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It makes me not want to take any personal checks. And nowadays a lot of banks will not let you call and see if there are sufficient funds to cover a check, so I have pretty much quit doing that.
What do you all do about vetting personal checks?
[edited by: lorax at 5:30 pm (utc) on Dec. 1, 2005]
[edit reason] edited for language [/edit]
2.) You can call banks, and insure that no "stop" has been issued on a check you have received.
Wow- I'm going to ask my accountant about that. How INCREDIBLY fun.
France you can have a little machine by the side of your computor or cash register ( if you are a bricks and mortar ) which scans the check in real time and tells you if funds are there or not ( or if the issuer is a known "kiter".and thus banned from having a check account ) ..or if the check is stolen ...stopping a check is a big no no and cant be done except in writing to the countries central bank " banque de France"..has huge penalties if you cant justify why you want to ..can make you barred from having a checking account for years ..
Plus we can't charge back on our credit cards ..whats paid for from your card is gone ..the goods never arrive ..customers problem ..take action either in the courts or via the police ..
In spite of all this ..I only ever take certified checks , wire transfers or letters of credit ( I write the text ) or cash ..
from France ..
From UK customers I will accept checks ( not company ) with the bank check guarrantee card number to back them.
Rest of the world ..credit cards ..charge backs are very small part of the total ..
I feel like I need to accept checks for those individuals who do not use credit cards (there are some). In one of my niches, it is common to mail in a personal check for payment. I am also intending to expand the mail-order aspect of my business, so checks will become more important.
It turns out I have dealt with this fellow and his mother before. They did something similar a while ago, but I forgot about it, which is my fault. I think they are actually deranged--in a stupid way, not a dangerous way. It actually is a relief to me that it turns out to be them again. They are not my normal customer. But I would still like some better means for vetting checks before depositing them. I have had the experience of getting a $5.00 check that was no good.
Two names were on the checking account, hers and his. Can I report them to a credit agency for non-payment? I have never done anything like that before, but I feel like they need to get some consequences for this stuff. I am sure I am not the only merchant they have done this to.
I really don't know anything about this. I'm just wondering if you can't have someone draw you up some sales terms which say if the cheque bounces that they are liable for a charge of $XXX? Then file a claim against them for the sum if unpaid?
<possibly sexist remark>Since you mention there are two names on the account, try phoning and asking to speak to her. You may get a more sympathetic hearing!</remark>
I actually do have a policy stated on the main page that I charge a fee of $25.00 for every check that is returned. Having that up there has really decreased the number of bad checks I get. I will now put it on the page that people print out to mail in with an order as well.
Just now I got a phone call from a relative of theirs who is a police chief in a nearby one-horse town. He threatened me and called me names. I have decided that I will indeed report this to the credit agencies. I don't even care if I have to pay to do so and if I have to pay to get their SSNs. I would get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
I have written them a nice business-like letter describing the total fees of $50 and asking for payment in 30 days. I guess that is sufficient.
Yes, 30 days is very sufficient in most states. Afterwhich, you can file a judgement (most convenient if they are in the same state as you), report to the credit bureaus, and (if you wish) write a formal complaint with their bank complete with copies of the checks (if you have) and a detailed outline of the situation, including the police relative threatening, etc. BTW, I come from a cop family - you can start formal preceedings against that cop for abusing his position of authority. If this guy is a chief, then call another county police station and ask what they suggest for a course of action (just don't mention this guy's name just in case).
And like other's have suggested, perhaps just start accepting only money orders, certified checks, etc.
Best of luck with this situation.
"If you lose money to a dishonest person like this, ask your accountant about filing a 1099 form declaring the theft of services as income to the thief. When they fail to put this "income" on their tax return, it may trigger an audit."
15 years ago I read an article about this. Seems some groups were filing frivolous 1099s just to get people in trouble with the IRS. For example, a 1099 showing $50 million in income to a political enemy. Some audits WERE created that way.
I too have thought about filing 1099s against professional check scammers. Crime is taxable in the U.S. Bank robbers are required to pay tax on loot. (otherwise crime would be a tax-favored activity)
I once called the IRS on this subject. Needless to say, the agent had never heard of filing a 1099 after a theft. But he did quote the regulations that indicated that a 1099 wasn't appropriate for that situation.
I'm not sure you'd need the SS#. If the amount is big enough, and you had other details such as the address, the IRS would look up the number.
I always thought it was a simple, delicious way to get revenge again those sleazes while adding a few bucks to the U.S. treasury.