Downpayment check bounced... Help! - Posted by Jonathan MD/DE

Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV on September 22, 2003 at 09:18:52:

…neighbors. I’m in Cabazon. Would you like to meet sometime? doc

Downpayment check bounced… Help! - Posted by Jonathan MD/DE

Posted by Jonathan MD/DE on September 20, 2003 at 19:44:13:

I know, I’m stupid- I took a check for a downpayment and got it back in the mail days later- buyer is already moved in. So I went and knocked on the door and talked to the man for 30 minutes or so a couple days ago. Apparently his boss cheated him and some co-workers out of their wages. So anyways he owes me $1,000. I told him to have the money to me by Friday (the next day) and he said he would. As it turns out I had to go out of town Friday and just got back tonight. So I called him this evening and some female answered and didn’t let me talk to him, just hung up. This is my 1’st deal… argh…!

any and all advice appreciated!

Have you tried our new drink made from… - Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV

Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV on September 21, 2003 at 08:59:34:

…frozen Hemlock concentrate?

Jonathan, I’d like to know more about the process you went through to check out this man’s references, particularily his income, credit, and previous EVICTION record. Do you know if he owns any other assets, such as a car. Can you easily check to learn if he has any judgments recorded against him? Is he married? If so does his wife work? If not who do you suppose that other woman was?

At this point I don’t know what can be done but for all of to learn from your experiences. If you can provide more information maybe we can figure out something that you can do.

If he is such a deadbeat, I wonder how he passed under the PM’s radar too. Talk to the PM. This may become the park’s problem soon. Ask to see their credit file on him and see what they learned when they checked him out.

Just as a strategy to get rid of him as fast as possible check with your PM to learn who can get him out faster, you, or the park. Be sure the one who can get him out fastest starts immediately.

Remember also, even though we don’t like to do this, that you may be able to get him to move by paying him some mutually agreed amount. Naturally he would have to be out and have returned the title to you before you made any payment. As distastful as this may be, it may be the cheapest way to get him out fast and cut your losses.

Regards, doc

I have seen folks back out - Posted by Philip

Posted by Philip on September 21, 2003 at 08:30:05:

when you tell them it is cashiers check only. Gee, wonder why?

Re: Downpayment check bounced… Help! - Posted by Lyal

Posted by Lyal on September 21, 2003 at 07:48:56:

JS pretty much covers it. Hard lesson to learn but file the papers and have him served. Do it NOW. Also let him know that you plan to deliver the check to the authorities. In my state, a bad check for that amount (presented while knowing you don’t have the funds) is a felony.
All the best, Lyal

Learning Steps - Posted by John Smith, IV

Posted by John Smith, IV on September 20, 2003 at 21:39:56:

Was this a down payment on a MH you sold to him?

Did you give him the “title”?

I am pretty sure that you have learned a lesson…do the words “certified funds only” ring a bell?


#1 You can report him for passing you a bad check.

#2 If you sold a MH and financed a note, he is already in default, start the proceedings to forclose on the MH right now…before you do that you might want to send a certified letter explaining that if he doesn’t provide the funds inmediately you will report him for the bad check and initiate forclosure…give him 72 hours to “cure” and then make good on your threat.

I’m sure the real experts here will have more and probably better advise.

Good Luck!

Re: Have you tried our new drink made from… - Posted by Chris Joshua Tree, CA

Posted by Chris Joshua Tree, CA on September 22, 2003 at 08:42:57:

Bouncing a S.D. check is something different - and the value is certainly > $ 400. That guy might have made a big mistake and you ought to pressure him into making good on that check. Imho that’s FRAUD and you ought to take action asap/ Be it in Small Claims’ Court in addition to eviction proceeding (3 + 30 Days’ Notices are recommended - personally, I always serve them together now). ** Letting it ride for weeks or months like I used to would be unwise. Good luck and please follow up on it.

Re: Learning Steps - Posted by Mike(Al)

Posted by Mike(Al) on September 21, 2003 at 21:34:01:

Jonathan,Start by consulting an attorney.Most county DA offices have a bad check unit.They will collect and prosecute bad check writers.But like John said send a registered letter giving him 3 days to cure the bad check,also explain what will happen if he does not take care of business.

Not necessarily - Posted by Tony-VA/NC

Posted by Tony-VA/NC on September 22, 2003 at 09:48:48:


Are you basing this guess upon your understanding of the bad check statutes or what you may have heard?

I would also caution you that West Coast Law is quite different than East Coast Law. The assumption that this is a case of Fraud is a broad leap and the grander assumption is that even if it was Fraud, that it would be prosecuted quickly, if at all.

You are supposing that this is a security deposit but it was a down payment. This may, or may not make a difference but case law could turn on it. If anything, I would suspect that the down payment would favor your argument that this was a crime but please read further.

Court systems and police dept. are overwhelmed by bad check cases. Accordingly many state law makers have moved to have these types of cases addressed more commonly by the civil courts.

Law makers may set up a litmus test so to speak, to determine if the action was criminal or civil in nature. They may require, in this case, the Lonnie dealer to provide a written notice giving the buyer a set number of days to make the check good.

The lawmakers may look at how the buyer benefited from the bounced check, how it was delivered and accepted etc.

Then and only then would the courts begin to consider this a criminal case.

Even if it could be criminal, it does not mean that local police will or can promptly pursue it, nor will a D.A. prosecute it. These cases are often drawn out for months and months as the courts try and buy time for the defendant to pay up and have the court case dismissed.

I suggest that this is a seminar that this Lonnie dealer just purchased without his intending to. He will gain a lot from it and will likely get the home or the money back but I suspect that criminal action will not be taken.

The dealer needs to speak to his clerk of court and find out how to proceed in the civil court of proper jurisdiction. He may want to seek the advice of an attorney on this first case so that future bad check cases move forward smoothly without one.

What it comes down to is he wants his money or the home back. Civil court is where this is most likely to receive prompt and proper attention. Supposition as to the possibility that this is a felony crime or that it would so easily prosecuted only waste time and allow the buyer to squat longer in the home.


forgotten hint: talk to the D.A.'s office - Posted by Chris, Joshua Tree, CA

Posted by Chris, Joshua Tree, CA on September 22, 2003 at 08:46:37:

Over here, that would be a felony (a) the check’s value is greater than $ 400 and b) it was a Security Deposit; c) the guy moved in, knowing d*mn well that check wouldn’t clear - he wasn’t either proactive telling you about it nor did he make at least a guesture by paying a fine and a few hundred right now. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR, so go after the %^&%^$#