1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

collecting on a bad check

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by RBP, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. RBP

    RBP LawnSite Member
    from mi
    Posts: 45

    does anyone know the procdure for collecting on a bad chek from a customer,especially appropriate procedure to follow in Michigan.Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    If it is over $100 you can file criminal charges. If less you have to collect on your own, maybe sue in court. I had a lady bounce a $200+ check a few years ago that wasn't going to pay up until I filed criminal charges at the sherriff's office, then she couldn't get the money to me fast enough. Did you try calling the customer yet and explaining they bounced a check? Most of the time people pay up without a fight, they are embarrassed. Make sure you collect the fees for the bounce as well.
  3. Wil22

    Wil22 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    I had this happen to me. When I recieved the bounced check in the mail I called the customers bank and asked was the money in the account and they said yes and I went immediately to collect my money.
  4. RBP

    RBP LawnSite Member
    from mi
    Posts: 45

    MTDMAN thanks for your reply.Yes i did contact the customer,she actually wrote me a new check but now that one bounced to.Now she refuses to answer her phone to me.The original bill was for 120.00.I then had to rebill her due to the fact that she was late.This brought the new balance to 135.00.After several trips to her house and the old checks in the mail story she wrote me a check for 135.00.However that check bounced and after visiting her house again a new check was issued including my charge for returned check.Now that check has bounced to and she refuses to open door or answer phone or reply to letter.her bill started out at 120.00 and is now up to 165.00(120.00+15.00 late fee+15.00returned check feeX2)I was wanting to know if this is a matter for the police or small claims court.
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    call the magistrate.
    she's obviously having financial difficulties. file quick, cuase i'm sure you'll be in a line to collect.

    here in NC writing a bad check is a crime no matter the amount. they will prosecute and they will collect through probation and you'll get your money plus fees.
  6. Gatewayuser

    Gatewayuser LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    Sorry to hear about you having so much trouble with that customer, last month one of my customers gave me a bad check, they did'nt know their house payment was being electronically drawn from their checking starting that month, so they gave me a late fee and gave me a $15 tip and said they were sorry. I haven't had a problem since.
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    police. and when she gets the paperwork from the court, and tries to pay you, don't accept payment. make her go to court, ask the judge to prosecute!
  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    I recently had a bad check as well. Owner claimed they had a checkbook stolen and someone had written checks on their account. Whether this is true or not, they did make the check good. Even met me at their bank where I could take the new check inside and cash it on the spot. But someone writting as many bad checks as you have recieved is definatly criminal. Take the check to the magistrate and file charges. And In this case I would probably do as Bobby suggested, make sure they are prosecuted. I can see someone making a mistake once but two or three times, no way. One other suggestion is to make copies of all bounced checks when you recieve them. Usually the people that wrote the bad check will want it returned when they issue a new one. If you have copies you have evidence that this isnt just a one time occurrence aand the bounced check you are holding is actually a replacement for other bad checks they have written. Court is really tough on repeat offenders.
  9. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    i think that's being somewhat of a jerk.
    if she offers you payment plus your fee, accept it. don't drag her to court and cost her court fees, probation fee's etc......
    sounds like she's having a hard enough time as it is.
  10. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

    I had a lady this year who owed me $130 way past the due date. She finally paid with a bad check. Well I tried to work with her but she kept putting me off again. So I took it back to her bank and they said I could take it to the state attorneys office and they would issue a warrant for her arrest and collect the money for me. I called and told her this and I got my cash in less than 20 minutes! payup

Share This Page