What happens when you intentionally bounce a check? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've never bounced a check before. I live paycheck to paycheck. I take money out of the bank, put the money in appropriate folders (ex. "for rent", "for laundry", etc.), and put the appropriate amount of money in the bank whenever I need to write a check, which is usually only rent- most other things I do electronically. I'm not sure what happened- miscalculation on my part, actually lost money, what, but I'm $100 short on rent. If I write a check for $1300, but only have $1200 in the bank, what are the usual repercussions with the bank? Same with rent- if I'm $100 short, what could the possible repercussions be? I've never bounced a check or been short on rent before in my life.

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#2 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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It or any other outstanding checks you have will be returned unpaid and you will incur fees to both the bank and the place you wrote the check to. Those fees can add up really fast too because checks don't come in in the order you write them. If you had three outstanding checks for $50 each and the $1300 cleared the bank first, the next three are going to bounce and you will be paying an extra $50 or more per check in fees plus you still have to make good on the checks which will be sent to a collection agency.

If it is over a certain amount you can go to jail.

ETA: If you haven't written the check yet I would pay the $1200 and find out if you can get an extension on the rest.

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#3 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 06:58 PM
 
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well...I don't know how it works for most banks, but with my credit union, if write a check for 1300 and have 1200 in the bank, they pay the check and charge you a 25 dollar fee.

I've actually done that before, quite intentionally, to avoid paying even higher fees. For example, my former landlord charged a 50 dollar late fee. I'd rather overdraw my account and pay the CU a twenty five dollar fee than pay the landlord a fee that was twice as much.

Of course it's not a rule to live by. But when rent's due on the first and you won't have the money till the fifth, it helps.

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#4 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well...I don't know how it works for most banks, but with my credit union, if write a check for 1300 and have 1200 in the bank, they pay the check and charge you a 25 dollar fee.

I've actually done that before, quite intentionally, to avoid paying even higher fees. For example, my former landlord charged a 50 dollar late fee. I'd rather overdraw my account and pay the CU a twenty five dollar fee than pay the landlord a fee that was twice as much.

Of course it's not a rule to live by. But when rent's due on the first and you won't have the money till the fifth, it helps.
So the bank will pay the landlord the full amount and just charge me a fee?

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#5 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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So the bank will pay the landlord the full amount and just charge me a fee?
That depends. I worked for a bank for 4 years and we had a system that we could check to see if the check would be paid. It was called a matrix. Some people had up to $2000 that the bank would cover for them, others, it was $0. There really isn't any way for you to know that information because we were not allowed to give it out to people.

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#6 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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So the bank will pay the landlord the full amount and just charge me a fee?
Possibly. They used to, but Federal laws have changed recently. I don't know if it effects paper checks, but in effect August 15th unless you opt-in to have them do this with efts they can not legally do it and it will be returned unpaid. Call your bank first and ask them their policy.

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#7 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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So the bank will pay the landlord the full amount and just charge me a fee?
YMMV, but at my credit union, yeah, that's how it works. Your account would be 125 overdrawn.

But then again, my credit union is like financial Disney Land. Once I ran out of gas on ex-h's payday and ran into the CU to get some money...but there was only ten bucks in the account. For some reason he hadn't been paid yet.

I was frustrated and told the teller what was up just to vent, and she looked at our account history, saw that that day was in fact payday, and gave me fifty. It OD the account forty dollars, but it was no big deal because his pay came through that afternoon.

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#8 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 07:16 PM
 
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What happens with your bank when a check comes in and you don't have enough for it depends on the bank policies and whether or not you have overdraft protection.

I bank at 5/3. Not having enough money to cover a check and no overdraft protection is EXPENSIVE. There's a fee of $35 for every item that there isn't enough money for that comes in, and then a daily overdraft fee for every day the account is in the negative of $15 a day.

However, one thing I want to mention....intentionally writing a bad check is illegal. If you haven't ever done it before, it's likely that nothing will happen. But, if your bank just bounces the check and the place you wrote the check to realizes that you did it on purpose, they could go for criminal charges. I don't know all the details of the law, I don't know if there's a limit to how much you have to write bad, or anything like that, but writing a check when you know you don't have enough to cover it is fraud and illegal.
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#9 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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However, one thing I want to mention....intentionally writing a bad check is illegal.
This is what I was thinking. I agree with the pp who suggested giving as much as you can and asking for an extension.

