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Monday, August 4, 2008

Someone Wrote Me A Hot Check


Wow y’all, for the first time ever I was written a bad check last week and to be quite honest with you I don’t really know how to react. How I realized I had been written the bad check (by one of my husband’s lawn care clients) is that I noticed a couple debits to my deposit account with the threatening tag “RETURNED ITEM.” To be truthful, at first I thought it was my mistake, that somehow I had written the bad check accidentally (I have not made this error for several years). Perhaps, as a woman, I inherently blamed myself first before getting all the facts. Then, after remembering that I haven’t written any checks in probably over a month (we pay all our bills online), I concluded that there had to be more to the story…

So, off to the bank I go! I ask the teller to explain these two charges--$60 and $7—to me. Like I didn’t already know, what did “RETURNED ITEM” mean? That is when he gave me the depressing news: One of our clients had written a bad check to us for work my husband had already performed.

You bet I am ticked now. I am angry because of the time my husband wasted being away from the family mowing a lawn for free twice and I am irate that a person can be so callous to write a bad check knowing the work was already performed. How rude!

So, I grab my husband’s cell phone and look up her phone number. I decide to take no chances and call her from a different phone hoping that she will answer because she doesn’t recognize the number. She answers. I play sweet. I tell her it is probably a miscalculation on her part and that the check she wrote my husband came back returned and that she owed us that amount plus the $7 fee our bank charged us.

She apologizes and says that she doesn’t know what happened, and that she has “Overdraft Protection” on her account. I take her word for it and tell her that I will meet with her Monday (today) at her work to get another check, plus the fee amount. I believe she genuinely was surprised, apologetic, and wanted to make things right, however I have one lingering question:

Why write a check knowing there are not enough funds in your checking account to cover the dollar amount?

I have a feeling this happens everywhere more than I would like to know.

4 Comments:

Anonymous said...

There are several reasons why people write "hot" checks. A lot of time checks are written because people try to "float" money. Unfortunately, today's technology typically does not allow this occurance any longer unless you live in smalltown USA.

Shanna said...

Girl, seeing that i work i a bank this happens every second of every day. It is unbelievable. Also very pathetic. Besides, overdraft protection is supposed to be a priveledge for errors not a line of credit..LOL
I love reading your daily blogs!!!

Allie said...

Update: The customer did give me a check today for the amount she owed us plus the amount my bank charged me. You bet I called her bank to do a funds verification this time!

Shanna, that is so true about Overdraft Protection being a priveledge for errors and not a line of credit!

I wish people would quit trying to "float" money, because they are sinking the rest of us...

Vanessa said...

I think that some people have more than one account... one for bills, one for shopping, etc... and sometimes they get mixed up and end up with less in one account than they planned. That happened to Matt and I when we first got married; which is why we ended up joining our accounts.

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