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Advice on money owed by a deceased customer

(8 Posts)
grinningbee Sat 25-Jun-11 10:43:08

Hi all, hope someone can help me here.

Dh is a self employed car mechanic. Earlier this week he did a job for someone which came to £230 ish of which he had to pay out over £150 in parts for the car. Took the car back to the customer on Tuesday who said he'd pay on Friday when he got his pension.

Dh went to collect the money yesterday and was told the customer had died sad

Now, I am well aware that the timing is not good etc and the relatives are grieving. We don't want to upset things, but what do we do regarding the unpaid bill? We can't just absorb a loss of that amount. We are happy to wait a bit though.

Any recommendations?


Bluebell99 Sat 25-Jun-11 10:50:17

That's really sad if it is true. But what was your dh thinking by returning the car before the customer had paid? I think you are going to struggle to get your money now, whereas if you had kept the car u til he had paid, I am sure the family would be along at some point to collect the car. do you even have any proof that he hasn't paid you?have you sent an invoice?

Lilymaid Sat 25-Jun-11 10:54:01

You should be able to make a claim against the estate eventually if the relatives don't agree to pay up front. It would be polite to leave sending out the bill for a couple of weeks.

Northernlurker Sat 25-Jun-11 10:54:27

I think you should wait a few days - ie after the funeral then write a very polite letter to the wife/family explaining your arrangement with the deceased and asking them to settle the bill. I think if you are courteous and respectful of their loss they will pay it. People do die with debts. Settling them is part of an executors role. If you can stand the loss you could compromise and just ask for the cost of the parts but I don't really see why you should unless the family are in a financial hole. The car is now worth more than it was when needing repair so you've actually benefited the estate iyswim?

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Sat 25-Jun-11 10:59:29

yes. submit the bill to the executor so it's settled out of the estate.

grinningbee Sat 25-Jun-11 11:19:57

If it is true??? Um, I really wouldn't be making it up.

Dh did return the car before being paid yes. He does that sometimes to help people out. Should he do it? Probably not, but he has a good reputation in the village because of it.

Thank you everyone else. Yes, I was thinking about leaving it a couple of weeks to let them sort everything out sad. An invoice was given with the car on Tuesday, so we will go down the letter route in a couple of weeks and supply a copy of the invoice in case it has been put away somewhere.

ruddynorah Sat 25-Jun-11 11:26:18

Leave it a month then send bill to his address titled executors of 'customer name.' My gran's gardener, window cleaner and paper shop did this after she died.

Bluebell99 Sat 25-Jun-11 11:36:10

No I didn't think you were making it up, maybe the customers' family to avoid paying you. Only you know if they are trustworthy. If you really can't afford to loss the £150 parts cost, then your dh should rethink doing things on credit for people. Great if it helps his reputation but not if you end up out of pocket or if people take advantage. Only saying. Your business.

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