Returned Checks

Business By deb12g Updated 13 Dec 2009 , 4:27pm by CookieMakinMomma

deb12g Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 5:45pm
post #1 of 24

OK, I've been in business for 3 1/2 years, and never had this happen before. I had a check that was returned in October (regular customer). I wrote a letter, with copy of the returned check, received a money order from her with apologies within a week.

A couple of weeks ago, got another check - from a DIFFERENT customer, but a regular customer and one of my first! I sent a letter, along with copy of returned check. No response. I'm close to the MIL, and hear they are redoing floors, buying furniture, going to Cozumel, etc. Have another friend whose husband has a business, & they owe her money from 2 yrs. ago.

I'm afraid I got taken. Will send another letter early next week to see what happens.

23 replies
-K8memphis Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 5:51pm
post #2 of 24

Call around--and find out the particular laws in your state and parish and proceed to take action step by step. You can get your money if you are persistent.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 5:58pm
post #3 of 24

Reminds me--I go to local wholesalers for my store--one of them had copies of the bounced checks posted on thee front door. That'd sure be a deterent to getting repeat offenders yes!

TexasSugar Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 6:46pm
post #4 of 24

Find out the laws and what legal steps you can take, and then send her another letter, where she has to sign for it. Inform her that you need the payment in another form than a check or you will take legal action against her.

Next time she orders a cake from you don't accept a check from her.

vww104 Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 8:03pm
post #5 of 24

Call your local police dept to find out what steps you can take, writing bad checks is fraud and is against the law.

cindycraig Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 8:26pm
post #6 of 24

This is maybe a bit extreme....but there's a liquor store close to me that used to post their hot check superstars on their big sign- in big black letters right under the sale item of the week. I bet it deterred hot checks...I thought it was a hoot! Sorry you got the shaft...Have you got a big ol' sign???? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

BooBooKitty Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 8:28pm
post #7 of 24

I had this happen before (not over a cake) and once my bank tried twice to cash her check. They sent me a letter and I was then able to take that letter and the paperwork to her bank and cash the check.. After that I started cashing customers checks at their own bank..

Good luck, I hope it works out for you..

-K8memphis Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 8:39pm
post #8 of 24

I'll tell what we do in 10C (ten C= TN) We call the bank the check is drawn on and see if anyone's made a deposit and if yes hie thee down to their bank and collect. Works great.

I mean if the account is closed you gotta find another way.

Calling her at work is fine until she tells you not to call anymore. Call her at home. You have to be cordial and not be pushy or call too often but you need to ramp it up and get on the phone. It gets the job done eventually.

Someone is stealing from you.

Just steel yourself to not get upset and take it one step at a time.

Mensch Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 8:42pm
post #9 of 24

People have no shame!

jodibug0975 Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 8:45pm
post #10 of 24

Not in business myself, but I think it is time to re-do your contract to have payment due 14-21 days before the cake... to give time for the check to clear before you turn on the oven!

Deb_ Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 8:50pm
post #11 of 24

It could be an oversight on her part and I hope for your sake that it is and that you will get the money.

It's a shame that a few bad people make all of us small business owners have to change our policies.

I no longer accept personal checks for final payment....even though my final payment is due 4 wks before the event. It's cash or certified check only.

I had a couple of bad checks and sadly never heard from the person again. For me it wasn't worth the expense of taking these people to court so I ate it.

Good luck I hope you can resolve this soon.

cakesdivine Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 8:59pm
post #12 of 24

Being burned by check writers is why I do not accept checks any longer for any of my businesses. I adopted this policy about 8 years ago and will never go back to taking them. We have a big sign at our studio that states Cash and Credit Cards ONLY! And our Cc payers pay via autodebit. Cash payers must pay for each semester in whole. I will not chase down tuition or cake payments...Cake policy is 50% or $300 which ever is greater on large orders balance due 14 days prior to event, and if your cake is under $400 you pay the entire balance when you place the order, no payment as contracted, no cake. I no longer have collection issues at the studio or suffer the snowball effect of having someone write me a bum check and cause me to have NSF or overdraft charges. I personally only use cash or my debit cards to pay bills. The only check I write is for rent for tax purposes.

SugarNSpiceDiva Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 11:59pm
post #13 of 24

I don't have a business, but I plan to one day.

Why accept checks at all? I know I'm not a pro at the business aspect, but I would think if I'm not big enough to accept credit cards, then it's cash or money order only. When I lived in an apartment, they didn't accept checks. If we didn't want to pay in cash, then we got a money order. At least with money orders, you don't have to worry about it clearing right?

With our family, since we started doing online bill pay, we don't even have checks anymore. We think of checks as the "old way to pay." Plus, its really easy to get into the habit of writing checks and not paying attention to how much money you actually have. With cash, money orders or debit card, you can only pay if you have the money in your account to pay.

When we finally do get our business started, we won't be accepting checks. There's just too many hassles and too many things that can go wrong.

Not saying anything bad about people that do accept them. But with issues like this, it just doesn't seem worth it IMHO.

deb12g Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 4:45pm
post #14 of 24

Well, I went to her bank today with the paperwork my bank gave me. They gave me a money order for the amount. Never got a response from the customer.But, at least I got my money.

kathys90 Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 5:04pm
post #15 of 24

Good for you! That happened to me once. I had waited to be paid the day of the wedding (bride, 2nd marriage, forgot her checkbook). Then the check bounced while I was out of town....made her bring cash and pay the fee my bank charged me.

