Bounced Check from gig

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by basss, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I played at an Xmas party last week. I was the band leader. The party went well. We got paid from the guy throwing the party but the check bounced. He did sign a contract. It's not a huge amount of money but its enough to matter. Any suggestions on how to proceed? Small claims court? Can the Musicians Union help (I'm an former member... haven't paid dues in a while)?
  2. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    You talk to him about it yet?
  3. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    Left voice mail and email. No answer
  4. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Small claims, probably.
  5. FeloniousMonk

    FeloniousMonk Guest

    Nov 29, 2007
    small claims, but I'd give another call before then.
  6. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Call him first. Check with your bank as they may be able to tell you how to best proceed. In some states, writing a bad check is a criminal offense.
  7. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    go to the persons bank and ask if the check would clear. Typically the answer was no. Then he would ask if he deposited $100 would it clear and work his way down from there. I've seen him cash $4000 checks that had bounced once by depositi $10.

    I would call the guy, he is probably a bit emberassed, word stuff nicely.

    Best of Luck,' Wesley R.
  8. realdeal

    realdeal Inactive

    Dec 10, 2004
    Feel for you; I've had to learn "the hard way" myself as an occasional Contractor for a particular engagement.

    Small Claims can get you a judgement, collecting it is another thing- maybe the guy will make it right on his own if you can get him to respond, you know, make payments, whatever.

    I imagine the laws vary from State-to-State, as well as how much teeth authorities will use to enforce writing bogus checks. Sometimes, it's relegated to a Civil matter, other times, the City Attorney doesn't have the time/manpower to prosecute. Justice is hard to come by, and we can no longer get a rope, no matter how tempting it can be!:D

    I know that this is closing the barn door after the horses run out, but in the future-
    CASH is often the answer! I've been on the road many times, and even local gigs, wherein the Contract or agreement called for payment in cold cash.
    One time, we had a very reputable club-owner apologize that by mistake, the safe had been locked; all dollar bills had been put away, and he was sorry, but his check was good as gold.
    It would have been-but we showed him the clause that stated
    CASH and the resultant penalty if not adhered too.
    We would have had the same situation trying to enforce that of course, but it was AMAZING how quickly they suddenly found a way to open the safe and get the dollars out!

    Most people we assume have good intent, and checks are fine, but always best to play it safe, especially when you are responsible for pay-out.
    Good Luck-
  9. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    My wife had cheques bounce on her a few times, when she was running a small buisiness. In pretty much every case it was a genuine mistake, or at least genuine optimism on the part of the writer.

    A few phone calls, and a little patience usually sorted it out (though it sometimes took a few weeks - if they're bouncing cheques they probably don't have a whole load of cash lying around).

    Of course you may be unlucky.

  10. eotpr

    eotpr Guest

    Jun 25, 2007
    If he is not answering your calls and emails stop by and talk to him face to face. Also do you know when he gets paid? Try to send it through at his bank the day after he gets paid. Often it is a mistake but don't take another check from him if he wants to write one. Tell him you will come by and pick up the cash. I worked as a collector for a while and persistance usually pays off. I recently played a gig and the guy said his wife mailed the 100.00 in cash. I filed a complaint with the postoffice and they contacted him. A cashiers check came by mail a week later.
  11. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I had to bug the guy a bit but he did finally send another check and included a bit extra to cover any bank fees. It's been a week since I deposited it so it looks like this one is good. Thanks for the info guys.
  12. gig-getter

    gig-getter Guest

    Oct 5, 2007
    Author of Gig-Getter & Rouse the Crowd
    Make sure he realizes you won't disappear without a fight. If he is trying to stiff you let him come to the conclusion that there would be easier targets than you. So go see him, tell him the cheque bounced and ask for the cash.

    If he can't be reasoned with or insists on another cheque agree as a last resort. If this too bounces you'll need to write to him (to prove you've tried "all reasonable means" to get your money). Then it'll probably be the small claims court. Most though will settle if you're persistent enough.

    Good luck
  13. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    You fill 4 dozen water balloons with paint and visit his house after hours.
    That will fix him.

    .......or you could just call him a few more times first.

    But mark my word, if he doesn't pay "water" his lawn with gasoline.
    You could even write something friendly in the lawn like "hello pal".
  14. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    Oh,he paid you??!!
    Well might want to nix the gasoline and paint idea then.

    But if that check bounces too,whoo wee .
    It's Rembrant time!!!