View Full Version : Bad check

09-04-2001, 01:07 AM
Rendered services for a new customer and his check bounced.
This is the first time this has happened to me. How would you
guys go about approaching this and collecting? Would you add the bank charges to what he owes me?


09-04-2001, 01:14 AM
Not knowing where you are located may cause some not to answer. But, here in Tenn we have a bad check law. You get prosecuted for passing bad checks. I havent had a problem yet, but I do add any other charges due to lack of funds etc... I would also ask the customer about it and if you feel funny either drop the account, or get cash up front before any services are rendered. I hope its not a lot of money. Good luck!

09-04-2001, 01:16 AM

09-04-2001, 01:16 AM
The way I handled it this year was, I went to my bank got everything copied on oficial letterhead.Then I contacted the customer via phone and I had to leave a message.I think most people do it as a dumb mistake on their part and usually are embarrased.I think being cool and calm are the best way to handle it.But explain the charges that occured between banks and everything else,and yes they should have to pay every penny.You're not mowing for free!!!:(

09-04-2001, 01:31 AM
Agree. Be calm, find out the problem. Then go with what your gut tells you. Got my first hot one last month. Young lady moved to another state, but before I knew the check bounced, her mother had a good replacement in the mail to me preceded by a telephone call.

09-04-2001, 02:07 AM
Don't jump the gun on this. Make a phone call to the guy first. Explain you just got the check returned. Tell him there is a $$$ check return fee charged by the bank. Ask if you can come get cash. Be nice. If he doesn't fix the problem asap, then you can get him in some real trouble in TN. I cut the property of the small claims court office and they are also the bad check division. You can get the money, just try it the easy way first.

09-04-2001, 03:51 AM
contact your district attorney, they can help you out a lot!

09-04-2001, 08:07 AM
got to say listen to 65 oon this one. heck it could turn into a good customer.

09-04-2001, 08:31 AM
Don't get tough unless it's a screw job and of course add the extra costs.

I was busy and in a hurry earlier this year and forgot to subtract a mortgage payment and then misread a date on a deposit ticket. That resulted in a phantom deposit on top of the undeducted mortgage. Bounced 2 small ones before fixing the problem.

09-04-2001, 07:19 PM
I've only had a couple of bad checks+ I agree stay calm.I just wait til i see the customer the following week,explain what happened, bank surcharge etc., usually is simple mistake, math or just airheaded people.I find the small checks aren't the ones to worry about,they are easy fixes. It's the guy who owes you a couple K's, nice car nice house, house gets foreclosed he disappears then claims bankruptcy + your left w/ a big hole in your pocket:mad:

John Allin
09-04-2001, 09:26 PM
We've had a few over the years. All have ended up being honest mistakes on the part of the customer. Usually they are very sorry, and want to make it right.

I agree. Keep cool for now, and approach as if it is an honest mistake - until proven wrong.

dan deutekom
09-04-2001, 11:30 PM
I agree with being cool, talk to guy and they usually set it right. Charge for all your bank charges and also tack on a extra $25.00 for your trouble. I have never had anyone argue about that. Seems pretty standard in our area.

09-04-2001, 11:47 PM
I agree with 65 be nice it might just be a goof up.

If you must you can call his bank and ask them if a check for xxx.00 amount will clear and give them the account number that is on the check if it will go to his bank and cash the thing. The bank will tell you if it will clear or not they will not give you the account balance though. I done this a couple of times with no problem its cheaper(time wise) and easier then going to the prosicutting attorney. If you want to hang him them press charges and dont forget "theft of services".

But the nice way is the best.


09-05-2001, 04:38 AM
If being cool about it doesn`t work then just keep trying to cash the check. Every time you do that the bank will charge the customer 25 dollars or so. You can get 4 or 5 nsf stamps on the back of the check before its full. If the customer stops payment on the check thats another crime.
After the customer gets a few nsf statements in the mail the customer will probably contact you.

09-05-2001, 04:46 PM
Eric - the problem with using that method is, if you are trying to cash it through your bank and your account, you will also rack up your own fees. Both banks charge their customers when a check bounces.

The advice here has been sound. Be nice, call the customer, just tell them what happened. The thing about crossing that line and getting mean about it is, you can never go back. You'd hate to be a jerk about it and ruin a good relationship, and possible future referals of work because you jumped the gun.

I've had only one bounced check, and the customer called me to tell me before I even knew it had bounced. Assume it was an honest mistake until you can find out otherwise.

09-05-2001, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by vipermanz
contact your district attorney, they can help you out a lot!

You think he should go straight to the D.A. cause some ditsy client didn't balance their checkbook right last month?


I would just make them pay the charges, send a nice letter or drop it by and leave them a message. I'm sure they will be embarassed at first thats why I wouldn't do it face to face if you don't have to.

Good Luck, let us know the turn out!

09-06-2001, 01:33 AM
Thanks for all the advice. An update, the customer asked
me to run the check through again. He said the funds were there.
I told him my bank charged me a $29.00 return check fee. He paid me that in cash.

It's kind of funny. I took the check to his bank, and the teller looks at me like I'm a crook. The check had all kinds of stamps and marks on it. She takes the check and talks with the bank manager for a while. I told her I wanted to get the check cashed and the man said the funds were there. She typed in the account number and she said yes they are. She said she would have to give me an offical check that I would have to endorse and then I could cash it right there. Thats what I did.

09-06-2001, 04:35 AM
I forgot to mention to go to the bank that the check was written from to run up nsf charges. You only want to do this if you know that you have been stiffed on purpose and the customer is being less than cooperative.
It is also a good idea to cash a check at the checkwriters home bank if you dont trust them. If you deposit it into your own account then you must sign it and put your account number on it. when the checkwriter gets the check back he or she will have your account number and a copy of your signature to practice forging.

Sean Adams
09-07-2001, 01:03 AM
A lot of good advice here. Everyone runs into this problem at one time or another. Some even make the mistake themselves. Just try and be as cool as the other side of the pillow and the embarassment alone will cure the problem.

Sean Adams

09-10-2001, 01:34 AM
Glad to hear it turned out ok. Cooler heads always prevail.

Go to the DA? Are you smoking something? Remember, what goes around comes around. One day you may accidently bounce a check. Do you want someone pressing criminal charges on you?

09-10-2001, 03:35 AM
if it was a high amount that was extra late i would.

09-10-2001, 12:56 PM
Viperboy, what are your school hours. About the check, let them pay.