Returned Check

Business By Wendy M Updated 13 Apr 2015 , 7:53pm by MBalaska

Wendy M Posted 11 Apr 2015 , 6:51pm
post #1 of 30

I had a large cupcake/ cookie order and the customer paid her deposit with a credit card. That was fine. However, she  paid by check for the balance when she picked up her order. Well the check bounced. Grrrr. I called (she did not pick up) and left a message. I also emailed her an invoice for the balance and returned check fee. Have heard nothing!  The amazing thing is she lives in the same town as I do and it's a small town. Has anyone dealt with this?  What do you do?  My bank told me they tried twice and both times it was returned. 

29 replies
Gingerlocks Posted 11 Apr 2015 , 7:39pm
post #2 of 30

Eesh, I'm very sorry that happened to you. There really are only 2 things you can do: 1. hound her until she pays up (which I know you are already doing) and 2. never ever accept personal cheque's  again. 


I don't know how much she owes you, so its hard to say if its worth it to take this matter further, but I hope you do get paid. That is a low move on her part; in a small town she's going to get a bad reputation pretty quickly! 

Apti Posted 11 Apr 2015 , 7:45pm
post #3 of 30

That is the price of doing business and not getting payment in full before the order is begun and the oven is turned on. 


Look at this as a business lesson.  If you went to a seminar that cost $200 and they said, "NEVER, EVER start baking until 100% of your money is in hand", it would be worth the cost of the seminar only if you implemented this advice.  Now, you've had your own "seminar" and will:  NEVER, EVER start baking until 100% of your money is in hand. 

"NEVER, EVER start baking until 100% of your money is in hand"
Read more at http://www.cakecentral.com/forum/t/794758/returned-check#post_7592514#Qcc4oisof2HXTJmA.99N
"NEVER, EVER start baking until 100% of your money is in hand"
Read more at http://www.cakecentral.com/forum/t/794758/returned-check#post_7592514#Qcc4oisof2HXTJmA.99

Wendy M Posted 11 Apr 2015 , 8:02pm
post #4 of 30

I guess I will use this as a learning experience. She owes me $60 plus $12 returned check fee, so a total of $72. I've already decided no personal checks anymore, unless it's a family member. Thanks for the advice.

-K8memphis Posted 11 Apr 2015 , 8:37pm
post #5 of 30

check on your state laws first in fact my sister is in california -- i can ask her too if no one from your state pops up -- in some states it goes straight to the state's attorney -- but in tennessee what i did about 8 years ago (and in my job previous to that) was i kept calling the local branch of the bank the check is drawn on -- i would give them the check # and amount and they would tell me if the check would clear or not -- and when chickie got enough money in there i high tailed it down there and got my money -- 

they might charge you something for doing that like $5 -- but it is well worth the satisfaction --

i was a customer service super including credit and collection for a mobile phone company when fully digital came to the u.s. & you had to have stellar credit to get a phone -- before pre-paid came out -- and we did this routinely and i've had to do it in my own businesses -- it feels so good

and because of my job i was familiar with the fair debt collection practice act fdcpa -- so when i take a wedding cake order i chat up my brides and get as many phone numbers as i can, hers, his, her mom and the names of few places of employment -- so i can call them at least once  if need be -- we were carefully trained how to conduct the calls courteously and legally --

once the bride won't answer, or return your call -- call her at work -- just leave a message for her to call you with your name, business name & number -- give a day or two and keep adding a new # onto your call list -- in a couple days call her, her work, the groom -- next call all those and call his work -- next call all those plus her mom -- only give the certain info i said earlier -- never say you are collecting on a debt unless you get to speak to her -- believe me that lights a fire under people like you would not believe -- you never need to loose your cool -- but you do need to stand your ground unless the work place or they themself say to never call them at work again -- then you honor that -- and keep calling the bank and the personal phone numbers you have even if they don't answer -- your calm persistence will literally pay off --

and they will try to skunk you further -- like write you another check and accidentally on purpose forget half their signature or the date etc. but NEVER write on that check -- one time i had the bank call the customer at home and then the bank called her at work because i provided the number and put the smack down on her for being a conniving bitch -- they verified with her that she did indeed write the check and they cashed it for me! bwoowahahahaha but if i had written on that check as chickie had advised me all would have been lost --

so it's up to your due diligence -- it's so worth it -- best to you -- go for it

indydebi Posted 11 Apr 2015 , 8:38pm
post #6 of 30

The feminist in me hates what I am about to say but have a man follow up.   I had a client who I was having a problem tracking down for a bad check.  My husband spent over 20 years working in a bank (and that included being a repo-man), so I asked him to be my "finance/office manager" and handle it.  He got it taken care of in less than a week.  While I will give credit to his experience in dealing with this type of thing, I also think it was because it was a man calling.  (He also used phrasing such as "Debi has turned this over to me to resolve" which really makes it sound like a collection issue ... which it is!)

