Bad Check Advice... - Posted by Jennifer(NH)

Posted by Mark R in KCMO on November 10, 1998 at 13:07:24:


There is only one solution, that is to call the Sheriff and start a proceeding against this person, also report this to all the credit agency that you can.

It is unfortunate that the previous landlord prefered to make this someone elses problem instead of geting the word out on the tenant.

This is not a time to work though problems, it is a time to provide the results that the tenant has earned.

It’s too bad that you are the one who has to take on the responsiblity for this tenant, however, I know that your desires to do the right thing, to go beyond short sightedness, and selfishness that the previous landlord have shown and to establish a record for this tenant that you would have liked to had access to.


Bad Check Advice… - Posted by Jennifer(NH)

Posted by Jennifer(NH) on November 10, 1998 at 09:20:39:

I am in the process of evicting a tenant and have a bad check from this tenant. It took a little wheedling, but I was able to determine that the account is still active.

I’m trying to decide what to do. Should I …
1.) continue calling the bank to determine if lesser amounts are available and at that point deposit the necessary funds so that I can cash the check thereby retrieving something out of this bad check or
2.) should I just keep calling the bank everyday in hopes that the tenant, by accident, puts money into the account at which time I run to the bank to cash the check.

If I go the deposit route is there any chance I would lose the money I deposit so that I can cash the check?


Consider contacting ChexSystems and Telecheck… - Posted by raelynn mitchell

Posted by raelynn mitchell on November 11, 1998 at 14:19:32:

as they are the “bad check writers” info bureau. They will make it extremely hard for this person to do this again, and once listed in ChexSystems (unsure of Telecheck’s results) they will make it so that whenever this individual tries to write a check for ANYTHING in which a merchant has a check-approval machine (almost every chain store I can think of) within the next five years their system will tip the merchant to decline the check. Also, the person writing the check will not be able to open a bank account for the next 5 years. It will motivate them to contact YOU about honoring the bad check.

Also, in some states a person writing a bad check can be liable for up to 3 times the check or more, something you can sue them for in small claims court. Seeing as how this is a tenant, a bad check should be justification for eviction as well if they are not expedient in making good.

If you want to create checks drawn on that account, consider visiting and checking out VersaCheck Pro. Costs about $79.00, is great not just for this occasion, but also for saving money by printing your own bank checks. Need paper and don’t like the quality of the paper that comes WITH VersaCheck? (there are over 300 sheets/samples that are usable right there in the box with the software) Call Deluxe, the big check printing company, as they don’t tell everyone, but they can and will sell you the check paper blank. You can get the same check paper your banker can get. VersaCheck Pro puts the MICR code at the bottom of the check and all the other info you will need to create your own checks and in a format that your bank can cash. Also check out a program called VersaCheck Web Commerce, as the box advertises it can print a bankable check WITHOUT the signature, using special wording in place of the signature that is acceptable to the bank. This is how people take checks over the internet without your signature on the check.

Sorry to JP and Terry if I sound like a commercial for these guys (no, I don’t work for them, just found their products very useful), but I feel it will definitely help you in your situation.

Don’t want to order this software over the internet? I got mine at the local Staples store, and Office Depot sells VersaCheck Pro too–the CDRom version for $49.00 if you can find it.

Re: Bad Check Advice…penalties in NH - Posted by Mr Donald

Posted by Mr Donald on November 10, 1998 at 22:11:56:

In your neck of the woods (NH), here are the following penalties by statute:

§ 638:4 Issuing Bad Checks.

IV. Issuing a bad check is:

(1) A class A felony if the face amount of the check exceeds $1,000;

(2) A class B felony if the face amount of the check exceeds $500 but is not more than $1,000;

(3) A class A misdemeanor if the face amount of the check does not exceed $500 and the actor has been convicted of an offense under this section within the previous 12 months;

(4) A class B misdemeanor in all other cases.

Re: Bad Check Advice… - Posted by Gary Huron

Posted by Gary Huron on November 10, 1998 at 18:34:29:


Read the book “The Landlord’s Troubleshooter” by Robert Irwin.

Good luck,

Re: Bad Check Advice… - Posted by Darren (MA)

Posted by Darren (MA) on November 10, 1998 at 12:20:20:


Since you’re evicting the tenant anyway, will you be able to recoup some of this money from their security deposit? Can you use a security deposit for this purpose in NH?


Re: Bad Check Advice… - Posted by Mr Donald

Posted by Mr Donald on November 10, 1998 at 11:05:31:

Depending on the amount, and your jurisdiction, a bad check is usually treated as a FELONY offence.

You may have grounds for a criminal prosecution, if your local prosecutor agrees.

As for collecting, if you know when the deadbeat is normally paid, and roughly how much, rush over to the bank and certify or cash that check immediately.

