Day amp arrives Cashier check returned

Today an amp I shipped across the country arrived safely at it's destination. Oddly enogh while I was at the bank today I was informed that a rather large cashier's check did not clear.

I called the guy up and he answered the phone (good sign) He say's he does not understand what could have happened and will check in to it first thing in the mourning.

My bank say's he may have stopped payment on the cashiers check. They could not give me any other details. Just that I would be recieving the check back in the mail in a few day's

Does this kind of stuff ever turn out good? Or am I screwed?

I will follow up tomorrow.
Keep us posted, we are dying to find out the ending.

If the guy does screw you, let us know where he lives and we'll visit him for you.

Just kidding. (Sort of.)

If my business law memory serves me, the seller could not be the one to stop payment. That's the purpose of a cashier's check or a certified get "good funds". But with a cashier's check, the BANK could put a stop on the payment, but it would usually be for some extraordinary situation. I'd call the issuing bank (or put the question to your bank and let them do it. Also let them explain this legality to you) and ask them why they took that action.
Good luck!
You did say it was 'a rather large check'.

I am not aware that a 'real' cashier's check can be issued a 'stop payment' unless the originator perhaps claimed it was lost or stolen. The cashier's check was purchased with real money at one time. It's not like he was making monthly installments toward the purchase of the cashier's check.

I thought only the originator of the cashier's check could change his mind (assuming he still has the check in his possession), or report the check lost or stolen in order to obtain a refund.

It may be just a fluke, but I wouldn't chance it. I always hope for the best but plan for the worst. As the motto goes.

So planning for the worst:

For all you know, he may have claimed you stole the check and tried to cash it and now the police are coming after you. I doubt this to be true but people can be really squirrely and clever at the same time and you never see it coming until it's too late.

I would immediately start corresponding with the buyer thru email via audiogon's email system so you and audiogon can begin to establish some hard evidence (email is substantiated in a court of law -just ask Microsoft and Enron). Use email always. (Using audiogon email also makes for a great backup should you lose your hard drive.) Follow up with phone calls if you like but if it must be one or the other choose email.

You could tell him that you are nervous and you are giving him 12 hours to wire the funds to you. (do not give him your banking account info) but to use Western Union, etc..
Ask him for his bank's name, branch, phone number, etc. to see what you can find.

If things start looking fishy or counterfeit, you may want to start contacting his local police department, FBI, Atty General's office of his state,, etc.. And if you're serious about contacting these departments, let him know what you are doing and what you are going to do. He may cry uncle or at the very least, he'll know he better put his running shoes on now.

If things are looking sour, then inquire with those departments about other departments you should also be contacting.

And if it's counterfeit, forgery, or fraud, the buyer could be in some serious trouble with the law(jail time wise), but you need to move fast because if the buyer turns out to be a bad dude, he's not going to be sitting on his thumbs waiting for you.

Obviously, if the check was only for $100 or so, it's only worth so much of your time to pursue.

It's probably nothing, but start gathering evidence now just in case.


p.s. I am aware of an aquaintence here on audiogon who last summer made an exchage with the buyer in person in Southern California. He gave him the speakers and the buyer gave him a cashier's check for around $2300. The seller later went to cash the check and it was counterfeit.

So they are out there.
Nope: My bank once placed stop payments on two cashier's (in error). They were supposed to be placing them on the two checks that I had misplaced (not the two replacements that they had just issued:-{. Cashier's checks are not a sure thing. By the time that I had them wiring the funds to the account that they had shorted @ their expense, I had two armed guards @ my side. LOL.
The buyer has 72 hours from the date of issue to stop-payment on a cashiers check. Sounds like he stopped payment before he received your amplifier.

In other words his lack of knowledge is bogus. Perhaps he intends to make good on the check now that he has the amp. If not, request in writing that he return the amp to you

Also contact the District Attorney in his area and explain that this is not only a breach of contract issue but it is also a fraud, both state and federal(i.e., there is an intent to defraud if he keeps the amp and refuses to pay).

Keep the original cashiers check, don't return it to the buyer or hand it over to authorities, they will accept photo copies.

Consider retaining an attorney in the buyers area to file suit against the buyer. Raise hell, you'll get results.
I'm betting with Myraj. As far as I know, the drawer cannot stop a true cashier's check, short of actually returning the physical check with receipt into the account, and the funds cannot be diverted after the check is made. Please let us know if this proves to be wrong.
Myraj: It is possible to stop a casheir's check. All one has to do is tell the bank that it was lost.

