Help!!! Decline Check Payment

Decorating By ApelilaRains Updated 26 Aug 2011 , 1:55pm by kimmisue2009

ApelilaRains Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 2:01pm
post #1 of 29

I made a cake for a lady and she paid via personal check. However a few days after depositing the check, it was declined. Now I've been playing phone tags with her and I still haven't received payment! What can I do now??? Accept it as a loss?

Your advise is greatly appreciated. BTW the cake was $200.00...... icon_mad.gif

28 replies
JamAndButtercream Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 2:22pm
post #2 of 29

Hi,
God I hate these people! icon_mad.gif

$200.00???? Don't accept it as a loss! I would pester this woman until you get YOUR money, did you have an address for her? If you did try and go and see her, phone her, email her, everything, she will probably get so fed up in the end she'll give you the money........ wow I'm really annoyed!

Seriously though don't let her get away with it, say its the money or ask for your cake back! icon_wink.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 2:25pm
post #3 of 29

Send her a certified letter requesting payment, plus any fees your bank charged you when the check bounced. Give her a certain amount of time, specified in the letter, to pay you. Two weeks would be reasonable. If she doesn't pay you, report her. Who you report her to will vary by area...I live in TX and it's the district attorney's office for the county, but it might be different somewhere else.

You can find some example letters here: http://www.ckfraud.org/faq.html

knlcox Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 2:32pm
post #4 of 29

I would call her and scare her a bit. Tell her she has a certain amount of time to pay you in cash or you will file a civil suit against her. In the end, if you do file a lawsuit it may cost more, but threat of it may scare her enough to pay.

jason_kraft Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 2:34pm
post #5 of 29

Try having someone else call the customer as your "business manager" and politely but firmly inform her that payment (plus the NSF fee) is required immediately. Alternatively your "business manager" could show up at the customer's house with the same request. Usually this will be enough to elicit payment, if not give them a deadline of 7 days or so before the case is turned over to the district attorney.

nhbaker Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 2:45pm
post #6 of 29

Not sure what the rules for bad checks are in your area but most often it is a crime and can be reported to the police.

check this: http://www.ckfraud.org/penalties.html

I would try calling again, leaving a firm message like "if your payment of $XXX ($200 + fees) is not recieved IN CASH by me by such & such, then I will be forced to report this to the local authorities".

matthewkyrankelly Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 2:58pm
post #7 of 29

Go to her bank where the check is drawn. Ask if there are enough funds to cash the check. They have to tell you.

Go on Friday. You can cash the check before she writes out mortgage etc.

If there is not enough this Friday, go next Friday - in case she gets paid bi-weekly. If you know anyone else where she works, you can find out when they get paid.

We had someone short us on a $1700 check. They kept less in the account so we couldn't cash the check. We deposited $100 cash in their account.(No law against it!) Then we immediately cashed the $1700 check. We lost $100 instead of $1700. Person was irate that we beat them at their own game.

Last ditch - contact the sheriff's office. They'll tell you how to swear out a complaint.

Ashleyssweetdesigns Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 3:12pm
post #8 of 29

Im so sorry that happened to you. Def report it to the police if you cant get the money from them.

You should change your policy! If someone pays by check never do anything unless you have cashed that check first. If you do last minute orders then only except cash for those cakes.

xoxoemilyrae Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 4:33pm
post #9 of 29

I've never had this happen to me with a cake, but I had it happen with my apartment. I signed the lease, but then my boyfriend asked me to move in with him. So I advertised and found a guy that was going to take over the lease for me. My landlord was perfectly fine with it, but when they transfer leases, they also tranfer deposits so the new guy had to give me my deposit. We all agreed perfectly fine. My boyfriend's brother is actually a lawyer so he drafted a contract for me as well that basically said you will pay me $XXX by this date. The date came, and I got nothing. Called and he said I'd get it on Friday. He's already living in my apartment by this time. Friday comes so I sit outside the apartment in my car until he comes outside. I confront him and he says his grandma died and he spent too much on flowers. $400 on flowers?! I don't think so.

Anyways, I sent him an email first stating I need to be paid IN FULL by such and such a date. And attached a read receipt. He read it, never gave me money. So I sent a certifed, hand-delivered, has to be signed for letter stating the same. $XXX due in full by CASH by such and such a date. Nothing happened. So I took him to civil court. I won obviously since I had a contract. And his brother actually ended up paying me + court costs.

This is in Ohio. I'm not sure what state you are in, but I same could probably apply. I never actually took my case to the police, though I'm sure you can do that as well. In Ohio, civil cases can be somewhat enforced. (If you don't pay the court can take possession of your car, tv, etc. And sell them to pay for your settlement.) I know alot of states don't have anything really enforceable so I'd recommend going to the police before a civil suit.

