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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default If I Accept a Late Payment for Services Can I Still Sue for Theft of Services

    My question involves business law in the state of: PA

    A customer claims she paid her bill with a check. The business does not have that check on record. The person presents a cleared check copy. The business still claims they do not have the payment.

    3 months later when the next quarter's bill is due, the customer pays that quarter's bill, the past quarter's bill that is in dispute and the late fees to make the account current and stop late fees from increasing.

    The company accepts the ONE check for the amount owded for both quarters and the late fees which brings the account up-to-date. There is no outstanding balance.

    Can the comapny sue for theft of services since the quarter in dispute was not paid on time or are they prevented from suing the customer because they accepted the current andf past due amounts including the late fee?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: If I Accept a Late Payment for Services Can I Still Sue for Theft of Services

    Quote Quoting mrsnshick1
    View Post
    My question involves business law in the state of: PA

    A customer claims she paid her bill with a check. The business does not have that check on record. The person presents a cleared check copy. The business still claims they do not have the payment.

    3 months later when the next quarter's bill is due, the customer pays that quarter's bill, the past quarter's bill that is in dispute and the late fees to make the account current and stop late fees from increasing.

    The company accepts the ONE check for the amount owded for both quarters and the late fees which brings the account up-to-date. There is no outstanding balance.

    Can the comapny sue for theft of services since the quarter in dispute was not paid on time or are they prevented from suing the customer because they accepted the current andf past due amounts including the late fee?

    Thank you
    Earlier in my career, I was in "credit and collections", moved on to accounting, and have often encountered customers having "cancelled checks", and we have no record of payments. The reasons include:

    1- A dishonest employee cashed the check.
    2- The check was stolen at the post office and cashed.
    3- The check was misapplied to another account, the most frequent reason.
    4- Payments missapplied in the same account to other time periods or invoices.

    If the company marked the items paid on the statement, then it is stating in has no claim to the disputed item, and legally it is a resolved disputed item. You NEVER NEVER escalate an accounting error into a criminal charge of "theft of service" unless you expect to be sued BIG time.

    Imagine if a dishonest employee cashed customer checks, and we had one guy who cashed numerous checks over a span of 3 years, items go into dispute, and the company then sues the customer for "theft of services"??

    The responsible thing is figure out how the customer has a "cancelled check", and you didn't mark it for payment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,303

    Default Re: If I Accept a Late Payment for Services Can I Still Sue for Theft of Services

    Can the comapny sue for theft of services since the quarter in dispute was not paid on time or are they prevented from suing the customer because they accepted the current andf past due amounts including the late fee?
    The company has been paid. Where's the theft?

    No, there's nothing to sue for.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: If I Accept a Late Payment for Services Can I Still Sue for Theft of Services

    But what if the person presented a fake canceled check and when the business insists that they did not receive that check the customer pays that quarter's amount for what is claimed to be the 2nd time but is really the first time?If the company accepted the double payment w/ late fees is that theft of services (since the customer attempted to get away without paying) or since the company accepted the payment and the account has a zero balance is that the end of the story (no charges can be filed)?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: If I Accept a Late Payment for Services Can I Still Sue for Theft of Services

    Paying for services already rendered with a bad check isn't "theft of services" - it's issuing a bad check. In many jurisdictions the police require that you serve a formal notice requesting payment and will only charge the issuer of a bad check if that notice is ignored. But it sounds like no bad check was even issued.

    Showing you a fake canceled check without any demand for a refund signifies... all of nothing, as far as I can tell.

    You've been paid. Unless there's a lot more to the story than you've shared here, it would not be outrageous to let it go and move on with your life.

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