I wont take checks again ever! This makes 4 check that bounced on me in 3 months. What do all of you do when this happens to you?
I haven't had this issue yet.. *****KNOCK ON WOOD*****, but the fear of it is why I won't accept checks any less than 4 weeks before the cake is due. After that point it's cash in full up front.
You will have to give them a call and tell them their check bounced and you can't make their cake until you get the cash. Unless it is already past when the cake was due. If they already ate their cake and won't pay you then you will have to go to small claims court. That stinks, but you have to do what you have to do. Sometimes just the threat is enough to get them to pay up.
That sucks. I haven't had a bounced check yet - but maybe thats because all the shop customers want to use credit cards (I'm paying $300 a month at least in cc fees... you know how many bounced checks that would cover?!) and all the wedding cakes don't dare screw it up.
$300.00 a month in fees? you are either making a killing on cakes, or paying way to much to the cc company. I think I pay 1.5% of each transaction....what do you pay?
Does your local courthouse have a worthless check unit? If so I'd turn the checks over to them. In my state which is Alabama the customer will get a letter from the courthouse telling them they have 30 days or less to make good on the check or face jail time.
I stopped taking checks last month. It's either cash or debit card now.
Good luck - I hope you can collect what is due to you
We do have an open shop and this is full time work (and then some!). I think our effective rate (after all fees added in) is about 2.7%. Its like $.20 per transaction then the 1.8 or whatever then a bunch of visa jibba jabba. I've priced around and its really the best I can get. I WISH more ppl would pay in checks and, even better, cash (me with the sneaky fingers). lol
Call the bank where the account is and ask if they will certify a bounced cheque. We can do that in Canada -- if the cheque bounces, you can still get it certified at the issuing branch (you have to pay a fee).
And of course what do I find today in my bank statement?? A bounced check! Yeesh me and my big mouth
(only $18 tho)
In our county, we can go to the DA's office and get a form letter that can be sent to the offender. They do require that you have the drivers license number and date of birth on the check. You, as a business fill the formed letter out giving them 10 days to respond. The letter is sent certified. If they do not respond, the DA takes over, not only do they charge the person their charge, but also add a fee for you. I have only had to use this method twice in 8 years, but I did get my money. They did not charge me for using the service. I believe anything over 50 is a felony. If the person does not respond to the DA, a warrant is placed out for their arrest.
I am in Massachusetts where a bad check is considered larceny by check by the small claim court system. Depending on how much the check is for, you have to pay the court either $30 for a check up to $500 or $40 for a check over $500 just for a hearing. I have 2 pending with the courts right now that have been found in my favor and then they never showed up for the show cause hearing. They then put a capias out for them for their arrest, but this is where it gets interesting for the vendor. If I want the capias served to have them arrested, I have to pay the county sherrif's office $150 to serve the deadbeats, So when all is said and done, the vendor loses the product, the amount of the check, is charged a bank fee for depositing the bad check, $40 to the court system and then $150 to the sherrif. After all of this, IF they get the person to court, they claim hardship to the judge and you might get a couple of dollars a month until the bill is paid off. Nothing even goes on their record for doing this. I have gone to a no check policy and for the ones that did bounce checks, I have set up a section on my web site called "The Wall of Shame". Unless they are the hard core-I don't care what people think of me type, good old public humiliation seems to work the best. Most people don't want a spot on "the wall".
cfao---you're a genius. Love your Wall of Shame.
Melody, what are you using for the 1.5% ? I've checked into paypal and another company and they are both 3% Thanks So I'm taking only cash and checks, but I think I would do more business with credit cards.
cfao- While I LOVE your Wall of Shame, I think you need to know that any of the people listed there can sue you for 3rd party disclosure. It's in violation of the FDCPA to make any of that information public. (I was a debt collector for a while) Not trying to tell you what to do, just letting you know so you don't get sued.
i got a wall of shame too...at the shop.....i've only had a few i couldn't collect...i charge a 25 dollar service charge too.
