The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,286

    Default Spin-off: Getting HOs to pay the BO

    This is a spin-off from the Padlock On Stall thread.

    I found myself a tad sympathetic with BOs who would go to this extreme, in dire circumstances.

    And I'm surprised that HOs are sleazy with these payments. (Then again, I'm not surprised, looking at how some people screw around with their bills in general).

    So what are the safeguards to ensure board payment that you find wise, acceptable or bad?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2008
    Location
    Nowhere, Maryland
    Posts
    3,176

    Default

    Have a well- written, legal for your state contract detailing when board is due and what happens if it isn't paid on time.

    Make it easy for people to pay. Accept credit cards or Paypal. Send out bills promptly/ regularly.

    Enforce the contract. It's better to lose one or two months' board and get rid of a deadbeat then wait until the person owes you enough money to make it worth pursuing legally.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,286

    Default

    I'm with you: A well-thought out contract signed up front lets the HO know what she can expect.

    Yes, BOs should make it easy to pay. I have never found that to be a problem! People are plenty easy when it comes to "Pay me!"

    I think this biggest things BOs can do to help themselves out is know the law and procedure for collecting on delinquent board and putting that process into effect, pronto.

    Having seen some small claims court fights over back board, I can see why the BO would be tempted to go in the padlocking direction. Those are a PITA to do and a judgment against a HO doesn't mean automatic collection.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
    Posts
    6,557

    Default

    Agreed with the above, PLUS, don't let the boarder run up a big bill. Be on top of collecting the board. And if that means kicking the boarder out on short notice, then so be it. My board contract allows me to do that.

    I must admit that I found the padlock thread weird. The last thing I want is to keep a deadbeat boarder around for one second longer than necessary. I have no interest in padlocking or keeping their horse. I'm also fine with going to small claims court. Sometimes that is necessary.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


    8 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    I'd like to share something that is totally NOT a slam on my previous BO, but that I think is relevant.

    This spring, I think she was a little perturbed because she emailed me about a past due balance. It was for a board payment from several months prior that apparently got lost. Well...i had a check in my register for that...had to pay to have bank records sent since it was so long ago, etc. I felt horrible, I assume she felt annoyed that I hadn't paid, and it was simply a lost check. It was remedied right away. But on their books, I was behind for MONTHS! Can you imagine how a BO would feel?

    And since I only write about 2 checks per month, I didn't really notice.

    Anyway...I think one thing BO's could do would be pay pal or accept credit but I know that costs money too. It would just be nice to be able to pay with a receipt and paper trail more so than leaving a check on a desk somewhere.

    As to the OP....how to get people to pay? I think that getting a month in advance is wise. Most barns I've been at require it. That way, if someone gives 30 days or you do, you've got it already covered.

    Also, being approachable. At one point, I (quickly) found out that some income I thought I had wasn't going to be coming in and I had to rehome one of my horses. My BO (same as above) helped me find my mare a new home. And didn't charge me the 2 or 3 days' board or a 30 day board. She knew I was in deep doodoo and had people lined up. That was a few years ago but I appreciated it so much.

    Being approachable IF someone is having financial trouble probably results in a better situation. Can't get blood from a turnip, but you sure can help get a horse OUT so it's not on your dime.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    2,404

    Default

    Since my bank offers online banking (as most do), I have gone the route of using the billpayer to pay my board bill. All I needed was a name and address and the BO was on my list to be paid. Sometime before the first I go online and pay. I can also check my account to see that the check went through (which I did neurotically for months after starting this)
    This works really well since my horse is retired and not as close to me. Previously I had been known to drive to the stable, visit my horse and then drive home with the board check still in my car!

    And who are you calling a HO!?!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,387

    Default

    Actually I have always advocated that BO's go the same route as landlords and charge a deposit of at least one months' board, if not running a credit check, income verification etc. I mean in some parts of the country board and rent on a small apartment are about the same so why not use the same tools to protect yourself?
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2009
    Location
    Hunterdon County NJ
    Posts
    3,005

    Default

    Contracts may really not worth much if you are really put in a position of having to force things. A farm owner could be stuck with the care of a horse and unable to get $ from the owner or sale of the horse for a year, easy. By which time, the auction forced sale of the horse will likely not even cover the amount owed.

    The best thing is to be ON TOP of it and not let things slide. If the horse owner disappears (and I have know this to happen) then get busy getting it sorted out ASAP. Don't wait and send emails and letters and hope.

