June 27, 2008

City may charge more for bad checks

The city is likely to raise the cost of writing it a bad check soon.
Since 1991, the city has tacked on a $15 charge for anyone who writes a check that is returned by the bank for any reason.
But Mildred Parks, the city’s tax collector, said the fee doesn’t come close to covering the cost of paying for employees’ time in dealing with a bad check.
She urged the city’s Ordinance Committee to raise the fee to $25 or more to bring it more in line with what banks charge customers for bad checks these days.
City Councilor Mike Rimcoski said that people should be careful about writing checks that won’t go through.
He said that writing a check that doesn’t clear could cost someone $25 from the city and at least that much from his own bank, which adds up to some real money.
Parks said it’s also illegal to write a bad check.
Even so, the tax office sees 10 to 20 returned checks each week during its busy periods, Parks said.
“We have a lot of checks,” she said.
Once somebody bounces a check, Parks said, they’re told to bring cash or a bank check the next time they come in.
But some still send in another regular check by mail, which is processed, Parks said.
The tax office isn’t the only city department that takes in a lot of checks, officials said.
The city clerk, public works and the building office also take in large numbers of checks, some of which turn out to be no good.
The ordinance panel plans a public hearing on the proposed change as soon as July 23. It needs City Council approval before the fee can be hiked.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

They should charge $50. Many banks whack the recepient of a bad check for that amount. Maybe even $100 to discourage people from repeat offense.

If someone is writing bad checks they should get more than a slap on the wrist.

Ignorance is not an excuse. If someone doesn't know their account balance then they don't deserve a checking account.

The city should not be carrying people with poor personal financial management habits.

Anonymous said...

Shoot, they are charging more for GOOD checks!