Either way, DO NOT brush it off as a loss. What this woman did is ILLEGAL. Theft by deception.

jason_kraft Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 4:46pm
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewkyrankelly

Go to her bank where the check is drawn. Ask if there are enough funds to cash the check. They have to tell you.

Go on Friday. You can cash the check before she writes out mortgage etc.



FYI, if the check is written to your d/b/a business name, you'll need a letter from your bank confirming that you are in fact the owner of your business account, otherwise the customer's bank won't let you cash the check.

Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 5:13pm
post #11 of 29

This happened to me last summer on a $500.00 order...I phoned...numerous times and basically said if I didn't have the money by such and such a date..I would call the police cheque fraud unit..Yes..in this city we have one...It took about 2 weeks of running around and re-calling but the woman sent me a certified money order plus the extra $35.00 bank fee for NSF cheque...and a card and box of chocolates stating how sorry whe was icon_redface.gificon_redface.gif ..Her son picked up the cake and didn't have cash(Which I stated from the beginning to come with)Silly me should have never released the cake but felt sorry for them icon_rolleyes.gif ...STUPID ME....anyways...she was furious with her son because she had gave him the money and I guess he spent it thumbsdown.gif ...in the end I got my money but what a hassle...Never again!!I will collect a deposit from now on...

cakesbycathy Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 5:14pm
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoemilyrae

This is in Ohio. I'm not sure what state you are in, but I same could probably apply. I never actually took my case to the police, though I'm sure you can do that as well. In Ohio, civil cases can be somewhat enforced. (If you don't pay the court can take possession of your car, tv, etc. And sell them to pay for your settlement.) I know alot of states don't have anything really enforceable so I'd recommend going to the police before a civil suit.




Actually this is not true. My husband has had a civil judgement against someone for 3 yrs now for the amount of $15,000. We have never seen a penny.

olleharr Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 5:31pm
post #13 of 29

I agree to check back with her bank. I have had to do this for another business of mine. It takes some extra work but at least you have a chance of getting the money.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 5:34pm
post #14 of 29

You may never see the money, but report it anyway.

This is why I require payment 4 weeks before the event date. 4 weeks is long enough for anything fishy to happen and give you time to remedy it before you make the cake. Anything after that has to be cash unless I know you personally. Never wait until delivery/pick up to accept final payment.

Just hound her... once or twice a day by phone and email. You don't want to venture into the realm of harrassment, but you do want to be a thorn in her side. Give her an option to make it right by certified letter so you know she received it and via email and phone. She doesn't make right? Report her.

madicakes Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 5:36pm
post #15 of 29

Here in my county in PA we can go to the police regarding bounced checks. We are required to send a certified letter demanding payment within a certain time (here at the rental company I work for we allow 10 days). After that time we take a copy of the letter we sent, the return receipt showing it was claimed (or unclaimed in most cases) and a copy of the returned check to the police department and they will take it from there. It doesn't cost us anything to have them take care of it.

reginaherrin Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 5:52pm
post #16 of 29

I have had a lot of experience with hot checks, never for a cake but for my dads repair shop. You can definitely take it to the police, writing a hot check is illegal and they can and will get arrested for it (I have known someone who was). We were also able to use theft of services since it was a repair shop and are able to file a lien on the vehicle. Not sure where you are but here in Texas you have to have their drivers license number in order to turn it in though (which we found out real fast the first time it happened). Sorry this happened to you. Hope it works out ok.

cakegrandma Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 6:34pm
post #17 of 29

To
cakesbycathy ..... If you have had an award and not been aid you can go back to your attorney and ask he/she to put a lien again his property. Check with the attorney to see how many years it is good for. My daughter did this and the lien was good for 20 years, meaning if he came into money or sold any property she would be paid first then he would get the balance. After 20 years she could renew it if still not paid so you might want to check into this.
evelyn

indydebi Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 6:45pm
post #18 of 29

Agree with jason's suggestion. I had one that was difficult to collect on. So I had hubby make the collection call. (1) He used to be a repo man when he worked at a bank so he was good at these kind of calls. (2) I hate to say it, but many times when they hear a man's voice on the phone trying to collect funds, it lights a fire under them. So get your brother, husband, dad, someone with a deep voice to help you out.

As I recall, hubby used a phrasing along the lines of, "I'm Debi's office manager and she has turned this problem over to me to resolve, so I'm calling to find out when we can expect to get this cleared up." By using the phrase "turned this over to me", it makes it sound like the problem has been elevated to the next level.

BlakesCakes Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 8:41pm
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoemilyrae

This is in Ohio. I'm not sure what state you are in, but I same could probably apply. I never actually took my case to the police, though I'm sure you can do that as well. In Ohio, civil cases can be somewhat enforced. (If you don't pay the court can take possession of your car, tv, etc. And sell them to pay for your settlement.) I know alot of states don't have anything really enforceable so I'd recommend going to the police before a civil suit. /quote]

Actually this is not true. My husband has had a civil judgement against someone for 3 yrs now for the amount of $15,000. We have never seen a penny.