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#10 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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Personally I would check with the landlord to see if you can get an extension in the $100 difference. Unless he insists on behaving the way an <alternate name for a donkey> would then I can't see him turning down $1200 now and $100 in a week or two.

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#11 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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As a landlord, I'd much rather have $1200 on the first and $100 a week or two later than get back a cheque NSF a week after depositing it. My bank charges me $5 when someone else bounces a cheque on me, which tends to make me cranky.

Edited to add that I have much more respect for someone who can be honest about their temporary money problem than one who hands me a cheque that they know damn well might not clear.
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#12 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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Personally I would check with the landlord to see if you can get an extension in the $100 difference. Unless he insists on behaving the way an <alternate name for a donkey> would then I can't see him turning down $1200 now and $100 in a week or two.


We rent through a real estate office and even they have been okay with doing this... because they would rather not deal with the hassle of a bounced check or having the entire check be 2 weeks late

(for what its worth, in our lease we are given 5 days from the day it is due before problems start up... in my former apartment it was 15 days. may want to check on that too)

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#13 of 28 Old 07-31-2010, 09:36 PM
 
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Personally I would check with the landlord to see if you can get an extension in the $100 difference. Unless he insists on behaving the way an <alternate name for a donkey> would then I can't see him turning down $1200 now and $100 in a week or two.
That's how I found out about my CU's courtesy pay program. That same landlord was willing to take a payment that was 50 dollars short...but then wanted to charge the 50 dollar late fee. I went to cash a savings bond to make up the difference and the manager told me about it, then suggested I do it that way. So I did.

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#14 of 28 Old 08-01-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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I own rental property, and I'd rather my tenet be honest and make an almost total payment than bounce a check.

Since you have always paid on time, It would take a pretty cold-hearted landlord to not be understanding.

I only have a problem if a tenet is dishonest (which a bounced check is IMO) or if the rent is repeatedly late or short.

Talk to your landlord about paying $100 in a week or so.

Good Luck

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#15 of 28 Old 08-01-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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If you have overdraft protection it will pay it then charge you a set amount for overwriting. Unfortunately we have had to do that more than once.

 
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#16 of 28 Old 08-01-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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I was short on my rent a couple of times before I left my ex. (It was absolutely mortifying, too...one of the many reasons he ended up being my ex.) I just called my landlord and told him what was going on, and when I would be able to pay the balance. Because I was almost always good for it, he left it go. (Actually...I paid my rent in full both times, I think - but our hydro was in the landlord's name, and we normally paid it with our rent, so I paid the hydro portion late those two times.)

I would much, much, much rather get only part of what someone owed me than have them bounce a cheque on me. I don't know if it works the same way in the US (your banking system is really confusing to me), but if someone writes me a bad cheque, they pay their bank for it, and I pay my bank for it. The fee for me to pay if someone gives me a bad cheque is currently $40.00, so I'd be pretty mad at the person who wrote it.

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#17 of 28 Old 08-01-2010, 12:39 AM
 
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Personally I would pay the 1200 and tell the landlord that you are short the 100 and when you'll be able to get that to them. Will you have any fees from your landlord? You'd need to read your lease on that and see what it says. But as a landlord I would rather have 1200 in actual money right now than nothing (if you give him a bounced check and the bank dosent honor it they wont give him anything until you have ALL of the funds available) And now your talking about banks charging your landlord because they deposited a bounced check. I would be PO"D to be honest and remember when lease time came up or references for future landlords/apts.
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#18 of 28 Old 08-01-2010, 12:54 AM
 
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With my landlord, whether they charge a fee depends on how much you're short by. When we didn't pay our cat fee ($30) our first month due to confusion about what had and hadn't been paid already, they said they didn't bother with late fees for amounts under 10% of rent.

So definitely worth talking to your landlord about it.

