Not Paid for Trees Sold

My husband lost his job a few months back and had the idea to have our pine trees cut down in exchange for money. He met a gentleman cutting down trees in passing and had a verbal agreement that he would stop by and give us an estimate.


After the consolation, my husband agreed to use his business. After the job was completed, the gentleman told my husband that after selling the trees and charging for the service, he would give my husband $300 and would be back to clear some of the mess. Well, weeks went by and we never heard from the man. When we finally reached the business man, he said he was tied up and couldn't make it out, and wouldn't even return our calls prior to that. Now he says that work has slowed down for him and he is waiting until his land sells so that he can pay us the money.

There was no written contract and we can empathize with the man since my husband had loss his job too, but what can we do? I don't understand why he didn't pay us the money as soon as the lumber company had paid him.

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August 20, 20162 found this helpful

A verbal agreement is legally binding, however, enforcing the agreement, that is, receiving payment for your trees, is often difficult or impossible. This is why a written agreement is much better than an oral agreement as the written contract is legally binding evidence of the agreement. However, again, "getting paid" for your trees is entirely up to you. You can file a small claims court action, however, even if the judge finds in your favor, that you are due money, it is up to you to somehow get paid for the trees.


An important fact of your situation is that having someone cut your trees, especially of a few trees, and paying you for the lumber is rare. Most tree cutting companies are not interested in small jobs such as a few acres as their costs and insurance are high. It is clear that the tree cutter had no intention of paying you for the lumber and he will continue to make excuses until you finally give up asking. He has certainly been been down this road before!!!

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October 31, 20160 found this helpful

People will take advantage of you when ever they can.It's sad that we can't trust people the old fashion way by way of a handshake.These days always get a written contract and always have the business show proof of insurance,and references.If he hasn't given you your money yet and he gives you the run around,he know's that he doesn't have to worry because there was no binding contract....Always get a written contract and maybe even have a attorney look it over as well.

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