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getitfixedllc said:
I was wondering if anyone has used www.clientcheck.net or a similar service to check out potential clients?
If I had to guess, I'd say that the chances of actually finding any info on a potential client is pretty slim. Can you imagine the volume of input that would have to be amassed to have a truly useful database of this stuff?

As a test, I'd suggest "checking" the last ten clients you worked for, and see if anything comes up. If there's no hits (good, bad, or indifferent) on those clients, I doubt there will be any hits on potential clients.

Bob
 

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I wish there was a service like this that I could check out a person first so I don't get hit like my dads company. He did a job and he's still waiting to see his money.
 

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getitfixedllc said:
I wish there was a service like this that I could check out a person first so I don't get hit like my dads company. He did a job and he's still waiting to see his money.
I gear my contracts to avoid just that situation,never let progress of work out pace your payment schedule.
 

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Credit Bureaus

getitfixedllc said:
I wish there was a service like this that I could check out a person first so I don't get hit like my dads company. He did a job and he's still waiting to see his money.
There are services that do this. They are called Credit Bureaus or Credit Reporting Agenices such as Equifax, Transunion and others.

If you are a credit bureau member, you can not only get credit reports on prospective clients, you can also report delinquencies and court judgements against them that will show up on their credit reports.

Until recently all one had to do was to join a credit bureau by paying their annual fees.

The Feds have tightened regulations on those who can access and submit credit reports recently however and a businees that operates out of one's home (which is most contractors) cannot belong. One needs a permanent business location and address in order to receive and report.

But I had a credit bureau membership for years and it kept my collections at nearly 100% all the time.

In fact it was the threat of a bad credit report that got people to pay up, not the threat of legal action because one's credit standing is more important.

Short example:

I was asked by a doctor to build shelves in a closet that was 6 feet 6 inches wide. He asked me to use 2x12s, In order to fit the shelves I obviously had to cut off 1'6" from each board.

When I was done and presented the Doctor with the final bill of $275, he sent me a check for $200 and marked it 'paid in full'.

When I asked him why he shortchanged me he said "You did not use all of the boards you purchased for the closet, so I went to the lumber yard, looked up the price of a 2x12x8, subtracted the 20% off of each board you did not use and sent you the difference..."

Needless to say I was flabbergasted.

Then he bagn to laugh at me and said "What are you going to do? SUE me for the rest?" and hung up.

Well he was right, I wasn't going to sue him for $75 becaus eit would cost more than that to file in small claims and when I figured losing a half day worth of work to collect $75 it wasn't worth it.

But I DID report his delinquency to the credit reporting agancies each and every month for nearly 2 years when all of a sudden one day I get a letter from the credit bureau challenging the bad report on this doctor.

Seems the good doctor had been trying to get a mortgage on a rental property and no one would write him becuase he was a 'bad risk'...and it all had to do with the fact he was over 2 years delinquent to a contractor.

he never did get the mortgage and although I never did get my money, I did get satisfaction knowing neither di he ever get his rental property.

So, yes, there is help if you join a Credit Bureau and do credit checks on potential customers before you do business with them.
 

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I gear my contracts to avoid just that situation,never let progress of work out pace your payment schedule.

Amen! My payment schedule is always 1 step a head of progress schedule.
 

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For large projects i require customer to show proof of funds(official letter from their financial institution) before we will sign contract.
 
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