Rant on excuses for lack of payment

Someone hired me for a specific job on behalf of his client. I stipulated that payment be sent in advance. He sent me a check but asked that I not cash it until he gives me the go-ahead. I did the work, but 3 months later, he still has not given me the go-ahead despite constant reminders. All along, he says that his client hasn't paid him. As far as I'm concerned, though, the owes me the agreed upon sum, whether they pay him or not. When I sent my magazine out to print I paid my printer in full --  even when advertiser stiffed me on their end.  My contractual obligation with him stood even if the cash flow was not ideal.  It never would have even crossed my mind to try to delay payment on the basis that my advertisers had not yet paid what I was owed.  But this guy has been playing that game for over 3 months now, delaying form week to week with "I have to talk to them," "I have to get my money from the," etc. Now, he's up to asking until the end of the week because he has to figure out how to manage to pay me out of his own pocket.  Gosh, you would think this is a huge sum. It's only in the low 3 figures -- and lower than some of my monthly utility bills! 

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Comments

Frayda said…
I know it is not so ethical but you can try and cash the check without his authorization. I'm sure that has crossed your mind. Why not do it?
BrooklynWolf said…
Perhaps the time has come to stop being the nice guy (or nice lady). Since, as things stand, you probably don't expect to see any business from him in the future, I think you should threaten to take legal action or turn the matter over to a collection agency.

The Wolf
Orthonomics said…
Of course he should pay up! He should have paid up three months ago.
Ariella said…
Frayda, the idea has crossed my mind, but he indicated that the check would not clear. So I told him, I could go and deposit it and then we could both end up paying bounced check fees. Unfortunately, the bouncee can get charged $20 - 30 (depending on the bank)not just the bouncer.
Ariella said…
@Wolf, I was considering the possibility of legal action because it is illegal to write a check to someone knowing that your account will not cover it. The penalties vary by state.
Ariella said…
@Orthonomics you and I think alike on this. But it's amazing what sort of mental gymnastics people I deal with are capable of when it comes to justifying why they don't pay money owed -- on amounts they agreed to in the first place!
Ezzie said…
I would deposit it regardless - since he's strung you along until now, he believes he can keep doing so.

If you're worried about the fee, though, you can bring the check to the bank and they can check whether it will clear for you. If it will, deposit it.

The other reason to deposit is to actually pursue legal action - a check that didn't clear is better evidence.
Ariella said…
I may consider asking the bank if they can check on whether or not it will clear.
Ariella said…
Thanks for the feedback and suggestions, everyone.
Ariella said…
I tried to find out if the funds were available for the check. It's drawn on Chase. I went into my local branch but was told that they are not allowed to tell me anything about another person's account. Great, that means I can only find out if it will go through by attempting to deposit it. If it bounces, I'll get a fee and no money. As he hasn't paid until now, I doubt he would reimburse me for the fee on top of what hasn't paid for 3 months.

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