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City lost my Tax Payment
Old 02-18-2018, 06:45 PM   #1
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City lost my Tax Payment

I mailed 2 property tax bills and a water bill to the city in the same envelope, and the water bill and one of the tax bills was cashed on Feb 1st.

The other tax bill went missing. I called and they said it hadn't shown up, to wait a week and write another check, (which I did) and they wouldn't charge me a late fee

Called the bank and they wanted $35 for stop payment. City Hall said if they receive it only they can cash it and they will return to me, and not to pay the $35 as it's a waste of money...

Should I just pay the $$?
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:22 PM   #2
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Will your checking account always have enough money to cover all the outstanding checks including a missing one if it shows up?
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Old 02-19-2018, 01:46 AM   #3
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I wouldn’t pay it. The only possibility is that the city later finds the check and cashes it. In that case, you’d be able to get a refund from the city, plus overdraft fees if any. For the most part, stop payments are not guaranteed. I’ve seen several slip through and paid, and the bank isn’t responsible.
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Old 02-19-2018, 03:39 AM   #4
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You know the cheque arrived at City Hall, because it was in the envelope they opened. I would just tell them to keep looking for it. One of these days they will find it and cash it.

This reminds me why I pay my bills electronically. I have confirmation numbers, and I take screenshots. I can prove the bills were paid, unlike a mailed cheque.
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:03 AM   #5
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I pay all my bills electronically, and occasionally via US Bank Bill Pay.

The last time I checked, stop-payments were free with bill pay.

Do not pay the stop payment fee, or add a stop payment. Worse case it gets cashed. Pay the taxes again, so you avoid a late fee. If the city finds the check, they may not apply the payment anyway, unless they take payments ahead of time.
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:56 AM   #6
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I certainly would not pay the STOP payment fee unless you made the check payable to cash or something like that. If it is payable to the city and they cash it twice then they will need to credit both to your account. I would think the city would correct your account if needed when presented with two canceled checks, but if they are difficult there should be legal remedies.

The only caveat I will give to this advice is if you have cashflow issues and paying a 2nd tax payment would cause a personal hardship.

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Old 02-19-2018, 05:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livefree View Post
I mailed 2 property tax bills and a water bill to the city in the same envelope, and the water bill and one of the tax bills was cashed on Feb 1st.

The other tax bill went missing. I called and they said it hadn't shown up, to wait a week and write another check, (which I did) and they wouldn't charge me a late fee

Called the bank and they wanted $35 for stop payment. City Hall said if they receive it only they can cash it and they will return to me, and not to pay the $35 as it's a waste of money...

Should I just pay the $$?
Do you always carry a balance in your checking account large enough to cover the duplicate tax payment? If not, and that check is found and deposited a couple of months from now, it will bounce, and might cause other checks to bounce as well, causing other problems that you will be liable for.

The lost check is the fault of the municipality, but becasue they will not guarantee to destroy it if found, the problem is, unfortunately, yours. A stop payment now is the only way to prevent that.
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Do you always carry a balance in your checking account large enough to cover the duplicate tax payment? If not, and that check is found and deposited a couple of months from now, it will bounce, and might cause other checks to bounce as well, causing other problems that you will be liable for.

The lost check is the fault of the municipality, but becasue they will not guarantee to destroy it if found, the problem is, unfortunately, yours. A stop payment now is the only way to prevent that.
+1 - What I was trying to suggest also in my last paragraph, but MichaelB's explanation is clearer.
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:26 AM   #9
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Thank you for the replies I pay all other bills electronically, and will now start paying property taxes this way.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:27 AM   #10
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Never mail more than one thing in an envelope for payments - even to the same payee. They auto-rip open, extract, and move on. Your "missing" payments were very likely shredded with the envelope.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:47 AM   #11
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Never mail more than one thing in an envelope for payments - even to the same payee. They auto-rip open, extract, and move on. Your "missing" payments were very likely shredded with the envelope.

Good advice. Never considered this and is probably what happened.
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