    If the owner disappears, get in touch with a lawyer ASAP. If they don't pay $, and actively avoid you, then get in touch with a lawyer ASAP. If they don't pay, and tell you they don't owe you because your care sucks, get in touch with a lawyer ASAP.

    If they don't pay, but they communicate, and you feel they are just genuinely stuck financially, then help them GTFO ASAP. Kindly, of course. Better you lose 2 weeks of $ than you are stuck with their horses for 7 months without payment.

    Basically, you have to be a hard ass about this stuff. Either hard ass enough to (gently) throw a 'down on their luck' good person out of the barn. Or hard ass enough to bring down the wrath of god on a dead beat.

    And, if you do, for whatever reason, decide you can afford to cut them some slack and feed their horses anyway. Keep in mind you are then shifting gear into charity, and you should just not get too attached to the idea of getting reimbursed for it.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,286

    Default

    Good ideas here.

    IME, board is always for the coming month, not the past one. Some barns charge board "forward" this way but bill for services used in the previous month.

    It's not "industry standard" so far to have HOs pay "first and last" upon move in as we'd do with renting. Maybe it will go in that direction.

    And another good clause in a contract I saw once: The whole thing was signed, complete with a required 30 days notice for both sides. But! Within the first 7 days after move in, either side could bail with out the usual 30 days' notice and the unused board would be returned. It helped insure no unexpected unhappiness.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
    Posts
    2,098

    Default

    I have tried accepting credit cards, but the fees added up. It really wasn't worth it. I think the best way to get payment is to be timely and up front about it. The day, yes, the DAY a payment is late, I make a phone call or send a text or an email. More often than not it's just an oversight. If there is a disagreement about what is owed, we discuss it then and my goal would be to come to a resolution as to what is owed and when it will be paid that day. I put on my calendar to do a follow up call a few days later if the funds do not come through.

    If someone is short on money, I'm not really that sympathetic--a horse is a luxury item. That board money goes to pay costs that I CAN'T put off, like payroll for my employees, the insurance company and the feed store. If money troubles are the case, I advise people up front that they need to take a loan out from a bank or figure out another solution like leasing or selling the horse or moving it to a cheaper facility because I cannot "loan" them free board. Would your grocery store or gas station let you walk off with groceries and gas and let you pay at your convenience? I'm running a business, too! If payments become overdue, I'm not shy about letting people know that I do use a collection agency.

    I DO insist that all bills be paid before a horse can be removed from the farm. I'm not saying I would padlock a horse's stall, but pleasantly communicating to people that bills must be paid before a horse is moved and being present at the time of the move to collect that check is a great way to make sure you get paid IF the horse is valued by the owners. Once a horse moves, it is VERY easy for people to conveniently "forget" to pay bills, "lose" checks or avoid phone calls. Especially if it is an out of state owner. However, truth be told, I can't wait to get horses off the farm when owners are sticky about payment. The last thing I want to do is delay the move of a horse off my farm when I'm uncertain about payment.

    If I really didn't think that someone could pay me, I'd be getting the horse off the farm ASAP and pursuing bill collection later through other means. Frankly, I'm terrified when I have someone who is behind on their bills. What happens if the horse runs into a major vet bill? Are they going to abandon the horse?

    Just as an addendum, if someone's financial fortunes changed quickly and they let me know they were making good faith efforts to sell/rehome the animal, I have always done my best to be helpful.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,817

    Default

    I agree with encouraging your boarders to consider paying with auto-pay through their bank. It does mean you need to watch your mail closely since those payments come in plain envelopes that are easy to mistake for junk mail, but saving the drive out to the barn to pay board = a nice luxury for busy horse owners.

    If BOs don't want to pay credit card fees, then charge them to the boarders who choose to use that option. For example, I currently pay $475/month. If I want to pay by PayPal, charge me $490 so you'll get $475 after fees. I bet you'll be surprised how many people still take the option, especially people who are putting their board on a credit card. Calculate the appropriate surcharge here:
    http://thefeecalculator.com/
    Last edited by jn4jenny; Nov. 18, 2012 at 08:53 PM.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2002
    Location
    way out west
    Posts
    3,138

    Default

    The last barn I was at had board due on the 1st. No grace period. Late fees started adding up after that. And it was $25 a day. Most everyone paid before the 1st, just to be safe. It was in her contract, and she gave no one a break for any reason, and was clear about her policy before you even moved in.