If the teller tells you there isn’t enough, play the deposit game with the teller until there is. Usually they’ll smile when you’ve hit the spot, so to speak, as it’s not illegal to deposit funds into anyone’s account - it’s the withdrawal that is rightly restricted to the account holder or a negotiable instrument drawn up by same or on the account of same.

Which reminds me of a juicy, delicious way you can make your deadbeat suffer return check fees continually, until they make good on their debt to you.

Simply get one of those “check-writing” programs, that also allow to create bank drafts. Since you have the signature on file, and the permission to tender a negotiable instrument to collect your debt (because you have an NSF check), just write up a draft (or series of drafts) totalling the amount you’re owed.

Submit them judiciously, and wait for the result. If you collect your debt, then it should more than pay for the software. If not, the deadbeat will suffer NSF charges on his account until the matter is cleared up - presuming that you submit a draft EVERY DAY until the deadbeat gets the idea that you intend to get your money.

Sounds far fetched? You may think so - but I couldn’t possibly comment further :slight_smile:

Advantages and Uses? - Posted by Ed Wachsman

Posted by Ed Wachsman on November 12, 1998 at 05:51:50:

I’m sure there are lots of reasons to consider using the check writing software. I just am not aware of them. What are the legitimate reasons to use it?

Your post seems to imply that a check could be written to cover some or all of the funds owed. Is this really legal to do?

Question on Versa Check - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on November 11, 1998 at 18:10:29:

We use VC Pro and love it. Do you find a problem with the check scanners at some of the stores? The scanners don’t seem to like to read the VCPRO checks and have to hand input them. Would that DELUXE paper stock solve the problem? Thanks if you have any answers. Where did you find the Versa Check Web Commerce? Haven’t seen that in the stores.

Re: Bad Check Advice… - Posted by Jennifer(NH)

Posted by Jennifer(NH) on November 10, 1998 at 12:28:52:

Unfortunately, the bad check is the security deposit. The tenant moved in only a month ago…and yes I had done my homework on this one and was lead to believe I would have a good tenant. Live and learn


Re: Bad Check Advice… - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on November 10, 1998 at 13:41:04:


I like Mr. Donald’s advice. Get proactive with this deadbeat and make him pay. Is this guy on any federal or state assistance. You might be able to boot him out of the program if you do not get your rent.

Eventually if you can’t collect, send in a 1098 or is it a 1099 to the IRS forgiving the debt. This is income in the eyes of the IRS so he will owe taxes that he didn’t state on his 1040. A letter to this affect to the deadbeat might get him to pay you before you forgive the debt to the IRS.

Web Commerce @ Staples So Cal…$49.99 - Posted by raelynn mitchell

Posted by raelynn mitchell on November 12, 1998 at 22:16:01:

I don’t think the paper stock makes much of a difference on the scanners not reading the check. My reason for obtaining paper from Deluxe is that the paper stock is heavier (better quality–I used to work 4 Hammermill Papers…paper issue mostly a personal preference issue) and the perforations are better for detaching the stub from the check. The micro-perfs. on the VersaCheck checks bothered me because every now and then it doesn’t tear right on the fold, and a couple of times I’ve torn the check and had to reprint it.

I don’t use the checks for anything but bill paying, so the scanner issue really isn’t an issue for me, however.

Re: Question on Versa Check - Posted by Bob - CO

Posted by Bob - CO on November 11, 1998 at 18:38:23:

My understanding is that the problem with the check scanners at may be the ink you are printing with.

Regular checks are printed with a special component in the ink that makes them scan better. Metallic?

I think that Laser printers may be better than the rest, but Versa Check should be able to tell you what works best.

Re: Bad Check Advice… - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on November 10, 1998 at 21:40:29:

NEVER take a personal check on the deposit or first month’s rent. Watch the movie “Pacific Heights” because those landlords didn’t verify the funds either. Also writing bad checks is usually considered a misdemeanor. Call the police and get them arrested if you can.

Re: Bad Check Advice… - Posted by Ted(OK)

Posted by Ted(OK) on November 10, 1998 at 14:53:06:

Thats why I insist on cash or money order for the security deposit. If they have to pay with a check they do not get any keys until the check has cleared the bank.

Re: Bad Check Advice… - Posted by Darren (MA)

Posted by Darren (MA) on November 10, 1998 at 12:34:04:


It’s amazing how these weasels can still manage to sneak their way in even though you’ve done all the proper screening. (I’m assuming you’ve done all the proper screening. I’ve read a lot of your posts in the past and you really seem to have it together in terms of landlording). I hope things work out for you.


VersaCheck and check scanners - Posted by raelynn mitchell

Posted by raelynn mitchell on November 12, 1998 at 22:25:20:

All the banks are converting or already have converted to optical code recognition instead of the MICR, which means the magnetic ink issue will soon no longer matter.

Thanks - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on November 11, 1998 at 19:04:38:

That’s what I thought it might be. I know they used to have a special ink. We use a laser and an inkjet and both have problems being read.