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  1. #1

    Default Is It Legal to Refuse Payment With Large Bills

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: New York

    I went to a store and purchased about $19 worth of food. I tried to pay with a $100 bill as I had 3 $100 bills and $16 in small bills on me. The guy at the counter refused my $100 bill and I had already taken a bite out of my food, so I couldn't return it. I was wondering if it is Legal in the state of NY to refuse $100 bill. I know they can choose not to accept coins and cards, but $100 is Legal Tender.

    I had to leave my food, go to 4 different stores to try to change $100.

    Any input would be great.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: Is It Legal to Refuse $100

    So several stores wouldn't take the bill.

    $100 bills are a counterfeit's favorite bill... $20's are also very popular.

    Businesses can also refuse to accept such bills after a certain time because a time lock safe will not allow anymore change to be removed... and a hundred will wipe out the change drawer.
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is It Legal to Refuse $100

    But is it Legal?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    17,154

    Default Re: Is It Legal to Refuse $100

    Yes, it is legal. What if he didn't have change for $100?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is It Legal to Refuse $100

    I was under the impression that "Legal Tender for Alll Debts Public and Private" meant that they couldn't refuse my Bill for a debt. They could have refused my service beforehand, but not refuse to accept my bill or discharge my debt.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is It Legal to Refuse $100

    Quote Quoting lornaevo
    View Post
    I was under the impression that "Legal Tender for Alll Debts Public and Private" meant that they couldn't refuse my Bill for a debt. They could have refused my service beforehand, but not refuse to accept my bill or discharge my debt.
    From what you are saying, they DID refuse to give you service.

    Nope, perfectly legal.

    By the way, the other side of this "coin" is those folks that pay their tax bills in pennies. Yes, it is legal tender.... and it is also refused.
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is It Legal to Refuse $100

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
    View Post
    From what you are saying, they DID refuse to give you service.

    Nope, perfectly legal.

    By the way, the other side of this "coin" is those folks that pay their tax bills in pennies. Yes, it is legal tender.... and it is also refused.
    Actually, by serving me food, they did not refuse service. They refused to accept Legal Tender.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    17,154

    Default Re: Is It Legal to Refuse $100

    Then your impression was incorrect.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Is It Legal to Refuse $100

    Quote Quoting cbg
    View Post
    Then your impression was incorrect.
    Well thanks for your information.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    28,637

    Default Re: Is It Legal to Refuse $100

    As the U.S. Treasury explains,
    Quote Quoting I thought that United States currency was legal tender for all debts. Some businesses or governmental agencies say that they will only accept checks, money orders or credit cards as payment, and others will only accept currency notes in denominations of $20 or smaller. Isn't this illegal?
    The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," which states: "United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues."

    This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.

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