I had to have a civil judgement enforced in OH about 15 years ago.

Once you have the judgement, you need a lawyer (or a lot of law knowledge) to find personal property in the person's name (homes, cars, businesses, country club memberships, RVs, etc.) as you can and then have the lawyer file liens against that property. The lien is recorded against the property and when the person goes to sell it, they can't do it until the lien is paid. We managed to kill a deal on a $750,000 home--boy, was he ever MAD--until he paid us our $3,000.

It's definitely worth it for larger amounts.

Rae

bakingatthebeach Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 1:23am
post #20 of 29

We have a fraudulent check department at our courthouse. Ive seen it when Ive gone to traffic court. I guess the DA for our county sends a letter to the person who wrote the check stating they can pay them by a certain date or a warrent will be sworn out.

ajwonka Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 1:31am
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Agree with jason's suggestion. I had one that was difficult to collect on. So I had hubby make the collection call. (1) He used to be a repo man when he worked at a bank so he was good at these kind of calls. (2) I hate to say it, but many times when they hear a man's voice on the phone trying to collect funds, it lights a fire under them. So get your brother, husband, dad, someone with a deep voice to help you out.

As I recall, hubby used a phrasing along the lines of, "I'm Debi's office manager and she has turned this problem over to me to resolve, so I'm calling to find out when we can expect to get this cleared up." By using the phrase "turned this over to me", it makes it sound like the problem has been elevated to the next level.




Interesting! Filing this tactic away but hope i never have to use it! Thanks!

cakestyles Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 2:32am
post #22 of 29

OP, I hope you're able to recover the money owed to you.

Please, going forward...change your payment policies so this doesn't happen to you again.

fondantgrl Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 3:29am
post #23 of 29

Small Claims CourtMaximum $$ you can sue is $5,000..

Please don't be a Mother Theresa, a martyr or a hero, this is business.. You delivered, therefore you should get your money..
If you know where she works or live, pay here an unannounced visit and then tell her infront of her co-workers and friends, if you'd rather go by the "do gooder" or "Mr. Nice Guy" approach at first..

Good luck to you, which ever way you prefer.[/u] thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 3:32am
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by fondantgrl

pay here an unannounced visit and then tell her infront of her co-workers and friends,



You might check local laws in your area re: debt collection to see if "bothering" or "harassing" someone at their place of employment is legal.

You dont' want to get into trouble on that end. I know from conversations with my (previously employed as a collector) husband, that he couldn't tell neighbors, friends, coworkers, etc., WHY he wanted to talk to the person ... just that he needed to get a hold of them.

fondantgrl Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 3:44am
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by fondantgrl

pay here an unannounced visit and then tell her infront of her co-workers and friends,


You might check local laws in your area re: debt collection to see if "bothering" or "harassing" someone at their place of employment is legal.

You dont' want to get into trouble on that end. I know from conversations with my (previously employed as a collector) husband, that he couldn't tell neighbors, friends, coworkers, etc., WHY he wanted to talk to the person ... just that he needed to get a hold of them.




I did not say "yell and scream" or make a scene.. People are actually allowed to speak to one another w/out screaming and in a non angry manner.

indydebi Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 5:09am
post #26 of 29

neither did I. All i know from hubby (and from others here on CC who work in the collection field) is that usually you can't even leave a message with a co-worker of "Please ell her I need her to pay this bill caused by her bounced check." One CAN say "Have her call me, please", but airing dirty laundry to others is a no-no in many cases.

An employee can get a reprimand from a supv for conducting non-company business during business hours, which now puts the person's job in jeopardy, which puts the collector at risk for a lawsuit.

Just exercise caution is all I'm saying.

scp1127 Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 7:36am
post #27 of 29

Cakesbycathy, the courts only give you a judgement. Like grandma said, you must act on the judgement. You have to find which personal property is owned by the signer, go to the courthouse and file the paperwork to have personal property seized, or to have the wages garnished/bank acct seized.

Turning it over to an attorney will only get you so far on small accounts. You are better off enforcing it yourself. In our area, you can take cars, TV's, kid's video game equipment... just not beds, kitchen table and chairs... the necessities.

But you have to go to the courthouse and post a bond that will cover the cost of the seizure. That amount will be added to the judgement. They then have about 30 days to pay the judgement or the property is sold at police auction, proceeds to you.

cakesbycathy Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 1:41pm
post #28 of 29

The person who owes us money does not have any property in her name. No house, no car, etc. She cannot hold a job, so we can't even have her wages garnished. Trust me, we have tried to collect.

kimmisue2009 Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 1:55pm
post #29 of 29

I still wonder why someone who cannot hold a job thinks they should have a $200 cake. I work hard and I don't get $200 cakes.

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