    I thought it was brilliant. And very fair, since you knew where you stood from the get-go.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2005
    Posts
    509

    Default

    When I was running a boarding barn, I did it this way: If board was $400 a month, I charged $425 with a $25 discount if cash/check payment was received (read: in my hands, not just in the mail) by the 2nd of the month. Payment by credit card did not receive the discount....the extra covered the fees involved. Adding on extra charges for credit card users isn't always legal...but doing the cash discont thing covers it nicely.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,592

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jn4jenny View Post
    If BOs don't want to pay credit card fees, then charge them to the boarders who choose to use that option. For example, I currently pay $475/month. If I want to pay by PayPal, charge me $490 so you'll get $475 after fees. I bet you'll be surprised how many people still take the option, especially people who are putting their board on a credit card. Calculate the appropriate surcharge here:
    http://thefeecalculator.com/
    I'm a pay-it-off-every-month sorta girl, but I WISH more barns would take credit cards! The thought of the points I'd rack up for a year's worth of board makes me GIDDY!

    It would also be a great way to yes, add some extra insurance that you'll get paid. Sometimes people just have a hard month or two, and tossing something on the credit card for a month can make the difference between an on-time payment and a late payment.

    I know I frequently have brought checks in a day or two late because board is literally the ONLY thing I use my checks for, and I just forget. I started feeling so awful about it that I now keep a few blank checks in my wallet so that if I realize I've forgotten it on the kitchen table yet again, I can just write a new one.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    I hear ya there Go!

    I just moved to a new barn in a new state...and I haven't paid board yet!!!

    I offered to pay in advance, she said no. I offered to pay online. She said no. I called her tonight (horse has been here about 5 days) and apologized that I haven't left her money yet and she was all "I'm not worried honey!" Well hell, you sHOULD BE!

    Anyway, I'm paying 2mos board tomorrow just to make it right. Good gravy though.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,817

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    I'm a pay-it-off-every-month sorta girl, but I WISH more barns would take credit cards! The thought of the points I'd rack up for a year's worth of board makes me GIDDY!
    I, too, am a pay-it-off-every-month girl. If I were paying a $15 surcharge each month to pay by credit card, my credit card rewards points + the amount of gas I'd burn to run a check out to the barn would mean my actual surcharge for paying by CC was about $5. So in a pinch, especially if I were in a time crunch, I'd pay that way.

    Before others jump down my throat about how that's still $5 I didn't need to spend, I agree. I could auto-pay by mail. But we're not talking here about boarders who have already thought of fifteen million responsible, cheap ways to get their board paid. These are not the people of the world who tie strings around their fingers.

    It would also be a great way to yes, add some extra insurance that you'll get paid. Sometimes people just have a hard month or two, and tossing something on the credit card for a month can make the difference between an on-time payment and a late payment.
    Agree completely. Although I don't do it, I know lots of folks who "float" expenses on a credit card. Even if they fully intend to pay it off immediately, they can buy a few extra weeks.

    I know I frequently have brought checks in a day or two late because board is literally the ONLY thing I use my checks for, and I just forget. I started feeling so awful about it that I now keep a few blank checks in my wallet so that if I realize I've forgotten it on the kitchen table yet again, I can just write a new one.
    Yep, this. The only time I ever write checks is for horse stuff. For those who are about to say "keep your checkbook in your car or wallet" or "keep your checkbook at the barn," I look forward to your COTH thread about how someone stole them and committed check fraud.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,592

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jn4jenny View Post
    I, too, am a pay-it-off-every-month girl. If I were paying a $15 surcharge each month to pay by credit card, my credit card rewards points + the amount of gas I'd burn to run a check out to the barn would mean my actual surcharge for paying by CC was about $5. So in a pinch, especially if I were in a time crunch, I'd pay that way.

    Before others jump down my throat about how that's still $5 I didn't need to spend, I agree. I could auto-pay by mail. But we're not talking here about boarders who have already thought of fifteen million responsible, cheap ways to get their board paid. These are not the people of the world who tie strings around their fingers.



    Agree completely. Although I don't do it, I know lots of folks who "float" expenses on a credit card. Even if they fully intend to pay it off immediately, they can buy a few extra weeks.



    Yep, this. The only time I ever write checks is for horse stuff. For those who are about to say "keep your checkbook in your car or wallet" or "keep your checkbook at the barn," I look forward to your COTH thread about how someone stole them and committed check fraud.
    Believe it or not, I'd actually come out ahead of a $15 surcharge with gas + cc points! But I live in an expensive area, my barn is on the farther away side, and I don't drive a super gas-efficient car.

