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thefed 04-15-2007 09:08 AM

I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Well, in over a year, I've never been written a bad check...and finally got one recently. It's only $100, BUT it's definately worth my while to pursue...especially for this customer.

The guy is a cop, and thinks his S$# doesnt stink. He was rude, was a no-show for our first appointment, and in general...I just didnt like the guy. It was for an air duct cleaning service (he paid the rest in cash)

I have already made several phone calls which went un-returned. I sent a regular letter, then a certified letter. I also sent a letter to be hand delivered by a courier (friend of mine, its free). Its been about 60 days since the check bounced.

So, of course I will file a small claims case, win...and then have fun trying to collect. But in the meantime, I'd like this pursued criminally. The check was written on a closed account, which in many areas demonstrates criminal intent. The police said to just file a report with a copy of the check....which I plan on doing next week if he doesnt respond. They didnt sound too thrilled to be hearing about a $100 check. Wait til they find out he's a cop in a neighboring community...


What else can be done, if anything? I know the guy has some rental properties and some $$$ in general...but I think the rentals are in his partner's name.. I know the police wont pursue this as he is a cop himself... you know they like to stick together.


Any advice, suggestions, or input? I know is 'only' 100 bucks, but that's food off of MY table and money out of MY SONS college account...and I'm not letting it slide...even if it costs me to take him to court and I dont collect...it's principal now.

newguy88 04-15-2007 09:12 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Oh man it would be fantastic if you could get a lien on one of his properties , like his HOUSE that you cleaned!

thefed 04-15-2007 09:12 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by newguy888
Oh man it would be fantastic if you could get a lien on one of his properties , like his HOUSE that you cleaned!

It's in his wife's name!

JPatrick 04-15-2007 09:16 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Doesn't your DA have a hot check program? In Texas our DA was hell on wheels.
Give her a hot check and sooner or later you could pretty much count on seeing your money plus a reasonable amount for your expenses.

On the other hand, there are a few businesses in Arkansas that will put your name on a roadside sign if you bounce a check with them :o Very classy :P

Scrapr 04-15-2007 09:30 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
fed

For $100 you can't really do much. Small claims is about the limit. Some people are just crooks. Even cops. How much time did you spend on the job? 2 hours? That is about the limit I would have for collecting.

Get in the habit of allocating some percentage of your sales to Bad Debts. 1% is a good starting point. Last year ours was .8%. Sometimes it's more. Rarely less. I find a lot of inner peace just writting it off and makikng a note on the account that we wrote off x amount.

Once in a while they come back asking for more. That is when the Karma circle come back around.

thefed 04-15-2007 09:42 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Scrapr
fed

For $100 you can't really do much. Small claims is about the limit. Some people are just crooks. Even cops. How much time did you spend on the job? 2 hours? That is about the limit I would have for collecting.

Get in the habit of allocating some percentage of your sales to Bad Debts. 1% is a good starting point. Last year ours was .8%. Sometimes it's more. Rarely less. I find a lot of inner peace just writting it off and makikng a note on the account that we wrote off x amount.

Once in a while they come back asking for more. That is when the Karma circle come back around.

I'm not quite there yet....no inner peace froma write-off. I want to make this guy pay

haha 04-15-2007 09:54 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thefed
I'm not quite there yet....no inner peace froma write-off. I want to make this guy pay

Bad karma can come from annoying a cop. Consider carefully before you continue.

Ha

Warthog 04-15-2007 10:15 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Just a suggestion, but I'd consider finding out the email addresses of his entire chain of command from his immediate supervisor all the way up to the Mayor/Comissioner (I'm not sure where the 'top' is the police structure).

Then send a tactfully worded email explaining your situation and putting the officer's ethics in question. If he's unwilling to settle a bad debt, what else is he willing to do? In otherwords attack his 'public trust' position. You'll get paid...then probably arrested :o


JPatrick 04-15-2007 10:18 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HaHa
Bad karma can come from annoying a cop. Consider carefully before you continue.

Ha

True enough. If the cops personal ethics are such that he will give you a hot check and then ignore it, then who knows what else he would do to screw with you.
BTW, not all police departments stick together to the point that stuff like this is OK, in fact in many, this guy would be in a serious bind. But then, there is still the bad karma issue as Ha notes.

BUM 04-15-2007 10:24 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 


This is a tough one. Nobody likes to play Dudley-Do-Right or Don Quixote more than I. Most of my paragraphs end with, "but its the principle of the thing!".

