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Old 08-31-2012, 07:17 AM   #21
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Stuff happens, this is no different. What irritates me is the bank gives me 30 days to provide them with notarized documents including affidavits from the intended payee, but takes 10 of those 30 days to tell me. Then the HOA assess a $25 late fee each month, as it considers every month to be late until all payments are up to date. Both of these will be resolved as they should, but it is amazing how much busy work these organizations generate. Having dealt with similar, bigger problems in the past, it is clear that some business difficulty and negative attitude is clearly a strategy to discourage people from pursuing legitimate complaints.
You're right, it shouldn't be that hard.

My reaction would be to fill out the affidavit of forgery for the first check, write another to the HOA to get that up to date, and tell them "I'm not paying a late fee because somebody else screwed up." The bet is would they really go to the bother of filing a lien against the property for a $25 fee?

Your bank then reimburses you for the first check so you're square, and the rest the two banks can figure out.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:33 AM   #22
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I recall depositing checks to my parents' account when they were out of town for 6 weeks many years ago that all I had to do was to endorse it signing my name and write, "For deposit only" and include their bank account number. They gave me some preprinted deposit slips with their name and account number. I did this several times and had no problem.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:10 AM   #23
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What a pain. I suppose it must have been misdelivered, and the receiving business deposited the check without even thinking.
*Boggle*

How can that be? I own my own business, and I certainly don't just blindly deposit any checks that come my way. Every payment is associated with a client account, and without properly processing the check, the client's account doesn't get credited. Morever, many of the payments are for invoices, and have an associated entry in my Accounts Receivable spreadsheet. Finally, every payment has a receipt generated for it. Wouldn't a business notice it was generating a receipt for a client it has no business relationship with?

I'm not buying this excuse. It doesn't make any sense.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:44 AM   #24
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Let me share with you a check forgery incident I know well: Substantial check sent to an investment company did not arrive. Investment company contacted writer who then uttered a stunned, "But it has been cashed!"

Bank discovered that it was cashed at a Los Vegas casino. Casinos have very good cameras so the cops were able to obtain great pictures of both the person who presented the check and the casino employee who cashed it.

When I inquired as to what happened I learned that the check had been made good by the bank and the person who presented the check was found dead in the NV desert. Cops said, "Case closed."

To the best of my knowledge no one figured out how the perp got the check and since the 'case is closed' no one cares.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:47 AM   #25
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*Boggle*

How can that be? I own my own business, and I certainly don't just blindly deposit any checks that come my way. Every payment is associated with a client account, and without properly processing the check, the client's account doesn't get credited. Morever, many of the payments are for invoices, and have an associated entry in my Accounts Receivable spreadsheet. Finally, every payment has a receipt generated for it. Wouldn't a business notice it was generating a receipt for a client it has no business relationship with?

I'm not buying this excuse. It doesn't make any sense.
It makes sense if the bookkeeper is a party to the crime.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:49 PM   #26
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*Boggle*

How can that be? I own my own business, and I certainly don't just blindly deposit any checks that come my way. Every payment is associated with a client account, and without properly processing the check, the client's account doesn't get credited. Morever, many of the payments are for invoices, and have an associated entry in my Accounts Receivable spreadsheet. Finally, every payment has a receipt generated for it. Wouldn't a business notice it was generating a receipt for a client it has no business relationship with?

I'm not buying this excuse. It doesn't make any sense.
Firms use bank lockbox services to handle their checks... all checks that are delivered to that lockbox are deposited and a record is made of it that is sent to the company... the check can be processed and deposited without any human eye looking at the check... so there is no way to check if there is an invoice associated with it....

Now that the check was processed, the data goes to the company to match up with their AR... if there is no match, the money is put in a suspense account for someone to look at later... if they have a lot of these, it could take weeks for them to figure out what to do with the money....

I would say the other problem is that since it was sent by the bank and did not have the OPs name and address at the top, they might have applied the funds to something that was similar... or, they might not know how to return the funds.... IOW, they need to send it back to the bank but do not have any info on the individual who started the process.... SO, a check could have been cut sending the funds back to the OPs banks without his name on it and it is in his banks suspense account....

Many possibilities of errors without some criminal process happening....
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:08 PM   #27
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I quit using checks as much as possible including the electronic kind. Rarely I do need to write one. Recently I wrote one for a painter who painted my home. He went to my credit union and tried to cash it. The check was completely legitimate. However, my credit union tried to call me and when they couldn't reach me right away, left me a phone message and refused to cash the check. The painter was unhappy and tried to call me and left a voice message of his own. I called the credit union and asked them how they could have NOT cashed a perfectly legal check made out to a specific individual who had ID on him? They told me that the check represented an unusual use of my account and that they could delay the cashing for 24 hours. If the painter had tried to deposit it, no problems as the funds could always be reversed if found to be a fraud check.

I do my best to auto pay via my credit card or from an on-line web site where I can control the transaction. With the credit card, I'm only liable for $50 for fraud.

In your case, if it had been me, I would have immediately paid the late payment along with late fee, then submit a request for a refund of the late fee due to circumstances. That way fees don't keep accumulating.

