Clients check bounced

Hello fellow inspectors.

I’m a newbie to the trade and just had a clients check bounce. Does anyone have any advice or techniques on how to approach the client without making them feel uncomfortable or embarrased?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Call them up or go over to see them and let them know their check was returned for insufficient funds and wait for their response.

In my area, it is against the law to write bad checks so, depending on their answer and action, I may also talk to the county prosecutor and let him handle it.

man that sucks
may be an honest mistake
but if intentional
as a last resort!

fyi: when accepting check it behooves us to at a minimum get DL info and current mailing address.

I have had three bounced checks in six years. Only one have I not been able tro collect. Most times it is an honest error. Be sure and charge them your bank fees also.

If they are uncoperative, I usually will re-deposit their check. If it bounces again, it costs them another set of fees. Yes, I know I have lost $10.00, but sometimes it is worth it. Also, my reports say that in order for my report to be valid, it has to be funded. If anything goes wrong and they have not made good on their check, it voids the reprot.


I would call them up, and just say that you received word from your bank that their cheque bounced, and that you would like to drop over and pick up a new cheque. And them ask them when it would be convient to do so.

You can always file a claim in small claims court. I did once and got my fee, filing costs and lost wages (two inspections at a very high rate). :wink:

I didn’t have a bounced check situation, but I extended credit to a lender and they stiffed me - then they paid me. :twisted:

Doesn’t the PA state police have something set up just for bounced check writers. I believe that they will (or did) approach the drafter of the check on your behalf.

I remember seeing some notices up in a convenient store or something concerning bounced checks in PA and the State Police.

I agree with your post, but it also infuriates me. Why should we have to waste our gas and time to go pick up that check. I have one now where the lady wants me to do that and it pisses me off. I am not the one that bounced the check. She lives 30 miles (round trip) away and two tolls. It will cost me $8.00 to pick up that check, not including my time. Adding in the service fee is one thing, but these people think that our time is worth nothing and never want to pay our gas and tolls. Sorry for the rant, but it just irks me (AND if I want my money, I will probably have to drive over there)

Well if you trust them enough you could have them mail it. I have had bounced cheques, and rather than drive to pick it up in all cases I told them to mail it. Never been stiffed since I began in 1991. :slight_smile:

Let’s see ask them to write you a second check. Things that make me go HMM. I’d inform them that the check had insufficient funds and I will be over to collect the amount, plus costs in the form of cash or cashiers check. I wouldn’t trust another check. (Reminds me of Jeff Foxworthy on one of his monologues about his cousin or someone writing bad checks. The merchant told them to pay up any way they could and mentioned a check. Cousin said, pay be check, why didn’t you say so… Here’s another one.)

I guess I am fortunate to have such good clients, and they know of my Italian heritage. :wink:

Get the realtor involved if there is one. Guess they didn’t buy the place? More than likely the realtor will, or should be horrified and embarrassed. I did that before and was able to collect. The realtor, since that incident, makes the buyers bring a cashiers check. Just hard to understand how you don’t have less than 1/2 of 1% of the cost of the home for an insp.


Notify the Client about the Returned Check.

Dependent upon their response, Contact the Berks County District Attorney’s Office (or the Office of the County where they reside).

Thanks a whole lot guys. You guys are my inspiration. I simply called the client and explained the situation, sure enough it was an honest mistake with her financing, she dropped it off at my office the same day. I appreciate everything you guys have to say. I am new to the trade, and I must say I learned so much just from reading these post. I hope success to all of you doing these great deeds. Again THANKS for your input…

My pleasure! Glad you got it sorted out.

Continued success.

If it gets to that point, you need NOT file a small claim suit or pay to file one. The bad check is all you need to take to the local magistrate. You don’t have to file a civil action to get a judgment for receiving a bad check.