This creep knows the game. If he choses he can bother you more than you can bother him (unless you're completely nuts). So notify the credit bureau and mess up his rating a bit, then snap out of it.

Its kinda like skiing. It feels so good to take those boots off.




FIRE'd@51 04-15-2007 10:28 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thefed
It's in his wife's name!

I'm not sure that would prevent a lien, so long as the work was done on that house.

Scrapr 04-15-2007 10:37 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
not sure that would prevent a lien, so long as the work was done on that house

You are correct. The lien goes to the property, not the person.

How deep in do you want to go chasing $100.

In our area it is $17 to file Notice of a Lien. Must be done within 7 days of starting the work. Then if no pay, $250 to perfect the lein. That usually gets attention.

If the work was done several weeks ago maybe fed should offer to do some more work there? LOL Then lien him.

But ultimately I would spend very little time or money on this.

KB 04-15-2007 10:59 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Have you gone into his bank and asked about cashing the check? I did that once with a check that bounced to our Boy Scout Troop. The bank checked the account and cashed the check on the spot.

Or you can redeposit and try and see if the check is good now. If it isn't, both of you will get charged fees..again.


thefed 04-15-2007 11:28 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KB
Have you gone into his bank and asked about cashing the check? I did that once with a check that bounced to our Boy Scout Troop. The bank checked the account and cashed the check on the spot.

Or you can redeposit and try and see if the check is good now. If it isn't, both of you will get charged fees..again.


It was written on a closed account...

KB 04-15-2007 11:50 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
I didn't see that it was a closed account on your original thread. I thought it was a bounced check.

I would pursue this with the local law enforcement then. I'd be tempted to call the local news station if they have a Call line where they help people who have been wronged. Or call a department head where he works.

A lien would be better than a small claims judgement. The collection part of a judgement might be an issue.

calmloki 04-15-2007 11:51 AM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Hmmph. Sure do notice it when someone like a cop or a loudly proclaiming Christian does one ill. I've been stuck by both. Good to recall that those people are people too, and equally falible and prone to bad action. I liked the thought that that bad debt represents unjust enrichment of the bad check passer. If they are enriched at your expense maybe you should just 1099 them and let the IRS send them letters in a few years. Never have done that, but I like the idea, and delayed payback appeals to my evil side. Now if you are predominately good, maybe thinking that you did right, they did wrong, and letting it slide off your back is the best way to deal with it. I do that with a fair # of ex-tenants - not that I'm predominately good, just that it costs me too much stress to chase and squeeze.

chinaco 04-15-2007 12:47 PM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
My opinion: Chalk it up to a loss and move on. Be glad it was only $100. Just be sure to pass along to other trades/service people you know that the guy does not pay.

Confronting him directly, unfortunately, is not worth the risk. If he has low integrity, he is more likely to try to get even with you in some way. It is unfortunate that we have that type of person in law enforcement.

You can take solace in the fact that someday he will trip up and Scr3w himself. I am not one that believes in Karma, but I do believe that criminals (even opportunistic petty criminals) eventually do themselves in.

bbbamI 04-15-2007 02:03 PM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
When folks have problems with anyone in our police department, they meet with Internal Affairs. If that happened here and the bad check was not taken care of immediately, the officer would be fired.

simple girl 04-15-2007 02:13 PM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thefed
It was written on a closed account...

Just an FYI. I recently had a problem where my checks bounced - due to the bank's error! I was told by a friend who received the check back (how embarrassing) that she was told the account was closed. It certainly wasn't! In fact, when I called my bank (credit union), they told me all was fine with my account. It took several days and several more calls and bounced checks before my credit union figured out that their intermediary bank had mistakenly listed our account as closed. We never figured out why, but suspect it may have had something to do with us reporting a lost MAC card and asking for that account (card) to be closed.

Our bank sent us an official letter to send all of our creditors and paid all our late fees, etc. etc.

Anyways, just keep in mind that strange things do happen. If he's not calling you back, though, I would doubt that an honest mistake has been made.

clifp 04-15-2007 03:08 PM

Re: I was written a bad check, and need some help
 
I'm torn on this one, of course based on the principal of thing a cop writing me a bad check would really get me POed. However, cops have cop friends and I'd wouldn't want to get them upset with me for a $100. I think small claims would be the best route. If you do go talk his supervisor, internal affairs etc. while it is possible you could shame into action, and I think is more likely that you would make an enemy for life... On the other hand, this cowardly response is probably what bad cops count on. :-\


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