The only worse thing than clients is – not having clients. When you do get them, how likely are they to pay you? This is worse for some service providers than for others. Auto repair and other service providers such as computer stores, which get items from customers, can be sued for conversion (and prosecuted for theft) if they sell things left behind by customers and don’t comply strictly with the 60 day notice and sheriff’s sale procedures of the Illinois Labor and Storage Lien Act. The common law of “bailments” applies, and can be very harsh, if you are the “bailee.”
Legal Action Suggested: Get your “items received” receipt and your service estimate or other contract document into a form which creates a true warehouseman’s lien. Make sure it includes storage term, storage and other charges and collections plus attorney’s fees costs to enforce, as well as private rights if you aren’t paid. Once you have the form, use it! Have it signed by each customer whenever you take an order and when receiving items for work or storage.
Questions? Call (800.630.4780) or email Bill (firstname.lastname@example.org) for advice or to talk about your legal concerns. The first conference is always free.