March 30th, 2016
Have you ever heard of a photographer placing a lien on a property where payment was not received? I recently did a full-day video shoot which required days of editing and has not been paid for because of a bad check. The shoot was a large scale project for a multi-million dollar property. Is it possible to place a lien on a property? Are there any contacts you might have for legal advice?
First of all placing a lien on property requires a Judgement. That is, you have to get a judge to decide to place a lien on the property. This means you may need to pay a local attorney to help you through the process.
My guess is that the first thing a judge will ask is what have you done to get payment from this person? That is, the judge would want to be sure that the person owing you money is refusing to pay you. My advice would be:
- Establish that this person is in fact ,refusing to pay you. Have you talked to them personally? Or are you just reacting to getting a bad check? This person may just be sloppy with their business affairs.
- If in fact this person is refusing to pay you for some reason. See if there’s something you can do to fix their issue… do they not like the video… is there some way you can you remedy the client’s issue?
- If you’ve tried to remedy the problem that’s driving their non-payment and can’t reasonably fix the problem. Talk to a lawyer. What will it cost to get a legal solution?
- Decide if it’s worth it. It may be best to just walk away.
Your situation is and example of why it’s risky to invest multiple days on a project for someone that you have not established as trustworthy without some upfront partial payment.
Has anyone been stiffed by a client like Karen and how did you handle it?