policy on bounced checks

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by bobbygedd, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    well, after all this time it finally happened, a customer bounced a check(this is a new customer, first payment) . im a little ticked, i need to get payed on time, and it is the 13 of june, the check was for may service. also, my bank charged me #$8 . anyone have a certain policy for this. this is something, believe it or not, i have never encountered
  2. randosh4

    randosh4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 179

    [welcome to the real world sorry to hear that
  3. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,928

    I would never accept a check from this person again, even if it was a mistake. Demand Money order, cashier's check or cash.

    Every state is different about collections of bad checks, so check your local laws.

    My policy, the original amount of check, bank return fee, extra processing fee.(b.r.f. and e.p.f. add up to $30). As stated above,but no new check unless the client calls me first. Then I waive the e.p.f. but charge the bank fee. Of the 5 bad checks that I ever received in 20 years, I have never collected on 2 of them.
  4. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Over here bouncing a cheque can get you into all sorts of legal
    dramas. Technically it is fraud.

    I've had a couple of customer cheques bounce,I usually ring them
    and tell them that they need to organise another method of payment.
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    a new bill could have been overlooked by the bill payer as he balanced his books. it would worry me if they are that close every month.. judgement call on these type things. but ihave a couple of folks that i tell the bank to hold the check if the funds havnt hit yet.
  6. site

    site LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    Start by trying to redeposit- everyone makes mistakes even with money. Next call the customer and ask what happened explain that you want to be reimbursed for bank charges. Then send a bill. After that you determine your comfort level with the risk based on amount of $ involved and how honest the customer might be.
  7. Hawkeye5

    Hawkeye5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    You can and should charge a NSF fee for returned checks. Put in in your service agreement. The amount may be limited by state statute as previously pointed out. In Tennessee the amount is $20, but I doubt there is any real enforsement of the statute as I have seen signs in stores stating higher charges. JD
  8. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    I'm with site on this one. Give em a chance and then determine your level of tolerance. Most people are too embarrassed or self conscience to let it happen again. Just tell them you wanted to give them a shot before you called the state's attorney and they'll get the message that youre serious.
  9. 1st time they bounce my bank charges me $2 and resubmits it to customers bank. If it clears at that point I let it go-their bank is probably charging them 20-25 also, so I don't add to their trouble.

    However if it bounces the second time I charge them $15. After that I have them pay by money order, cash, credit card.

    Happens rarely but every once in awhile someone hides from me after writting a bad check. If the account isnt closed I wait for them to make a deposit, then go to their bank and cash it.

    Think Ive only got 1 check - $50 - from over the years that I didnt collect on.
  10. ADMowing

    ADMowing LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 175

    We charged our customer the NSF fee and had her pay us again. The second time she bounced a check, we got our money and charged her the fee again and then told her to please find someone else to take care of her lawn. She was nice about it, but it was too much hassle and who has time for that????

    Those two were our only two in 6 years.

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