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How do you handle returned checks?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by T-N-T Lawn Care, Jul 6, 2003.

  1. T-N-T Lawn Care

    T-N-T Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    How do you guys deal with returned checks? I have this customer that wrote a bad check. I have a feeling I will not get it from him. He's the one in the previous post about being in the bad neighborhood.
    The check was for only $35 but the bank charged me $35 for a returned check. So now he's owes $70.00. Has this ever happend to you and if so what how do you handle it?

  2. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

  3. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 829

    I let them know that I was charged the $35 and add it to their bill. I only had to do it a couple of times, and in person. Actually another I just added it to the bill and was paid. Just don't let up. Keep sending a bill or calling.
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    that is funny that you are talking about this because my local nurseyman was just discussing this the other day with me about how he has a problem..and I replied that I have never had this problem and he considered me the luckiest man on the planet for not having one yet.
  5. Creative Lawn Care

    Creative Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 271

    In 5 years I have only had two returned checks. Both times it was from honest mistakes and I got my money in just a few days. One of the customers even called me before I knew the check had bounced. Sounds to me like your bank is charging you alot for returned checks. Do you have a business acct.? My bank runs checks through 2 times for free and if it still wont clear they only charge me $5.
  6. T-N-T Lawn Care

    T-N-T Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Thanks Fantasy Lawns i'll check that out.

    My bank does stink. I stay because everything with them is free except when something goes wrong. It is a business account. I'll try sending him a certified letter he never answers when I call and does not come to the door. I figure he's trying to avoid me. Thanks for the info.

  7. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    Ouch $35 Remember everything is negotiable.

    I agree shop your banking around just like everything else.

    I'd have to check with bookkeeping but I think we use US Bank.

    Anyone use online banking? Direct deposits for payroll and vendors?
  8. mmacsek

    mmacsek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 547

    The issue about returned checks is spelled out in our service agreements that each customer signs before we start any work. We charge $45.00 for checks returned for any reason. If they don't settle up a judgement is made at the district magistrate. Had one problem with a returned check before this clause was added. I did eventually get paid when I showed up at the door. No problems since I added the returned check clause. Hope this helps. Matt
  9. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    Had only one check returned. My bank charged me $2.00. The customer suggested run it through again - it cleared. I think he was embarrassed about it. I didn't even mention the $2.00 charge. If it had been a $25 charge I would have expected to get reimbursed for that. Keep in mind most such incidents are just stupid mistakes and the customer has probably had to pay a charge at their bank too.

    In the situation at hand, I would just write it off and forget about it. Of course I wouldn't be working for him again. And I would send a letter just so you did your part and he knows he owes it. It will come back to him. It may also be possible to take it to his bank (maybe later, maybe several times) and see if will clear and maybe at least get the $35.00.

    One advantage of being a solo operator with less customers is that I know them and they know me - and I trust them and they trust me. Things were a bit weirder at first when I was advertising.....
  10. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    Hunt them down and demand you get paid in cash money before you leave otherwise you will take them to court.

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