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Old Sep 23, 2007, 08:30 PM   #1
MBHockey
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Can someone enlighten me about "bounced checks"

I'm just curious...if someone writes me a check, and i cash it....but the other party doesn't have enough funds to cover the amount...who gets screwed? Do i still get the money, and the bank goes after the person?

Or does the bank say, sorry, there's not enough funds...you have to go get a new check?

I ask because I am figuring out how to get a refund from this guy (whom I've met in person, and know where he lives) and he said he will give me a check. What happens if this check bounces? Do I have to seek legal recourse, or do i still get the money and my bank goes after him?

Just trying to understand the situation
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 08:34 PM   #2
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if you think the person might not have enough funds to cover what he owes you, just refuse to deal with checks. you really don't want to deal with the hassle of a bounced check (i think you get charged, too) either. demand cash, a money order or a cashier's check from a bank. even paypal would work.
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 08:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MBHockey View Post
I'm just curious...if someone writes me a check, and i cash it....but the other party doesn't have enough funds to cover the amount...who gets screwed?
Depends on the payer's relationship with his or her bank, but if in doubt, don't accept a cheque, or wait until it has cleared.
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 08:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MBHockey View Post
...

Or does the bank say, sorry, there's not enough funds...you have to go get a new check?
for the most part, that's how it works........his bank might fine him, you could complain to the police about his having knowingly written you a bad check, stuff like that, but the bank sure isn't going to give you the cash if the check is bad.
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 09:07 PM   #5
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I've had this happen one time and I can assure you that the bank will take the money back out of your account. I got really screwed because I deposited a several hundred dollar check (I was realy sure it was a good check, stupid me), then went out and spent the money on things. Well, the check wasnt any good, so the bank took those funds back out of the account and then all that spending I did... yep, all those transactions bounced. Plus I had to pay a TON in fees. In fact, the fees almost added up to the amount of the bad check.

Unless you are sure the check is good, try to get the money some other way. Its just not worth the extra hassle or potential extra cost to you.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 09:11 PM   #6
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Just my 2 cents.
I hope that's cash.
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 09:17 PM   #7
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My roommates check bounced once, and *MY* bank (SunTrust) charged me an $8.00 service fee. I guess that's how much it cost the teller to stick the bounced check in an envelope and mail it to me. :shrug:
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 09:22 PM   #8
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I would highly recommend not taking a check from somebody unless you truly trust them. If he insists on writing a personal check, I guess you could meet the guy at his bank (whatever the bank on the check is) and try to cash it while he's still around, as if you cash it at his own bank they'll instantly know whether it's good or bad.
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 09:42 PM   #9
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You can always call his bank and see if it will be good before you try to deposit it. Alternatively, you can go (try to) cash it at his bank, then deposit the cash in your own bank.

It used to be that you could float a check for a couple days (write a check on Wednesday against your paycheck on Friday) but with the streamlining between banks now it's a lot harder. We don't even take checks per se anymore at my business; it's all done through EFT.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 03:44 AM   #10
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Your bank may charge you for cashing a bounced check. I always takes personal checks and cash them at the bank it was drawn on if at all possible. Then deposit the cash into my account.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 04:09 AM   #11
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Fort Dunlop cheques are a ball-ache. Don't accept cheques unless you trust the person.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 05:59 AM   #12
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If they write their debit card number on the back of the cheque doesn't this guarantee the cheque for the amount they have a cheque guarantee for on their account?

Also can't you just ask the bank to represent the cheque. You couldn't be charged, it's the guy who will be charged.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 06:29 AM   #13
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Also can't you just ask the bank to represent the cheque. You couldn't be charged, it's the guy who will be charged.
The bank will automatically represent the cheque once (twice?), if there are still no available funds it will bounce again and you'll both be charged.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 06:35 AM   #14
sananda
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i'd just ask for cash if i were you. if the cheque bounces the bank won't pay you. of course you can sue on the bounced cheque itself (at least you can in the UK) but that's just a hassle.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 07:07 AM   #15
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How on earth can the bank justify charging you for receiving a cheque that bounces?
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 07:14 AM   #16
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How on earth can the bank justify charging you for receiving a cheque that bounces?
it's a nice earner! these sort of charges keep banking free for the rest of us
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 07:19 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by garybUK View Post
If they write their debit card number on the back of the cheque doesn't this guarantee the cheque for the amount they have a cheque guarantee for on their account?

