Bounced Check, How To Collect?

Business By melodyscakes Updated 30 Jul 2008 , 3:35pm by 4Gifts4Lisa

melodyscakes Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 8:16pm
post #1 of 24

this is for a check for over $300.00 I've called the lady several times, asking her to please call me. then I asked her to call me this week or I'd have to turn the check over to the district attorney.. now, do I take the check to the district attorney office or is there something else I'm supposed to do? anyone know how to collect on a bad check?

thank you,

melody

23 replies
melodyscakes Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 8:32pm
post #2 of 24

I just called the lady while I was thinking about it, she finally answered my call....used dh cell phone...anyway she said she's been out of town and gave me her credit card number...I'll run it, we'll see.

melody

peacockplace Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 8:39pm
post #3 of 24

I hope it works out! That's terrible! Maybe someone will know the steps you need to take. thumbs_up.gif

melodyscakes Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 9:39pm
post #4 of 24

her credit card went through! yeah!!!

I can pay some bills now! icon_smile.gif

thanks

melody

peacockplace Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 1:02am
post #5 of 24

I'm so glad it worked out! That's a lot of money to go without. icon_biggrin.gif

poshcakedesigns Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 2:59pm
post #6 of 24

So glad it turned out for you. I'm considering going debit/credit / cash / money order or certified check only. My biggest fear is getting a bounced check. I got an out of state check last week and it was a pain in the rear to get it cashed at my bank.

leah_s Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 3:05pm
post #7 of 24

I use PayPal right from my website. Easy.

chutzpah Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 3:05pm
post #8 of 24

I take cash only. I'll send an invoice if it's a company, or a regular.

Couples get an invoice for their wedding cakes, but I require payment 5-6 weeks ahead of time.

poshcakedesigns Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 3:08pm
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by chutzpah

I take cash only. I'll send an invoice if it's a company, or a regular.

Couples get an invoice for their wedding cakes, but I require payment 5-6 weeks ahead of time.




Have you gotten any complaints about this or can you offer any suggestions on what to tell customers? I've started using Google checkout and I can send invoices for payment online. Just wondering how I could slowly phase out checks - seems everyone wants to write them.

chutzpah Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 3:12pm
post #10 of 24

I don't like in the continental US, checks are 99% non-existent here. We have a different system.

When people call and order cakes, etc, I do make a point of telling them that we only take cash (they do get a register receipt, of course) so that they are prepared for it. There's an ATM right around the corner, too.

gateaux Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 3:24pm
post #11 of 24

Glad it worked out.

In the last couple of years most places that used to take checks all the time no longer do. Here in MN it was no problem to write a check at a Fast Food Place or for Coffee. I always thought that was silly, use cash or your credit/debit card is what I say.

People who want to use checks are either old school and their checks will be good or it seems it's their way out of paying by handing out a bad check.

I think it would be easier to have it well marked policy of either cash/credit or certified check or money order. Basically: "Like Cash or no Cake" is what I would say.

Anything you have to purchase online is credit card now, so everyone seems to be used to it.

Good Luck.

margaretb Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 8:19am
post #12 of 24

In Canada, you can take a bounced cheque to the bank that issued it (e.g. their account was at RBC, so take the cheque to one of their branches) and get it certified if there is now money in the account. You pay the certification fee (about $10 last time I did it, but that was years ago). Obviously, this does no good if there still isn't money in the account to cover it, but it is well worth a try. I have no idea if this can be done in the states, and to be honest, I only found out when a cheque I wrote to a semi-government organization bounced and they had it certified and cashed without ever contacting me! Oops.

kimmypooh79 Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 9:01am
post #13 of 24

I would suggest that if you don't want to take just cash then take a cashiers check. A cashiers check actually comes out of the customers account when issued so when they give it to you it's like cash or a money order.

Curtsmin24 Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 9:49am
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Quote:

I would suggest that if you don't want to take just cash then take a cashiers check. A cashiers check actually comes out of the customers account when issued so when they give it to you it's like cash or a money order.