I really really  hate to imply a man's voice makes it sound more official, but I think it is a factor.  You are "the nice cake lady".  The deep voice on the phone is the manager, is the "collection dept".  So hire your husband, your brother, your neighbor for an hour to try to call her.

Wendy M Posted 11 Apr 2015 , 10:21pm
post #7 of 30

Thank you K8memphis. This is what I found out 

California Civil Code section 1719 allows the payee of a bad check to recover three times the amount of the check, up to $1500, if certain conditions are met. A cause of action under this law may be brought in small claims court, if the claim does not exceed $10,000, or in any other appropriate court.

indydebi - good idea  Maybe I'll have my son make a call.  However, she doesn't answer her phone  I just leave messages  

craftybanana2 Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 2:45am
post #8 of 30


Quote by @Wendy M on 4 hours ago

Thank you K8memphis. This is what I found out 

California Civil Code section 1719 allows the payee of a bad check to recover three times the amount of the check, up to $1500, if certain conditions are met. A cause of action under this law may be brought in small claims court, if the claim does not exceed $10,000, or in any other appropriate court.

indydebi - good idea  Maybe I'll have my son make a call.  However, she doesn't answer her phone  I just leave messages  

Don't have him call from your phone. If she knows it's you she won't answer. ;)

johnson6ofus Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 7:39am
post #9 of 30

Lesson learned... #1... no checks


Chasing deadbeats= no fun, lesson #2


Least stressful way to get $$$, is as PP said and call the bank each morning to see when she has $$$ in there and go DIRECTLY to the branch to cash it. Then walk away... lesson #3

MBalaska Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 8:06am
post #10 of 30

 

Quote by @johnson6ofus on 23 minutes ago

Least stressful way to get $$, is as PP said and call the bank each morning to see when she has $$ in there and go DIRECTLY to the branch to cash it. Then walk away... lesson #3

wonder what happens when you walk into her bank and the check that she wrote that day bounces?   Does the bank take any action at that point?  Would they actually give you the check writers funds available amount so you can cash it ...... cash is King. 

-K8memphis Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 12:01pm
post #11 of 30


Quote by @MBalaska on 3 hours ago

wonder what happens when you walk into her bank and the check that she wrote that day bounces?   Does the bank take any action at that point?  Would they actually give you the check writers funds available amount so you can cash it ...... cash is King. 


 yes, mb, as quick as the funds are available when any check she wrote is presented the bank gives you the money she (probably) deposited for something else -- it's a game of polite persistent attrition --

oh wait -- you mean if you call and the bank says it's available and then you get there and it's not available? banks usually settle after closing hours so whoever gets there first but yes that does happen sometimes that by the time you get there the money is gone -- you gotta drop everything and fly like the wind -- chances are you're not the only one playing the game with them -- it dissolves into a lot of minutiae how banks decide who to pay first when multiples are presented -- my bank got sued for doing it 'their way' --

cash is nice mb but it robs better than checks unfortunately -- six of one half dozen of another

Wendy M Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 5:18pm
post #12 of 30

On Monday I plan on going to her bank to see if the funds are available. I will just keep doing that until I get the money. I'll just have to eat the fee my bank charged. Yes, many lessons learned here. And yes I don't think I'm the only one she owes money to. It's just amazing to me some people don't bat an eye lash at writing a bad check  I would be absolutely mortified and would be apologizing to the person upside down.

johnson6ofus Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 5:33pm
post #13 of 30

Wendy. Don" t waste time GOING to the bank... all you have to do it call. "I am holding check #XXX drawn on account #XXXX for the amount of $XXXX. Is it good?" If they say yes, then GO. If not, call the next day. And the next, and the next.

Most people deposits paychecks Fridays, Mondays, the 1st and the 15th. Good times to look for cash. Maybe you can make her IRS payment "bounce". (Evil smiley face). 

Wendy M Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 6:04pm
post #14 of 30

Good idea John. Thank you. Love evil smiley faces   Lol

-K8memphis Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 6:41pm
post #15 of 30


Quote by @johnson6ofus on 1 hour ago

Wendy. Don" t waste time GOING to the bank... all you have to do it call. "I am holding check #XXX drawn on account #XXXX for the amount of $XXXX. Is it good?" If they say yes, then GO. If not, call the next day. And the next, and the next.

Most people deposits paychecks Fridays, Mondays, the 1st and the 15th. Good times to look for cash. Maybe you can make her IRS payment "bounce". (Evil smiley face). 


absofrickenlutely (echoing evil smilie face)

-K8memphis Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 8:10pm
post #16 of 30

yes i mean you may have to call regularly for weeks/months -- do it -- expect to have to be patient and persistent, calm and polite -- and update here and let us rejoice with you

Wendy M Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 9:22pm
post #17 of 30

I will K8. Thank you everyone for all the advice and support!