Needless to say, I don't do that anymore, and she was removed from my client list! icon_biggrin.gif

BooBooKitty Posted 11 Dec 2009 , 7:43am
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by deb12g

Well, I went to her bank today with the paperwork my bank gave me. They gave me a money order for the amount. Never got a response from the customer.But, at least I got my money.




Oh thats great.. I am glad you got your money and what a shocker it will be to her when she sees you did actually got your money.. icon_biggrin.gif I am so glad the bank was able to give you the paperwork you needed. thumbs_up.gif

JenniferMI Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 7:35pm
post #17 of 24

Small claims court. If they don't pay, sometimes even if you threaten, it will be enough to make them pay up.

You worked hard, you deserve to get paid.

Jen

-K8memphis Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 7:48pm
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by BooBooKitty

Quote:
Originally Posted by deb12g

Well, I went to her bank today with the paperwork my bank gave me. They gave me a money order for the amount. Never got a response from the customer.But, at least I got my money.



Oh thats great.. I am glad you got your money and what a shocker it will be to her when she sees you did actually got your money.. icon_biggrin.gif I am so glad the bank was able to give you the paperwork you needed. thumbs_up.gif




Well I mean the only paperwork I've ever needed is the bounced check. Yeah and I mean the person has to have the money in there too. Maybe you clipped her mortgage payment or the light bill or certainly the Christmas shopping will take a hit but that's her bad business.

I'm glad for you though. But all I ever needed is the client's bouncer.

BooBooKitty Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 8:29pm
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

Quote:
Originally Posted by BooBooKitty

Quote:
Originally Posted by deb12g

Well, I went to her bank today with the paperwork my bank gave me. They gave me a money order for the amount. Never got a response from the customer.But, at least I got my money.



Oh thats great.. I am glad you got your money and what a shocker it will be to her when she sees you did actually got your money.. icon_biggrin.gif I am so glad the bank was able to give you the paperwork you needed. thumbs_up.gif



Well I mean the only paperwork I've ever needed is the bounced check. Yeah and I mean the person has to have the money in there too. Maybe you clipped her mortgage payment or the light bill or certainly the Christmas shopping will take a hit but that's her bad business.

I'm glad for you though. But all I ever needed is the client's bouncer.




I'm not sure, Mabybe it depends on the state. Because my bank told me they would send me the paperwork and that I would need it to take to her bank, and then when I walked into her bank (two times) they asked for the paperwork (both times). I had to visit her bank twice because the first time she didnt have the funds in her account. It was only two pieces of paper. But it had the needed info on it for her bank to give me my money.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Dec 2009 , 2:56am
post #20 of 24

In Tennessee I just called in to her bank every day to see if the funds were available. When a deposit hit the bank I scored! I mean I had to surrender her bouncer though.

I don't know nowadays we don't necessarily get our checks back like we used to either in our bank statements--maybe that's what the paperwork was?

adonisthegreek1 Posted 13 Dec 2009 , 3:21am
post #21 of 24

When someone gives me a check for anything I always go and cash it on their own account, not mine. Someone bounced a check to me and my bank charged me a fee. I didn't know banks even did that since I wasn't the one who wrote the check. I ended up getting all of my money plus fees, because I won in small claims court.

cakemeasIam Posted 13 Dec 2009 , 3:50am
post #22 of 24

i have a dumb question- do any of your local banks let you cash a business check drawn on your clients back account?

when customers write me a check i usually speed to the bank...but can't cash it if it written out to the bakery. anyone else?

gotta love the cash!!! icon_smile.gif

BooBooKitty Posted 13 Dec 2009 , 4:00am
post #23 of 24

Oh K8, you were very lucky.. They wouldn't (grrr) tell me if she had the funds in her account.. They told me I had to physically come into the bank for them to check.. I was so mad, I told them why should I have to burn up gas and drive to town when they could just say yes or no that she had the money in her account.. Policy they said... I asked them if it was their policy to have clients that wrote bad checks over and over again? Since it had been two months that my bank had been trying to cash her check before they finally sent me the info.. CASH CASH CASH is the way to go..

CookieMakinMomma Posted 13 Dec 2009 , 4:27pm
post #24 of 24

For those who think they are too small for credit cards: You can get a free business account with paypal and if you have your customers' email address you can send them an itemized invoice with a link to the secure paypal site and they can use just about any card or even their paypal account to pay you. The money shows up in your account instantly, there's no waiting days for it to clear. If you are willing to pay the modest monthly fee you can upgrade to the account that will allow you to take their credit cards on site. (great for pickup orders that start stuttering on about not having cash on hand.) Paypal is a widely recognized and trusted company so your customers will likely feel more confident using it than other methods.

I have only used it once so far, for someone who didn't realize I don't take checks (hubby's co worker, ugh) and my husband had already brought the order in to work with him. I was able to text him when the money cleared and he was able to give her the cookies a few hours later. It was very convenient and extremely easy to use.

ETA, oh yeah, and after you've had your account for 60 days you get a debit card for your paypal account. I haven't been signed up long enough yet but I can't wait to get mine. It will make keeping business and home money separate even easier.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%