That's how I pay most of my bills. It's easier to track if someone tells me I didn't make a payment and checks can easily be stolen if you have them delivered to you. I rarely carry cash because it disappears too fast, especially on cake stuff! But credit for me is easier and I know how many times i've swiped my card ( if that makes sense) so I can sort of keep track of my money without having to balance a checkbook.

CoutureCake Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 7:30pm
post #15 of 24

Apparently I'm old school because I still prefer using checks icon_sad.gif (sometimes there's NOTHING wrong with being "old school" icon_biggrin.gif - even if my cakes aren't icon_razz.gif ), I don't use an ATM, and I think everything being switched over to credit cards is simply a BAD idea... ESPECIALLY for someone in debt because it makes the purchase other-than-conscious. Instead of focusing on every penny being spent, the CC makes you not think about it until the bill comes a month later whether they can pay it or not. I also don't agree with banks charging to use a debit card either. Why should as a vendor, they get charged $, then as the customer get another fee tacked on there as well. With a check, no one gets charged extra money unless someone uses a rubber one. I also like checks because I'm very conscious about how I organize my checkbook (I bought a ledger only for DH to decide to confiscate it as his new one)... On some things I just like a paper trail!!!

OTOH, I have only had one situation where the check wasn't good, but then after the HM they made good on the check as soon as she got back thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif ... Of course, now I have a policy for what my fee structure is if I run into a bad check and payment options (certified funds check or cash).. And, I also am strict about the 28 days out policy for checks (14 days for cash)...

The truly hard part is the people that go on their last harrah spending spree before filing for bankruptcy. DH has had to deal with a lot of those from his work and it's a full day wasted sitting through court to get the injunction that they have to pay you back, but at least then there's some level of re

Curtsmin24 Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 5:02am
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Quote:

Apparently I'm old school because I still prefer using checks (sometimes there's NOTHING wrong with being "old school" - even if my cakes aren't ), I don't use an ATM, and I think everything being switched over to credit cards is simply a BAD idea... ESPECIALLY for someone in debt because it makes the purchase other-than-conscious. Instead of focusing on every penny being spent, the CC makes you not think about it until the bill comes a month later whether they can pay it or not. I also don't agree with banks charging to use a debit card either. Why should as a vendor, they get charged $, then as the customer get another fee tacked on there as well. With a check, no one gets charged extra money unless someone uses a rubber one. I also like checks because I'm very conscious about how I organize my checkbook (I bought a ledger only for DH to decide to confiscate it as his new one)... On some things I just like a paper trail!!!

OTOH, I have only had one situation where the check wasn't good, but then after the HM they made good on the check as soon as she got back ... Of course, now I have a policy for what my fee structure is if I run into a bad check and payment options (certified funds check or cash).. And, I also am strict about the 28 days out policy for checks (14 days for cash)...

The truly hard part is the people that go on their last harrah spending spree before filing for bankruptcy. DH has had to deal with a lot of those from his work and it's a full day wasted sitting through court to get the injunction that they have to pay you back, but at least then there's some level of re




There is absolutely nothing wrong with being old school. I don't use credit cards at all. I have one and I have had it for 4 years and used it only once. I use a check card. For me it is easier and the bank I use doesn't charge atm fees depending on what atm is being used. I don't spend money that frequently but I use cashiers checks to pay major bills. There will always be paperwork involved when it comes to money and with the cashiers check I can call the bank and ask if the check has been cashed yet. I do it this way because there are so many scams going on and with a check you give a little more information than necessary. Right now the way the economy is I am actually considering to use cash because there are machines scanning credit cards and atm cards and I don't have that much money to be letting those crazies steal it. I have a safe and several secret hiding spots to stash money just in case things get really bad. You never know right? But I am not in anyway knocking the checks. I was taught that way and for me it was a little complicated. I have a nice little ledger book for business but I haven't been selling much but hopefully a miracle will happen.

vickster Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 11:00pm
post #17 of 24