-K8memphis Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 10:58pm
post #18 of 30

know what though, wendy, it also says this,

"If you have further questions regarding available civil remedies, we suggest that you consult a private attorney." http://oag.ca.gov/consumers/general/badchex

so you need to determine in advance if the way we did it in tn is legal in ca and it might be difficult to get an attorney to consider answering your question over a small amount of money 'cause obviously there's nothing it for them -- nothing wrong with that it's just the way it is --  maybe even consider contacting a law student however it does say to contact the police department too --

here's the complete quote that i know you've already seen but anyhow go to the police too as it states -- 

"Writing a check without sufficient funds may be a crime. If you believe you were a victim of criminal conduct, you should bring the matter to the attention of the police department, sheriff's office or the district attorney in the county where the alleged conduct took place.

California Civil Code section 1719 allows the payee of a bad check to recover three times the amount of the check, up to $1500, if certain conditions are met. A cause of action under this law may be brought in small claims court, if the claim does not exceed $10,000, or in any other appropriate court.

If you have further questions regarding available civil remedies, we suggest that you consult a private attorney."


Wendy M Posted 12 Apr 2015 , 11:52pm
post #19 of 30

Well what do you know!  I left another voicemail where I also stated, "you understand that writing a fraudulent check is against the law."  Got an email shortly after apologizing for not getting back to me sooner. Said I could use the credit card she gave me for the deposit. Bing Bang Boom done!  Card went through. Happy now!

-K8memphis Posted 13 Apr 2015 , 12:24am
post #20 of 30

yahoo mountain dew! you go girl! ain't it sweet!

yay -- happy for you!

johnson6ofus Posted 13 Apr 2015 , 1:11am
post #21 of 30

awesome

auntmandys Posted 13 Apr 2015 , 5:16am
post #22 of 30

Hopefully she paid the fee from the bank too.............I had a bride give me a bad check less than a week before the wedding. I was going to take it last minute. Well I had a funny feeling about it the day she paid. (I had obtained her through decidio.com and she acted like the sky was the limit in the lead from the site. But after I talked to her she wanted it cheaper than dirt and set up while guests were there etc. ) I remembered a cake lady telling me to NEVER take it to my bank take it to theirs. So I decided to go to the bank the check was for and the bank told me "I can't cash this" so I went home (not buying supplies for cake) and called and left her a voicemail stating I could not do the cake that her payment was rejected. I later got a call from her grandma begging me to do it. She even offered to shop for ingredients. I still refused. Even after the "Please, this is her first wedding" Well what can I tell you next time pay the cake decorator and don't wait until last minute! lol. People kill me. They try to pull all sorts of things!

johnson6ofus Posted 13 Apr 2015 , 5:20am
post #23 of 30


Quote by @auntmandys on 1 minute ago

People kill me. They try to pull all sorts of things!

Yup! And that is why everyone needs to read these stories and LEARN so each baker won't have to go through it and be burned. 

Gingerlocks Posted 13 Apr 2015 , 1:38pm
post #24 of 30


Quote by @auntmandys on 8 hours ago

I later got a call from her grandma begging me to do it. She even offered to shop for ingredients. I still refused. Even after the "Please, this is her first wedding" Well what can I tell you next time pay the cake decorator and don't wait until last minute! lol. People kill me. They try to pull all sorts of things!

I laughed sooo hard at that "Please , this is her first wedding"....is it just me or is Grandma expecting more weddings to come! 

-K8memphis Posted 13 Apr 2015 , 2:36pm
post #25 of 30

too funny, gingerlocks!

Wendy M Posted 13 Apr 2015 , 4:48pm
post #26 of 30

Exactly!  We all need to learn from each other. So glad I posted about my bad check. The advice, support, and humor was great. In the end I got my money and the returned check fee. Woo hoo. Bakers unite!

-K8memphis Posted 13 Apr 2015 , 5:06pm
post #27 of 30

plus the bounce check fees -- awesome!

and i did check with my sister in california and she says, "We can do the same thing here.  Check if funds are available and then run like a crazy person to deposit."

hahahaha

auntmandys Posted 13 Apr 2015 , 5:43pm
post #28 of 30

Gingerlocks. I know I was just baffled at the comment by grandma. I mean seriously if that's the way you look at it I don't think its time for a wedding yet. lol

MBalaska Posted 13 Apr 2015 , 7:51pm
post #29 of 30

 

Quote by @Wendy M on 19 hours ago

Well what do you know!  I left another voicemail where I also stated, "you understand that writing a fraudulent check is against the law."  Got an email shortly after apologizing for not getting back to me sooner. Said I could use the credit card she gave me for the deposit. Bing Bang Boom done!  Card went through. Happy now!

 

@Wendy M   Whew! Happy Ending.  I love your voicemail

MBalaska Posted 13 Apr 2015 , 7:53pm
post #30 of 30

 

Quote by @-K8memphis on 2 hours ago

plus the bounce check fees -- awesome!

and i did check with my sister in california and she says, "We can do the same thing here.  Check if funds are available and then run like a crazy person to deposit."

hahahaha

 

@-K8memphis  this is very good news for lots of people in business.   

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