Also can't you just ask the bank to represent the cheque. You couldn't be charged, it's the guy who will be charged.
Sorry, those are both mistaken assumptions.
If there isnt any money in the account, he could write Paris Hilton's home phone number on the back and it still won't be honoured.

Your bank will charge you anywhere from $5 to $25 as a service charge, AND summarily remove the face value from your account.

From their point of view, you could just as easily be complicit in the scheme as a means to get your hands on the money for a few days before the worthless cheque came back.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 07:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sananda View Post
it's a nice earner! these sort of charges keep banking free for the rest of us
That's just bizarre to me. In the UK we're all busy taking our banks to court for unfair charges, and winning (being charged £30 for going over the overdraft limit etc, argument being that the charges are excessive, given that the banks are only allowed to charge for the admin costs, covering their other costs and making money by charging interest)
I had a friend give me a bad cheque by accident once, I got a letter from the bank with the cheque in it, with a void stamp on it, and he got charged £40. I didn't get charged anything, and there would have been hell to pay if I did!
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 07:29 AM   #19
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I can't remember the last time I used a cheque to pay for anything. Never mind receiving one…

I think it was when I ordered the Christmas turkey from a farm a year ago… I think even they have changed to electronic ordering by now…
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 07:30 AM   #20
sananda
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Sorry, those are both mistaken assumptions.
If there isnt any money in the account, he could write Paris Hilton's home phone number on the back and it still won't be honoured.
garybuk was writing from a uk perspective. though not strictly relevant to this thread, a cheque guarantee card in the UK is a promise by the bank to pay the money if it within the amount stated on the guarantee card whether there is money in the account (or sufficient overdraft facility).
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 07:34 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by CorvusCamenarum View Post
You can always call his bank and see if it will be good before you try to deposit it. Alternatively, you can go (try to) cash it at his bank, then deposit the cash in your own bank.

It used to be that you could float a check for a couple days (write a check on Wednesday against your paycheck on Friday) but with the streamlining between banks now it's a lot harder. We don't even take checks per se anymore at my business; it's all done through EFT.
This is exactly what you do. You call or go to the issuing bank and check funds first. I would simply call the second you get a check in hand if cash isn't made available to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by technicolor View Post
Your bank may charge you for cashing a bounced check. I always takes personal checks and cash them at the bank it was drawn on if at all possible. Then deposit the cash into my account.
Your bank will most likely charge you. I got charged $25 when a payroll check bounced. I had checks against it and one check bounced. Having never bounced a check before I was devastated. I fought to get the charges waived but I still had that one bounced check on my record.

Go to the issuing bank and cash it. Take the cash and go to your bank. Best advice yet.

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Originally Posted by DrAtheist View Post
How on earth can the bank justify charging you for receiving a cheque that bounces?
They just can. They consider having the ability to call the issuing bank and check funds before you cash it enough of a reason to charge *you* for not doing your due diligence. It's BS.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 05:41 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by MBHockey View Post
I'm just curious...if someone writes me a check, and i cash it....but the other party doesn't have enough funds to cover the amount...who gets screwed? Do i still get the money, and the bank goes after the person?

Or does the bank say, sorry, there's not enough funds...you have to go get a new check?

I ask because I am figuring out how to get a refund from this guy (whom I've met in person, and know where he lives) and he said he will give me a check. What happens if this check bounces? Do I have to seek legal recourse, or do i still get the money and my bank goes after him?

Just trying to understand the situation
I don't think anyone mentioned yet the fact that in the USA writing a bad check is a form of fraud. You can take him to small claims court (fill out a few forms at the courthouse) and when he doesn't show up (they never do) you get a judgement awarded to you and his employer gets a nice letter from the court garnishing his wages to pay the debt. If this situation is all local, then all you need to do if he writes a bad check is send him a certified letter stating that his check was bad, he has 24 hours to pay you in cash or you will take him to court. You are really guaranteed to win this one UNLESS he is self-employed, and then it is practically impossible to garnish wages from someone. Just speaking from experience.

The other thing I've had success with is calling his bank and telling them you have a check written for $(the amount) and you are wondering if it will be able to be cashed today. Varying success on that.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 05:52 PM   #23
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I thought you had to INTENTIONALLY write a bad check for it to be considered fraud?

Also, if the check is for services rendered (vs. selling an item), the rules appear to change too (in court, that is). I watched a city attorney get her butt handed to her on a case where she was trying to get someone who wrote a check for city taxes that bounced. Since the check wasn't for anything "material", the judge hollered at her and dismissed the case.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 05:58 PM   #24
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Try writing "without recourse" right under your endorsement.....
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