Credit cards cost you a chunk of your profit. It is straight out of your profit. So think about that.
We just started serving a little lunch combo for 3 hours a day. We only take cash for that. I do take checks for cakes, but most people still pay with cash. I've been in business for 6 months now and have not bounced a check yet. Small town. I guess people don't want the embarassment.
I am looking into Paypal so people can pay on line if they want. Pay pal doesn't take quite a chunk out as credit card.

melodyscakes Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 11:16pm
post #18 of 24

I'm thinking about offering a 5% discount if they pay with cash.

this will hopefully encourage cash payments...anyone else do this?


melody

Chef_Stef Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 4:49am
post #19 of 24

To answer the original question. If you get a bounced check and the person doesn't respond to pay you for it by visa or cash in a timely manner, and you can tell they're blowing you off, here is what you do:

You call their bank, listed on the front of the check. Tell them you are a business with a check from that account holder, and that you need to VERIFY FUNDS for the amount written. If they say the funds are there (and they should do this for you!), you drive yourself and the check straight to that bank (doesn't matter what branch), and they will write you a cashier's check right from the branch. Voila--you have your money, whether the customer is involved or not. I've had to do this twice, with DH's business. If they say the funds are not there, you call back tomorrow, or you ask them what the next step is. I've never had one NOT have the funds...

I've only done this when I knew that the customer had NO intention of paying us the $. One lady never did contact us...even after I took the $ out of her account a month later (after 30 days back and forth on the phone with her, getting nowhere)...I figured, "Here ya go, beeyotch--How about a $170.00 debit you weren't expecting!?" (Ok, I was frustrated).

One thing to note: If the check is written to your business name and not you personally, you will have to take a copy of your dba license into the bank with you, or you get zip. Ask them what they need for proof, or you'll be making more than one trip to town. They won't cash a check to a business, no matter who you say you are, without proof. Learned that the hard way too.

margaretb Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 5:28am
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by melodyscakes

I'm thinking about offering a 5% discount if they pay with cash.

this will hopefully encourage cash payments...anyone else do this?


melody




I would pay cash if offered a discount. I would even pay cash for a 1 or 2 % discount, since that would equal or cancel out the reward from my reward card. Of course, I understand that the merchant agreement forbids you from offering a different cash price to your customers, but I wouldn't tell on you.

melodyscakes Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 3:59pm
post #21 of 24

I didn't realize that.

so I won't offer a discount..thanks for the helpful info!


melody

margaretb Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 6:29pm
post #22 of 24

Well, I don't guarantee that your merchant agreement says that -- I just remember reading somewhere that the merchant agreement doesn't allow a discount for cash. I can't even remember where I read it. It does make sense, though. After all, the credit card issuer is making money off those fees, so it wants to make sure it gets a cut. That being said, I am not concerned about the CC companies starving, so if I were asked about it, I probably would give someone a cash discount (if I were in business). Actually, I paid for our flooring on my 1% cash back card, and if I had known the business better, I would have asked if there was a cash discount. After all, it's all the same to me whether I get my 1% from the CC company or from the business, and I certainly like the business better. Anyway, I would check the agreement. Also, if you are getting 10 cash customers to one CC customer, you are ahead paying the fees for the one CC customer, because if it is a cash discount, then you have to give the discount to the other 10 as well.

Chef_Stef Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 5:21am
post #23 of 24

I know in some states it is actually illegal to charge extra for the use of a CC--which is pretty much what we're doing if we charge LESS for a cash transaction. WA state for sure is one I know of...

You know, those places where you get out your debit card and the girl looks up and says, "Oh, if you're going to use that, there's a 2.5% surcharge." = Illegal.

4Gifts4Lisa Posted 30 Jul 2008 , 3:35pm
post #24 of 24

I took a check from a casual aquaintance once who owed me money. I had a feeling the check wouldn't clear so I took it to HER bank to cash. No money in the account, as suspected. I just kept going in EVERY DAY, figuring at some point a paycheck would post. Took me 4 tries, but on that 4th time I got my cash! (I wonder if her mortgage check then bounced? Oh well, not my problem...)

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