I would also recommend some other method of paying, such as an EFT directly from your account to their account. I do that with my electric bill with a cap set of $200. (since my electric bill is never more than $100)
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:32 PM   #28
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Fortunately, these things do not seem to happen too often. Since it is so rare, it's amazing to me when the players (in this case, the mgmt. co., etc.) attempt to place all the blame/work on the "wronged" individual. We had a CC bill forwarded late to our mainland address. We called the CC Co. who dropped the late fees. We pointed out that we were NEVER late and always paid in full. They agreed.

But when I don't get cooperation (in MichaelB's case - I would consider the Mgmt. Co. most at fault for insisting on late fees) I make certain to cost someone at least 10 times what it costs me. It's easy to do, simply by going up the chain on the phone or in person if possible. I'll spend my free time making them spend their expensive employee time working on the issue while I wait.

I like Lakewood 90712's solution. Sic the police on the bank (or maybe even the mgmt. co. - Who knows? Maybe the mgmt. co. misdirected the check).

MichaelB, since your HOA uses a mgmt. co, I would suggest you take this up with your HOA board. They should be able to put pressure on the Mgmt. co. Mgmt. co.s are a dime a dozen and can be replaced by dissatisfied HOA boards. I saw it happen with my previous condo HOA. Folks became dissatisfied with the Mgmt. co. and the board dropped them like a stoner drops advanced calculus. I think your point is well taken that us ERs (theoretically) have the time to deal with this cr@p. But what do w*rking folks do? Heaven help those with decreased mental functions or without help from relatives or friends. I've heard horror stories of folks losing homes, etc. because of simple mistakes (or outright fraud) that they were unable to handle. Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:56 AM   #29
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I would also recommend some other method of paying, such as an EFT directly from your account to their account. I do that with my electric bill with a cap set of $200. (since my electric bill is never more than $100)

All good points,except:
If the payee doesn't accept electronic funds, the bank will write a check and mail it. Some associations don't accept ETF because their bank charges them to accept the funds.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:08 AM   #30
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I think someone for LE can chime in here in case I am wrong....

For the people who say 'get the police involved'.... for what So far there is no evidence there was a crime involved.... until you know who got the money, why and how, all it is is a mistaken deposit that is a civil matter...

The OPs bank has done nothing criminal... the mgmt company has done nothing criminal... and as I have pointed out a few times, even the entity who has the money might not have done anything criminal....


I will give a worse example than this... my sister had a contractor who did a lot of work on her house... one of the last things she did was pay for a granite counter top for her bathroom... the guy decided to leave and moved to Florida with her money.... the LEO said this was a civil contractual matter...
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:16 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by kombat View Post
*Boggle*

How can that be? I own my own business, and I certainly don't just blindly deposit any checks that come my way. Every payment is associated with a client account, and without properly processing the check, the client's account doesn't get credited. Morever, many of the payments are for invoices, and have an associated entry in my Accounts Receivable spreadsheet. Finally, every payment has a receipt generated for it. Wouldn't a business notice it was generating a receipt for a client it has no business relationship with?

I'm not buying this excuse. It doesn't make any sense.
Here is an example of how some small businesses do not follow your best practices:
A month or two ago I got a late bill with late fee from an appliance repair guy who fixed our refrigerator almost two years ago. The attached letter claimed they never received a payment. I went to quicken and after finding the check number there went to my online bank account and found a scan of check that showed that I had paid online pretty much the same day we received the bill and my bank had mailed out a physical check to this small company, and the company had cashed my check.

I called the company and after a short discussion with their accountant we realized what had likely happened. DW had called the repair guy, so the bill from them had her name on it. DW and I have different last names. While our physical checkbook has both of our names on every check, for some reason the checks that the bank prints out and mails only have the first person's name on them (mine), so the receiving accountant could not make the name connection. Lastly, when entering the billpay info I had ignored to include the invoice number (nor was that requested in the invoice). In any case, the company had no easy way to make a connection between the check and client, but it had not prevented them from depositing the check as soon as they received it. Small companies are often short of cash and I imagine they just go ahead and deposit all the legit looking checks as soon as they arrive and worry about the accounting details later.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:00 PM   #32
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All good points,except:
If the payee doesn't accept electronic funds, the bank will write a check and mail it. Some associations don't accept ETF because their bank charges them to accept the funds.
I wonder why a bank would charge for an EFT? They'll do it once they get the paper check; EFT the funds from the account to the bank. This would cut out the 'middle man' and expedite the payment to the receiving bank.

Heck, these days you can make payments or transfer money via e-mail and deposits via taking a photo of the check with your smart phone.

Many times I pay for things via PayPal and receive payments via PayPal. When I get a payment, I can then go into PayPal and have them transfer that payment to my credit union. Easy=peasy.
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:44 PM   #33
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Occasionally I will receive a late notice for a bill that has already been paid (endorsed and deposited check visible in the online checking account). This happened several times for medical bills (usually something like $10.00 or $12.15 or whatever). When I called the explanation I got was that deposits were done every day but posting of payments was done once a week, creating a window of up to 7 days between deposit and posting.