Overdrafting at a bank can screw you royally. I've had more than one friend end up more than $100 in the hole because of as little as $5 overdrawn. And I've read stories online of people ending up more than $500 down from compounding fees.
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#19 of 28 Old 08-01-2010, 01:12 AM
 
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i can't imagine a landlord would give you a hard time being 100$ short. as long as you let them know and you tell them a date in the near future you can pay, i would think they would be fine with that. my lease states that i can be up to 5 days late without charge. we occassionally are because sometimes our paycheck isn't placed in there until the 1st or 2nd of the month, because payday falls on a sat or sun and i want to make sure that the money is in our acct before i send a check. i would hate for the person in charge of payroll to make a mistake and it takes a few days to fix. it is a small company and mistakes can happen. however, after 5 days i believe my lease says they charge a late fee of 5% of rent amount which for us would be 36 bucks on a rent amount of 735 per month which isn't so bad and we would not have to deal with banks, bounced checks, ect.

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#20 of 28 Old 08-01-2010, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
However, one thing I want to mention....intentionally writing a bad check is illegal.
See, that's what I wanted to make sure of. I thought that it would only make my credit bad or charge me some kind of fee.

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My bank charges me $5 when someone else bounces a cheque on me, which tends to make me cranky.
Can they do that?! That doesn't seem fair at all.

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Will you have any fees from your landlord? You'd need to read your lease on that and see what it says.
I did. $25 late fee from the landlord and $25 late fee from the bank, so either way, I was gonna be out $25.

Problem solved, for now. My son gave me the last of his birthday money to cover it. I feel like crap- don't know when or if I'll be able to pay him back, seems like every time he gets money, I end up spending it on him, and can't always pay him back- but at least the rent will be paid.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#21 of 28 Old 08-01-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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Problem solved, for now. My son gave me the last of his birthday money to cover it. I feel like crap- don't know when or if I'll be able to pay him back, seems like every time he gets money, I end up spending it on him, and can't always pay him back- but at least the rent will be paid.
If you were going to be able to come up with the $100 short for the landlord, why can't you give it to your son?
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#22 of 28 Old 08-01-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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You must be really proud of your son. It's easier not to pay back family members but I hope you can make it up to him.
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#23 of 28 Old 08-01-2010, 09:04 PM
 
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If you were going to be able to come up with the $100 short for the landlord, why can't you give it to your son?
Yes, I agree. You were going to have to either pay the landlord or the bank for going over, so your son should be paid back ASAP as well. Glad it worked out for you.

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#24 of 28 Old 08-02-2010, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If you were going to be able to come up with the $100 short for the landlord, why can't you give it to your son?
I never meant I wouldn't pay back my son. My point was, either way, it's money I don't have, money I'll be taking out of the monthly food money. The bank would just take it out of my account, next time my paycheck comes (direct deposit). My landlord would want it no matter what, whether I had it to spare or not. My son would want it, but he'd be more understanding if I only had a certain amount of money for food this month and I owe him an amount almost as much. Sucks, but he'd rather get $20 this month and the rest later, than the whole amount this month and literally live off bread and water this month, know what I mean? Of course I pay my son back as soon as possible- I feel horrible taking money from him in the first place- but he's "with" me, and the bank or the landlord or bill collector are "against" me, know what I mean?

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#25 of 28 Old 08-02-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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True, your son can take $20 each month for 5 months. Can I suggest, if it is at all possible, that you give him a bit more? Like $25 each month or even just an extra $10 on the last month.

I've totally been there where that wouldn't be possible, mind you.
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#26 of 28 Old 08-02-2010, 07:36 PM
 
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Per TAO Guidelines, I'm moving this to Frugality & Finances where $$ questions go.

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#27 of 28 Old 08-02-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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$25 late fee from the landlord and $25 late fee from the bank, so either way, I was gonna be out $25.
Glad it's working out. Sorry about your son. I know you are doing the best you can.

For the record though - IME banks ALWAYS charge the overdraft fees that they say they will, but landlords don't always charge the fee, especially for smaller amounts. Short the landlord a little, rather than writing a bad check.

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#28 of 28 Old 08-02-2010, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For the record though - IME banks ALWAYS charge the overdraft fees that they say they will, but landlords don't always charge the fee, especially for smaller amounts. Short the landlord a little, rather than writing a bad check.
Good to know. Hopefully, I'll never find myself in this situation again. Still haven't found out what happened to that $100. Driving me crazy a bit.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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