Well I got paid for all the bounced checks this month. I am no longer accepting checks even though I made money on it I just cant have the aggrivation!
CFO where in MA are you?
Hi, I'm in Templeton, a little town in the Gardner-Fitchburg area. Foxy, I send them a letter by certified mail that if the check isn't cleared they will be placed on the wall of shame and explain what it is. I also enlarge their check to the size of a piece of copy paper and post them as you enter the bakery under a sign reading "Wall of Shame" and states if you have been notified and still refuse to make good on your bad check, that's the only way to make the wall. I look at this the same as shoplifting. They came to my place of business and took my product without paying for it. In fact, it cost me for them to steal my product, because now I have not only lost that product, I have to pay a bank fee because they wrote a bad check. I was not the only one that the "winner" on the wall did this to, quite a bit of her wedding was done this way.
The only person that you can disclose the debt to is the debtor's spouse or power of attorney. Even talking to the spouse is illegal in some states. They *really can* sue you so just be careful.
It really seems that no matter what the crime, the laws are there to help and protect the person doing wrong. Even when you take these problems to court, everything seems to benefit the wrong-doer. I would be so ashamed and scared to get a summons to go to court for non-payment of something, but these type of people don't let it bother them a bit. They don't show up for court and never bother to pay because they know nothing will ever be done to them. It's really sad that our laws are set up like this.
Oh, I know! Being a bill collector was THE most frustrasting job! check out www.budhibbs.com
He spends his life suing debt collectors that are just trying to get the deadbeats to pay. (granted some collectors go to extremes)
The bride and groom that owe you won't pay until they have a civil judgement show up on their credit report, and they want to buy a house...
i posted this on another thread, but you can take the check to the persons bank, or you can call the bank. tell them that a client of theirs gave you a check and you need to check on the funds. they will tell you whether that person has enough money in their account to cover the check or not. if so, then you can go ahead and cash it right then and there, and they'll give you cash in hand. if they say no, this person doesn't have the funds available, then call the person, and let them know that there has been a mixup of some sort and they need to check with their bank to clear it up. play it off as a simple mistake, but tell them that you will be cashing the check the next day...if they wish, you will accept cash instead, but if you do cash the check the next day and the funds aren't available, they will incur fees....this usually gets them on in there in a hurry.
They open & close accounts from what we can find out. It seems as though banks would research a person's "track record" before taking them on and letting them open yet another account. The check they wrote to me came back as nsf, they wrote a check to another bakery in town for another wedding cake since I wasn't going to provide it for them and when that one came back it was on the same account, but now a closed account. I took them to small claims court, the other bakery took them to criminal court, they never showed for either hearing. When the judge was hearing the other bakery's case, he asked who their "witness" was with them in court, he thought at first maybe I was one of their employees who had taken the bad check. Imagine his surprise when I said I owned the other bakery in town and was there on their behalf because same people they were suing had done it to me also a month prior.
I pay 1.5% and 18 cents per transaction I think. Whatever it is, nobody else can beat it. those guys are always coming in trying to get me to change cc processing companies, they look at amy statement and tell me I have a great deal!
I take checks all day long! i would much rather they pay with check or cash! Who wouldn't? but everybodies using a debit card these days (not me...)
I've had two bounced checks out of hundreds! One, I waited a couple of days and took it to her bank and they checked to make sure it would clear and then cashed it. The other I didn't even know had bounced until she came in with her statement and paid it in cash. It was for $5.80, plus she padsi me $3.00 to cover the fee my bank charges.
I live in a small towm though, maybe that is why I haven't had any probs!
Remember the Seinfeld episode when he was on the "Wall of Shame" at a local market and his Uncle Leo saw it and called his folks? I've seen plenty of those at bakeries, salons, bookstores, etc.
I saw that episode! My favorite episode to quote though is the "you want me to get it started?" one.
I don't think that I would have a "wall of shame" in my shop, but I haven't had a problem..