Times are changing rapidly, 2020 is approaching, electronic banking has been widely popularized, and some stores no longer accept cash in any form. Surprisingly though, quite a few people are still writing and accepting checks for a variety of transactions. For some, the process of writing a check is simply a comfortable familiarity that they prefer not to move away from.
For others, writing a check is a means of simplifying their accounting process. Another group of people prefers dealing in checks because of the expected delay created by this system. There are those out there though, that rely on checks as a way to complete a financial exchange while knowing that the check will bounce in the end.
Ending up with a bad check is a troubling scenario that no one looks forward to. For business owners, this situation is particularly frustrating because it means lost revenue and a lingering question of what to do. At Southwest Recovery Services, we’ve been working with our clients for years on the best ways to handle collection situations including bad or bounced checks, and we’ve put together some helpful tips on ways to prevent this kind of bogus payment from ending up hurting your business.
1). Never Accept Personal Checks
With the wide variety of payment options available in the modern world (and the presence of ATMs on practically every other street corner), there is little to no incentive for businesses to accept personal checks anymore. In fact, more and more individuals prefer paying with a credit card because of the rewards offered through those programs such as points or other incentives.
If you choose to accept personal checks though, then it is always best to implement some type of check verification system as an added layer of protection. Business checks are a slightly different challenge, but having clients fill out a credit application can reduce the risk of dealing with a bad business check in most situations.
2). Perform a Check on Available Funds
If you find yourself dealing with a bad check, then your first step should be to try contacting the bank it was issued from before attempting any further actions. In some cases, an individual may have made an honest mistake in calculating their available funds. If you perform a check with the bank and determine that the funds have been made available, then it is safe to redeposit immediately to complete the transaction.
3). Have a Conversation with Your Client
Unless you know the person you’re dealing with has a history of dishonesty, it could be in your best interests to take the high ground and assume the best instead of the worst. Pick up the phone and reach out to the individual. Be sure to be friendly, polite, and respectful during the conversation while inquiring about their available funds, and the reason for the bad check. In most cases, a person who has made an honest mistake will be immediately embarrassed once they realize what has happened with their check.
It is always a good idea to be ready to accept your owed payment using an alternative method such as a card or via an alternative electronic method during your phone conversation. If you’re not able to reach your customer by phone directly then don’t leave them a message. Informing them of your inquiry without directly speaking to them could lead to further avoidance and even more headaches for you.
If you’re determined to escalate the situation though, then a certified letter requesting payment by a specified date and time is your best option. Be sure to keep a copy of the letter and receipt for your own records. At this point, it is always recommended to turn the matter over to a professional collections agency rather than continuing to invest time, energy, and resources into the effort of collecting from someone who is clearly trying to avoid you.
4). Trust the Professionals to Collect
If you’re having trouble collecting on a bad check, then the simplest, and most effective choice is to work with a professional collections agency like Southwest Recovery Services. By relying on our knowledge and skills to handle collections situations such as when you receive a bad check, you can save yourself time and energy on the recovery process while enjoying the peace of mind that comes with knowing that every possible action is being done to ensure those lost funds are recovered.
If you’re looking for a way to recover a debt caused by a bad check, or you need support from a professional collections agency to protect your business from potential lost revenue, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team right away so we can show you why so many businesses trust us to handle their collection needs!