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LADYLAWYER
LADYLAWYER, Lawyer
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I received a letter from an attorney hired by a landscape business

Resolved Question:

I received a letter from an attorney hired by a landscape business that did work for me in 2006. I never paid for the work, because the invoice was for $8,500 and the agreed amount was $6,500. After I received the invoice I contacted them to let them know I will not pay this amount, and as soon as they send me a new invoice with the correct amount I would pay the $6,500. After I made multiple attempts with no response. This is now 5 years later with no communication at all, and I get this letter. What should I do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 5 years ago.

LADYLAWYER :

Hello, Thanks for choosing Justanswer.com! I look forward to helping you with legal information today.

Customer:

Any advice?

LADYLAWYER :

They have 6 years to collect of this debt so the statute of limitaions is not up yet and they can still sue. But if the original contract was for $6,500 and you did not sign anyting saying they could change it, then you are not obligated to pay the extra 2K.

LADYLAWYER :

The attorney will probably try and strong arm you or even take you to court. But again, unless they can prove you agreed to the $8,500, you only owe them $6,500.,

Customer:

The tricky thing is they were a family friend. My wife signed an agreement stating what they were doing, but we had many conversations that $6,500 was all we had to spend.

LADYLAWYER :

I would go ahead and send a check by certified mail for the $6,500, if you plan to use a check. This will show that you tried to settle this debt in good faith and may keep you from having to pay court costs if this goes to court.

LADYLAWYER :

Does it say on the agreement that you will pay $8,500?

Customer:

there is a line for $4,500 and $2,000, but also has rates listed on the bottom. They started the job in May, and finished in Sept. I did not receive an invoice until almost Dec.

Customer:

Nowhere on the contract does it say $8,500

LADYLAWYER :

Okay, it sounds like the law is going to be on your side here based on what you have told me.

Customer:

do you think I should see an attorney?

LADYLAWYER :

The late invoice is not going to be an issue, but they only charges talked about and encapsulated in the document equates to the $6,500. Rate specifications on the bottom of the contract are not going to matter.

LADYLAWYER :

I think it can get very expensive and perhaps cost more than the 2K extra your neighbors want if you get an attorney involved.

LADYLAWYER :

You would do better to offter the other attorney a little more to see if he would settle.

Customer:

What do you think it would cost to sit down with someone to review the documents with?

LADYLAWYER :

To just review the docs, maybe an hour's worth of work so it could be anywhere from $200-50 depending on what the attorney charges.

LADYLAWYER :

sorry, 200-500

LADYLAWYER :

If you wanted representation they may charge you 1000-2500 right off the bat.

Customer:

ok thanks for the help!

LADYLAWYER :

And then if there is not a favorable outcome you will be out more money. So you can see that sometimes, the best thing for you to consider doing is settling at a higher amount than you want to.

LADYLAWYER :

You can end up saivng money in the long run.

LADYLAWYER :

But from what you have told me here, you seem to have the upper hand.

LADYLAWYER :

You're welcome1

LADYLAWYER :

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