These #*+^&! banks and rent checks! - Posted by Long Beach Ed

Posted by Hugh James on June 11, 2001 at 13:36:34:

Hooray for you Stacy. We do almost exactly the same thing. First bad check - for any reason - they pay all the fees including ours. Next one and it’s over…money orders only. And we make this part of the lease.

These #*+^&! banks and rent checks! - Posted by Long Beach Ed

Posted by Long Beach Ed on June 11, 2001 at 09:05:36:


Anyone who has done business with banks for a length of time have been burned by their check clearing policies. As a landlord, from time to time I have tenants who either can’t keep a checkbook or passes a bad check.

Typically, when I suspect a bad check, I call the bank to confirm if the money’s in the account. Now, several banks, Citibank, Apple, etc. will not do this, or charge a userous fee. To add insult, they are charging $100 for a letter of protest.

We also have problems with banks bouncing checks thirty days after they “cleared”. I even had a bank pull $1500 from my account for an out of state check sixty-five days after it was deposited.

Anyone with solutions?

I’ve considered demanding bank checks, money orders, credit card slips for back up, etc, but I have high-end rentals and most people are great and perfer not to miff them.

I’ve gone so far as to open accounts in tenants’ banks just to cash their checks.

No check guarantee service, like Telecheck, will guarantee a rent check.

This is driving me nuts. These good folks in good places, but a bad check written on a rotten bank is a nightmare!


Re: These #*+^&! banks and rent checks! - Posted by Jim Locker

Posted by Jim Locker on June 13, 2001 at 10:45:46:

Yeah, well how about this one.

A couple weeks ago my banker calls me and tells me my rental account is overdrawn. They are going to cover the checks, but they are going to soak me.

I immediately pull up the checking account (it is computerized - part of my software package) and I told him “no, my account is not overdrawn. Have any of my deposit items bounced (ie bad rent check)”. He told me that none had.

So, a few days later I get my statement, and the checks.

It seems that my bank honored a photocopy of a check that was forwarded to them by another bank. They paid to a stinking PHOTOCOPY!!!

Now, I wrote that check last December, and it cleared last January, and I had it in my files. So it had been submitted twice, once as a photocopy.

So I took the photocopy to the bank and said “what’s this about.” They said “well, sometimes we pay those, if the original check is destroyed.” To which I responded; “You mean THIS original?” and dropped it on the counter.

Banks in general are getting worse and worse.

Re: These #*+^&! banks and rent checks! - Posted by B.L.Renfrow

Posted by B.L.Renfrow on June 11, 2001 at 23:09:50:

I have been hit with that too (twice recently) where the bank disallowed a check some 30+ days after it had been deposited into my account, and presumably cleared. And one of them was written on a bank just a few blocks away!

I protested mightily, but to no avail. To add insult to injury, since I don’t keep excess funds in that account, some of my OWN checks then bounced as a result of the bank having pulled the funds out of the account unexpectedly.

I don’t have any good solutions either. I do require cash or certified funds after the second bad check, figuring anyone can make a mistake, but this is getting ridiculous.

At least the local banks don’t give me a hassle (yet) about confirming funds…but whether they’re still there when the check FINALLY shows up is another story!

Brian (NY)

Re: These #*+^&! banks and rent checks! - Posted by Stacy (AZ)

Posted by Stacy (AZ) on June 11, 2001 at 12:01:53:

“As a landlord, from time to time I have tenants who either can’t keep a checkbook or passes a bad check.”

To address this problem, and expanding what Bud said, for my contract for deed sales I have a clause in the contract that states after the first returned check, the buyer must use certified funds for the next six months. After the second, they must use certified funds for the remainder of the contract. There’s a $25 charge for every returned check, as well. I don’t care if they are “high end” or not. Getting their bills paid is their responsibility, and I’m not going to make it my problem.

This doesn’t address cases where the returned check is the bank’s fault, and not your tenant’s. But those cases better be rare, or you’re banking at the wrong place.


Re: These #*+^&! banks and rent checks! - Posted by Wayne Carpenter

Posted by Wayne Carpenter on June 11, 2001 at 11:41:51:

Ed – Sorry to hear you’re having such trouble. There was a sentence in your post I didn’t quite understand and would appreciate an explanation. It read: “To add insult, they are charging $100 for a letter of protest.” What kind of letter of protest are you talking about?

Also, I would be interested to know a little more about the definition of “high end rentals”. Are you talking $2,000 - $3,000 per month or what? Can you recommend the high end side? I have two rentals now at $1050 and $746. The latter should be about $1,000, but the tenant has been there 10 years and never gives me any trouble and always pays on time (should I raise his rent?).

Sorry to be so long with this. Thanks for any input.


Re: These #*+^&! banks and rent checks! - Posted by Tom

Posted by Tom on June 11, 2001 at 10:29:55:

This won’t solve all your problems. I live in a small town, and when I get checks, I simply drive to the bank in question and cash the check, then deposit the cash to my bank.

Re: These #*+^&! banks and rent checks! - Posted by Bud Branstetter

Posted by Bud Branstetter on June 11, 2001 at 09:38:39:

The bad experiences I’ve had are direct deposited personal checks that don’t clear. I call up the automated phone line and the check has been deposited. You don’t check if was also debited shortly thereafter. In a couple days you get the returned check and letter. I keep enough in the account so that it hasn’t been a problem. My lease also says there is a charge for returned check and after the firstbad check they must use certified funds.

The only suggestion is to use a smaller bank with overdraft type protection.

service levels in banks seem to worsen in June - Posted by Anne-ND

Posted by Anne-ND on June 13, 2001 at 17:58:30:

…when all the new college grads get put on teller status. Recently in three different banks I’ve seen remarkable carelessness on the part of the teller- they don’t even read the name on the check to see if it matches, or look to see if it’s been signed. Very disturbing, actually.


Re: These #*+^&! banks and rent checks! - Posted by Mike Schmidt (IL)

Posted by Mike Schmidt (IL) on June 13, 2001 at 10:53:42:

Simply pathetic! But HEY, if your lucky they will send you a free toaster for all your troubles.

Re: These #*+^&! banks and rent checks! - Posted by Long Beach Ed

Posted by Long Beach Ed on June 11, 2001 at 15:51:49:

Thanks for the replies. Yes, once these clowns bounce a check it’s over. Certified funds from then on.

I just find the banking institutions more and more oppressive in the manner in which they clear checks.

I wish I was in a small community where a bank would cash a check. They woun’t do it here without an account in that specific branch.

When a bank disallows a check 60 days after they cleared it, then pulls the money from my account, the drafter could be long gone.

When I have to go to the district attorney to collect on a bad check, and the bank requires $100 for a letter of protest to say they disallowed the check, it is one pain in the neck.

The latest scam is a 15-business-day-hold if total deposits for the day (even if on local banks) exceed $5000.

Yes, the answer is to keep a large balance, or better yet, to hold checks against a savings account. The problem with this is the potential for fraud as the tenant then has your account number. New York generally does not prosecute this stuff without some fight.

As information, my one bedroom apartments rent for about $1500. And yes, I do make the payment the tenant’s problem. I just wish the banks were more cooperative.