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  #1  
Old 05-06-2011, 11:23 AM
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Default People Who Don't Pay Their Bills

We bought our house in Dec. It was in foreclosure. We never met the former owners. They owned a business (don't know if it still exists or not) that they ran out of the house. I've been getting bills from a gutter company for work done on the houe, billed to the company, 2 years ago. It was never paid. I called them and told them that that business and the owner no longer own this property. They thanked me for letting them knw. The other day I got another bill. I've gotten mail for the former owner so I know his name. I looked him up online and got a current address. I called the gutter company again and told them his name and gave his current address. They'll probably never collect but at least the guy isn't able to skip out. I have zero tolerance for people who try to skip out on their bills.

WDYT? Did I do the right thing? Would you have done that? Is it none of my business and I should just leave this poor guy who lost a nice house in foreclosure and is now living in an apartment alone? Since the work was done on the house that I now own should I be the one responsible for the bill? Who do you sympathize with more the guy who lost his house and can't pay his bills or the company that did the work they were hired to do and didn't get paid?
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:33 AM
Hawkyfan99 Hawkyfan99 is offline
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I have some problems with that as well, but as far as I'm concerned, that's on the creditor to track 'em down. It's about as "not my business" as you can get.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:33 AM
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Meh, we've gotten calls and letters for the people who used to live here, but I just tell them that the people no longer live here. I don't have their address, but even if I did, I would not pass it along to them. I also would not Google for the information; I just couldn't see myself getting that involved. That said, I don't think you did the wrong thing. If you felt better getting the info for the company, then I think that you did the right thing.

No, you are not responsible for the bill. I sympathize both with the guy who lost his house and can't pay his bills AND with the company who did the work they were hired to do and didn't get paid. Obviously, the guy should pay his bills asap. That said, when we lost our home, we didn't pay our lawn guy when we were supposed to. We owed him a month's worth of lawn-mowing services after we moved, and I felt really bad, because he also had bills to pay, but when it's a choice between buying groceries and paying for the lawn service, most people will choose to feed their kids. (We did end up paying him several months later.)
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:36 AM
Hawkyfan99 Hawkyfan99 is offline
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Agreed that groceries come before lawn service. But, why not cut your own lawn, then?
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkyfan99 View Post
Agreed that groceries come before lawn service. But, why not cut your own lawn, then?
At the time, we were paying for lawn service and had no trouble affording it; we paid a month at a time, and the work was already done... it was an acute situation where DH's company suddenly closed and we had to move 1,500 miles away within a two-month period of time. Yes, of course under normal conditions we would not have a lawn service if we could not pay for groceries. I really only posted that to show why I had sympathy for both the company AND the person not paying the bills. Perhaps something happened that caused him not to be able to pay for the gutter work after it had been done.
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Last edited by busyhsmomof2; 05-06-2011 at 11:48 AM..
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:08 PM
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I wouldn't do that for my ex-homeowner but I would (and have) done it for DH's ex and his sister. Just for fun.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:25 PM
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Ill go out on the edge and say that without having the faintest idea of the backstory or any other information on the prior owner, you way WAY overstepped Bahet. I'm sort of twitchy it's so overstepping.

I mean you actually benefitted from the poor schmo's misfortune (or bad choices, as it were...either way, doesn't matter), didn't you? You bought a home in foreclosure. We all know that means you got a screaming deal. Good for you; I'm a bargain shopper too, no one is going to crucify you for this...but seriously to use what little intel you have on the dude because you have gotten his mail, and get more info and pass it on, because you feel moral outrage about him not paying for his gutters?? What the fux?? For all you know, the gutter work was not done the way it was contracted and there has been a legit dispute, or the guy's wife died of a long protracted disease that bankrupted them, and that's how he ended up in the hole...over half of personal BK are declared on the back of medical crises, afterall...with no info, how can you think what you did was anything BUT overstepping??

SHIT...even if you did have backstory info, imagine the violation you'd feel if the reverse were to have happened?? You'd be here in a fit of fury about it. I assure you. And, I'd 100% have your back.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:27 PM
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It's not like she did anything they couldn't have found out on their own. If she'd stalked the old owners or hunted down their parents and lied to get the info I could see the outrage but all she did was save the company a few minutes on the computer.
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2011, 12:51 PM
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But that's the point...she saved them their job. THEIR job. Not hers. Overstep. They have a potential or likely interest in the matter, she does not...by doing the googling she vested herself in something that was not hers to play with, she had nothing to lose or gain but spite or personal satisfaction. It smacks of both revenge and gossip and us both weird and gross.

Also, if the googling were so easy, do you not think the collectors would have done it? Perhaps there is a portion of the Fair Debt Collecting Act that it violated (should they have done so), or Bahet had a piece of personal info on the guy that they did not, and executed her search that way?
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  #10  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:03 PM
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We actually didn't get that screaming big of a deal. The house was in excellent condition. In doing comparison shopping we paid about $2/sqft less than the average sales price around here. I'd guess that we paid about $5/sqft less than the place is worth. That works out to a decent amount of money but we didn't pay pennies on the dollar the way some foreclosures are.

I don't know the guy's situation. I just know that this job was done 2 years ago and he never paid a dime. He lived here for about 1 1/2 years after the work was done without paying the bill. Incidentally, the whole reason I even bothered to look up his address is because the doorbell rang a bit after 9:30am this morning. It was a police officer holding a piece of paper and asking for the former owner. I don't know if the paper was a warrant, a summons, or what but, frankly, with that I was done with just ignoring the bills I get for him.

We just did a thread about snacking in a grocery store with a lot of people said that drinking a bottle of water that you will be paying for within an hour or so is theft. I disagree but I do absolutely think that someone not paying for good or services they received is theft. I'd turn in a thief who stole gutters from a company the same as I'd turn in a thief I saw breaking into my neighbor's house. I don't know their situation either. But I'm not going to sit by and let them benefit by hurting someone else whether that someone else is my neighbor, a small business, or a Fortune 500 corporation.

Also, if I was the sort of person to skip out on my bills and try to hide from my creditors and someone turned me in, yea, I probably would be upset. But I'm not that sort of person. In our move from Germany to VA our mail got all screwed up. We used DH's parents' address as a temporary address then moved to an apartment then the house all within about 2 months. We still get mail at DH's parents and the apartment and we get DH's parents mail. They bought a 2nd house in Palm Springs and we've gotten their mail for there and they've gotten our mail over there.

Lord only knows if we still have mail going to the PO box in Germany. But if there is a bill sitting there and the new owners of that box give the creditor our forwarding information I wouldn't be upset with them anymore than I get upset with MIL when she calls to say "We got a phone bill from when you were in the apartment today." That actually happened just a few weeks ago despite us moving from there the beginning of Dec. I didn't even realize I owed. I didn't get upset. I called the company, apologized, explained the situation, and paid the bill.
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