    My credit union also offers member reward points for bank transfers/debit card purchases, so that's another non-credit (and no fees to the barn owner) option. I have asked probably three or four barn owners over my period of horse ownership if I could just do a bank transfer, and was refused every single time. I don't know why...a bank transfer is free for both parties.

    Actually, Amazon Payments accepts credit cards and is free for both parties. I pimp it all I can on here, since I've had several good experiences with it selling $$ saddles. SO MUCH BETTER than Paypal. Could be an option for barn owners if anyone's BO is actually interested in discussing virtual payments.

    And yes, I do "float" payments....about once or twice a year there's that month where every single bill you could be hit with comes in the mail, plus there's usually a surprise vet or car bill on top, and it helps to be able to stick things on a credit card until the next paycheck in two weeks!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2006
    Posts
    877

    Default

    I wish more barn owners would be willing to send invoices. I loved my barn owner that sent them ahead of time so we could either mail a check or it was just the reminder that hey--get it done. Plus, my barn owner also was the farrier in that circumstance so it could just be one check.

    My current barn held onto this month's board check for almost 3 weeks. I was panicking because one--who holds board checks that long and honestly, it was a decent sum of money in a "skinnier" month for me while I was waiting for a work injury payment. I was hoping that if it was a case of a misplaced check, he would have called me immediately since I am a person that habitually pays on time, etc.

    Back on the invoice thing--it would clarify so many things now that I reflect upon it. One of my previous barns had a barn owner that liked to give "credit" towards board for doing certain things, like shaving her cat or stacking hay or whatever. That's all fine and dandy, but confusing because each month was a different amount and I had to always call her each month to ask what she wanted for board.

    Fast forward when I put in notice to leave the barn and I received an angry phone call saying I owed money since I had only paid X amount in this month or Y amount in another month. I wish I had an invoice in that circumstance, since her books were not up to date and didn't enter in any of the "credit". I should have at least been smart enough to have e-mailed her each month instead of calling, but live and learn.

    Current barn still doesn't do invoices, but at least for the extra things (like hubby stacking hay this morning), he pays in cash.

    I do think it would be nice if more barns offered CC payments, paypal, or other convenience ways of payment to entice more boarders to submit timely payments, or at least payments on a reoccurring schedule, especially when there are no invoices to serve as a reminder.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,387

    Default

    Every time I use my CC I'm floating the purchases, it's just a helluva lot more convenient for me to write one big check.

    Getting back to the OP. We kept our boat at a marina that offered three terms of payment. You could pay monthly in advance for the full monthly fee, biennially (two times a year) and get a small discount, or annually and get a ten percent discount ie a month's rent free. Darn tootin they took CC payments and I think they did auto deduct.
    They ran the place like an apartment complex in terms of getting a full month's deposit, but they didn't run a credit or background check like the last apartment complex I lived in.
    They fell under innkeeper rules so at least once they had to auction off some junky boat and totally lost money because it had been sitting in a slip that could have been earning revenue.
    Really that's part of the problem, that the marina and a lot of BO's don't have a spot to put a non-revenue generator, nor do they act fast when the payments stop coming in. My last trainer literally had a back forty and that's where I collected my horse. But back forties - well the phrase is often used to indicate something out of sight and not particularly valued so it's not good for a horse that isn't a healthy young air fern.

    There's this whole body of law that makes the easy way out, ie taking the horse to their house and staking him out on their lawn, a bit difficult in practice.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    2,404

    Default

    To those whose BO dont accept bank transfers:
    Took me a while to realize that my bank billpayer option will mail a check to my BO! Super easy, just fill it in and authorize - and you can set the date to be mailed - and the check will be sent! I think some BOs are relucatant about having their account information used so this works instead of a direct transfer.



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 125
    Last Post: Jan. 1, 2012, 04:13 PM
  2. Spin-off of a spin-off- tell me about your Subaru Impreza
    By Renn/aissance in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Nov. 27, 2011, 10:54 AM
  3. WS Spin-off: are there still
    By tja789 in forum Dressage
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Nov. 8, 2011, 03:57 PM
  4. How do you say... (spin off)
    By Coppers mom in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Dec. 27, 2010, 01:17 PM
  5. Spin of Spin: The Tacky of the Future
    By mvp in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 61
    Last Post: Nov. 29, 2010, 01:04 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness