that if I didn’t have a check in my mailbox by 5:00pm on Wednesday, the press release was going out to the local newspaper, to his boss (I had his bosses email address) and to other media.

Let’s just say within a few hours I had the tenant calling me begging me not to send out the press release and promising me the check would be there.

It was, and I’ve never had a problem since.

And yes, I would have definitely sent out the press release had the check not arrived. I have no sympathy for people I try and help who lie to me and are dishonest.

Also, if you’re wondering about the legality of this, it’s 100% legal as long as what you say is true. (I ran the press release by a lawyer and a judge who I know).

Now, you may be reading this thinking I’m mean, or I crossed the line. I can only laugh if you think that, because you’ve obviously never had someone blatantly rip you off.

Because when someone is completely dishonest there is nothing I won’t legally do to get my money back. Call me old fashioned, but when someone makes a contract with me, I expect them to honor it.

So instead of going to court and dealing with all that hassle, you could always send out a press release the next time you need to “encourage” someone to do the right thing.

Photo: Robert S. Donovan

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.