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Lost Check-Client Not Paying?-Update

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Bill ParisLost Check-Client Not Paying?-Update
by on Mar 30, 2009 at 9:09:44 pm

Hi Guys,

About a month ago I posted on the forum with a story about a client who sent me a check on 12/12/08 for $3200 for a two day Betacam Shoot ..... I somehow lost it (Dooooh!). When I fist posted, the client was not responding via emails or calls to my request to have the check cancelled and write a new check, but since that time the lines of communication have opened up. The problem now is what's being communicated.

According to the client, he stopped using the bank the check was drawn from on 12/31/2008 (The check was sent 12/12/08). He now says the check cleared on 1/26/2009, but the bank can't produce a cancelled check. Here's his most recent email:


Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. From what our accountant and our former bank have determined we likely have a case of fraud going on relative to your check. The bank has not been able to produce a cancelled check, yet shows your check as having been cashed and deducted from our account. None of this is adding up - and we've now had two other cases of checks drawn from this former bank that have shown to be cashed as well but neither vendor received these checks. Obviously yours we're more concerned about because we know that it was received - yet it makes no sense how your check shows up as being cashed when you have not done so and so far our former bank cannot produce a cancelled check other than to report the amount of money we sent you has been deducted from our account. I have my attorney and accountant working with the fraud department of our former bank to see what is going on. I'll be back in touch with you ASAP. I'm sorry for the confusion. Your patience is very much appreciated.


  • My response was:
    Any word from your bank regarding the payment on the lost check? I really don't understand how they can pay out on a check without a record of the transaction. I suppose the money could be taken from the account via a bank transfer...... either way there should be record of the transaction.

    Please let me know what you find out.


    My question is:
    1. Why would the bank he stopped using 12/31/08 pay the $3200.
    2. Why would there be no record of the transaction either via check or bank transfer?

    Any thoughts on how to handle this? The client is located 5000 miles away, so it's not easy to meet face to face.

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

    Bill Paris

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    Mark SuszkoRe: Lost Check-Client Not Paying?-Update
    by on Mar 30, 2009 at 9:16:32 pm

    Call FDIC

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    Todd TerryRe: Lost Check-Client Not Paying?-Update
    by on Mar 30, 2009 at 10:33:25 pm

    Hey Bill...

    If you can afford to, I think I'd just sit tight a little bit longer, since your client is apparently dealing with the same issue not with just your check but with others. They sound like they are working on it, at least to some degree.

    The canceled check business is a bit mysterious... but not unheard of. I'm in the process of buying a new house right now (closing Wednesday, actually), and one thing that I was asked for was a photocopy of my canceled earnest money check. Like your vendor, my back does not return canceled checks to me. When I called them up, they could not find any trace OR RECORD of the actual check, even though it had cleared... and even though I was able to see an electronic copy of both the front and back via online banking. So I guess weird things do happen... but at least in my case I do know who got the money, and it was the appropriate party. Sadly, not so, in your case.

    Since it was technically your booboo and not theirs, I think in this case patience may be a virtue, especially since they are finally communicating with you again and seem to be working on it.

    Unless you don't believe their story, then that's a whole 'nuther can of worms....


    Todd Terry
    Creative Director
    Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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    grinner hesterRe: Lost Check-Client Not Paying?-Update
    by on Mar 31, 2009 at 2:53:38 pm

    I'd need to see that check as cleared today or I'd need my money today.

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    Trey GregoryRe: Lost Check-Client Not Paying?-Update
    by on Apr 1, 2009 at 4:59:39 pm

    This sounds sort of fishy to me, you should definitely be cautious going forward with this situation.

    Without knowing any of the details of you and your client's relationship, I would advise you to stay on them. Call every day till you get results. Obviously you want to be friendly and cordial, you don't want to wreck the relationship. Just make sure that they know you want to resolved the situation quickly. You can also offer to help with some of the legwork on your end too, if there is anything that you can do from where you are.

    Just be cautious, if the client's story starts to change, or he gives you excuses for more than a few weeks, you might have a problem on your hands.

    Trey Gregory
    ECG Productions - Atlanta
    HD Production and Post

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    grinner hesterRe: Lost Check-Client Not Paying?-Update
    by on Apr 4, 2009 at 4:23:12 pm

    cautious nothin.
    It's time to be firm.

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    Ron LindeboomRe: Lost Check-Client Not Paying?-Update
    by on Apr 4, 2009 at 4:38:50 pm

    You know, I hate to say this and have stayed out of this hoping for a positive resolution but...

    Years ago I knew a business that came into a situation that sounds amazingly like what you are describing, except that it was a tax refund check that came back to a company. One of the partners in the business took the check and cashed it and didn't tell the other partner what was up.

    Fast forward...

    A year went by with the unwitting partner fighting with the IRS until they produced the canceled check, which showed what had *really* happened. (Read: no lost check, imagine that.)

    Needless to say, their partnership soon dissolved after that.

    Are you sure that the check wasn't deposited by someone else in your company? It wouldn't be the first time that something like this happened.

    I hope I am wrong in this matter, but it's just a thought -- hopefully one that doesn't play out this way.

    Ron Lindeboom

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