Not saying this is a good practice, but that is how this one billing office handles their business.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:44 PM   #34
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Technically , embezelment was commited by the depositor , likely without intent , and the OP is the victim.

The police are not going to put Kojac on the case, and nobody is going to be charged. The OP's bank has done nothing criminal, however, they will have to cough up answers of who the item was paid to.

Bank's usually understaff operations departments, who have the people to unravel this kind of mess. They will usually put this kind of thing on the back burner, until a detective from a law enforcement agency (an irritant)calls. An irritant will usually get a big beast or bank in motion.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:00 PM   #35
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I wonder why a bank would charge for an EFT? They'll do it once they get the paper check; EFT the funds from the account to the bank. This would cut out the 'middle man' and expedite the payment to the receiving bank.

Heck, these days you can make payments or transfer money via e-mail and deposits via taking a photo of the check with your smart phone.

Many times I pay for things via PayPal and receive payments via PayPal. When I get a payment, I can then go into PayPal and have them transfer that payment to my credit union. Easy=peasy.
The money in banking is not in the personal account, it is in the commercial account. So EFTs are a money-making transaction for a bank that lets it send your EFT free. There are still costs to EFT, the banks must maintain their systems and adhere to the interbank rules, and audits.

The HOA doesn't have a personal account, they have a commercial one and as such are subject to fees you don't have to pay.

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Old 09-05-2012, 02:17 PM   #36
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I had a PITA bank issue today - albeit different. My mom has a checking account where she is the primary owner and my sister was added as a secondary owner a number of years ago. We walked into the bank together today and mom just wanted to add me as an additional signer so I can write and sign checks on that account if needed when mom is away.

It should have been as easy as adding me as additional signatory to the account.

But not for this idiot bank. They insisted that we essentially do the same paperwork as if we walked in with no relationship with them and wanted to open an account with all three of our names on the account. So mom needs to resign the paperwork (which is a hassle because she has difficulty signing her name other than in the morning) and we need to send it to my sister halfway across the country, have her sign the forms and then send them back to the bank.

If it weren't for the fact that mom likes these idiots and has done business with them for years I would have suggested that if we needed to totally redo the paperwork that she should just move her account to another bank.

I now understand why people hate banks. They have an appalling lack of common sense.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:53 PM   #37
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I am not a fan of multiple co-owners on a senior's bank account. Do you want me to list some of the potential problems?

Sister/you dies, heirs claim an interest in the account;
Sister/you gets divorced, divorced spouse claims the account as assetts in the resolution;
Sister/you is sued, plaintiff leans the account.
I could go on and on...

Can't you just set up multiple authorized signatures?
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:07 PM   #38
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Sorry for the ignorance, but what's the difference between being an account co-owner and an additional signer?
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:19 PM   #39
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The subject of money movement is a growing problem. Amazing that it is not worse than it is, considering the complexity.

The scope of the problem extends far beyond personal banking, and is exacerbated by the division of responsibility within larger organizations. While not exactly the same problem, we had a similar disturbing situation last year. It involved our nursing home insurance. We have paid in, since 1953, a total of about $50,000 (today's dollars). The original company declared bankruptcy and the the policy subsequently went through two more ownerships.
The original policy was written as a single policy with both of our names, same policy number with DW having an "A" designation after her ID. For nineteen years we have sent our payment for both ($2500) to the company in May.
Last year, on the first of July, we received a letter from the insurance company, stating that my wife's policy had been cancelled for non payment.

ASIDE: we have a reasonable expectation because of health, and genes and family history, that a Nursing Home may be a future possibility. ($90,000/yr. here in Il.) Nursing Home Insurance is part of our retirement plan safety net, and we're getting near that time... age 76.

Because the check had been in my name, the entire amount had been applied to my account, even though it was the exact same process (one check) that we had used for the previous 18 years. My account was paid ahead, her account was unpaid.

Three months later, with countless phone calls and letters... and finally letters to the Attorneys General of Illinois and Pennsylvania, it was straightened out. (maybe a few months off our life because of the angst).

One good thing. The insurance company has instituted a new policy of adding a grace period with three different named notification contacts being made when a policy payment date is passed. Considering the probable age and health of the contract owners this will be a help.

Yes... I know this may be off topic, but it exemplifies the far reaching consequences inherent in the movement of money in seemingly simple transactions.

Michael... I hope this works out for you... None of us needs that rise in blood pressure... 'specially when we try to do things the right way.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:17 PM   #40
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I am not a fan of multiple co-owners on a senior's bank account. Do you want me to list some of the potential problems?

Sister/you dies, heirs claim an interest in the account;
Sister/you gets divorced, divorced spouse claims the account as assetts in the resolution;
Sister/you is sued, plaintiff leans the account.
I could go on and on...

Can't you just set up multiple authorized signatures?
That is what we were trying to do, but it seems that they view someone authorized to make deposits and sign checks as being a "co-owner". Mom is the primary owner (any interest will be reported to the IRS under her TIN) and sis and I are secondary owners and can sign checks, etc.

While I understand your concerns, the amount involved isn't all that significant that we would be concerned.
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