In the last two weeks I have gotten a rash of bounced checks. This happens periodically, but not like this. Are you experiencing the same thing?
It's usually the same excuse - oh, my wife forgot to transfer money, I didn't realize you would deposit it so quick, the same old blah-blah, etc. I have since been properly paid, all except one.
One guy, who claimed to be buying a $1.4 mil house for cash, wrote me a business check for the inspection. I didn't notice but he back dated it one week. It bounced. I always call the realtor and have him/her contact the client. This time the realtor had moved to Texas. She said that the whole thing was a fraud. Apparently everything this guy did bounced, ALL the way to settlement. His website*, up on the day of the inspection, is mysteriously down now. Phone cut off. The address on the check does not exist (he changed a couple of words, but I did find his apartment, empty). The bank account was viable, though empty of funds, on Friday when I called him on another number I found. I returned to the bank on Monday to see if funds were there and it had been closed. I think I'm stuck with a jerk!
The D.A.'s office said I can prosecute criminally or go to small claims court. But neither is a guarantee. There is nothing to attach and they told me that I would obviously win my case against him, but that there was no guarantee that I would get anything out of him from the judgment. He is not around and they do not go about trying to find people. So here I am. I don't think it's worth the time, effort or stress to go after the twerp.
I have been doing inspections for 27 years. I can't remember this ever happening before.
The laws in this country really favor the scam artists - you can't evict someone for months when they are living in your house and not paying rent - you can't go after people for bad money if they have covered themselves sufficiently - you can't, you can't, well, you know! We are at the point of saying to people - cash, bank check or money order - no guaranteed checkie, no inspectie...
Is this a sign of the times or what? I was interesting in knowing - are you experiencing the same thing?
* The Auto Innovators - Gabriel Cunningham ("Gabe"). Business plan - mobile wi-fi connections that move with the car. Interesting, but don't trust this guy!!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560