I bet the guy comes through. I like giving people the benefit of the doubt.
Does anyone know for sure if a bank draft or certified bank check is more secure than a simple bank money order? This draft is physically typed by the bank and requires BOTH the payee's and payor's name be typed in by a bank official, rather than just a "fill in the blanks" money order. More expensive than a money order ($5- or $6-) the added protection worth it?
Here in NY it's necessary to bond the stop payment with three times the amount. Banks don't take well to stopping a cashier's check. A statement of fraud or theft or loss is also necesary with all the NY banks I've dealt with.

It's time to start a dispute thread and identify the buyer. You may just be the beginning of another series of theft akin to last summer.

Don't wait to be nice. Protect yourself and the others here on Audiogon.

Bill E.
Thanks for all the advise so far.

This guy actually seems to check out. His address and phone number are listed, and the local police say he lives in a nice residental area.

To me if he were going to flea, the phone # would have been bogus, and when I offered to ship three day air most criminals would have said yes. He said ground would help save him some money. We talked on the phone and have stayed in touch constantly from begining to end.

Grant it he is a newbie and may have paniced at some point but I really can't say right now. I'm just glad I found out early enough to cover the check with funds before I started bouncing checks

I was almost able to stop the delivery, but UpS had delivered four hours prior. I'm keeping the faith for now, This guy seems nice enough I hope it's no big deal

I agree with talking with your bank.

I wonder if the issuing bank can be forced to honor the check if it was canceled in bad faith?

The whole idea od cahiers checks being as good as cash are false. I took one for a watch I sold which later bounced. I was told that the buyer must have put a stop on the check as nothing had been initiated from the bank end. After inquiring amongst various bank officials it was confirmed. I later filed a claim with the police department as the watch was an expensive Rolex. After report was filed I turned it over to my insurance company who covered my loss as theft. I had a binder on the watch which may have had something to do with them covering it, but you may want to check anyway.
Glen: The concern I have is that it cost him money to stop the check (my bank would be over $25). The eternal optimist in me is hoping it is some sort of bank computer miss key. If it is buyer's remorse or jitters, he owes you the fees your bank will charge you for returning the check in addition to the stopped amount.

I value your posts/contributions. Hope this works out for you.
Fatparrot, the "bank draft" with the names typed in by the bank that you are describing is a "cashier's check", as far as I know. All of this actually makes me wonder if money orders aren't really more secure. You can't claim you "lost" a money order and get a refund, or "stop" it, can you? I suppose they could always be stolen or forged, though. And then there's the flip side of this issue - what if you as a buyer are asked (understandably, given the above) to pay for something on A-Gon by a method basically equivalent to cash (does it exist?) before the seller will ship it, and then nothing shows up? The scams referred to above make me want to do all of my transactions in person - but then, I have never yet had a problem here on the 'Gon (or E-Bay). Are there any signs you can look for to protect yourself in advance?
It has been my experience that short of a cash transaction, one that involves United States Postal Money Orders are the next best thing. They cost 90 cents and can be made out up to $750. You can cash them at the post office or deposit them into your bank account. You can check their authenticity before sending out your components at the post office.

As others have already mentioned, cashiers checks can be stopped. Each State has different laws that govern the procedures involved. I hope that your transaction works out. Good luck to you.

Here's an update,

The buyer called me first thing this mourning with tons of bank info. (Good sign) I talked to the branch manager of the issuing bank. She swears the check is as good as gold and no stop payment was ever issued.

No one on either side can tell me exactly what happened. Until I recieve the check with the formal explination my hands are tied. My bank say's it has mailed the check back to me, so all I can do is wait it out right now

The issuing bank wants to know why the check was returned as does everybody else in the loop. I must say I am very disappointed in how my bank has handled this matter thus far. They don't seem to give a cr*p.

The buyer called me again a few minutes ago for an update. As always he sounded polite and concerned. We talked more about gear than about the bounced check.

This isn’t over yet so stay tuned!!!
I learned the hard way on this topic, and had to deal with bad information that my bank gave me. I bank with Wells Fargo in California. Be aware, that you may get 3 different types of "advice" from your bank.

Cahsiers Checks or "Official Checks" can be stopped and funds held for payment. You can stop it for any reason, just call your bank, however, unless it is lost or stolen, meaning if the Recipient who it is made out of has it, it aint stolen, it will eventually have to be paid once the recipient has his bank file a dispute with your bank. In tht dispute, if the Disputer is the person the Cashiers Check is made out to, then your bank is required to fund that check.

Money Orders- Can be stopped for any reason. They offer the the Seller little recourse and plenty of headaches if they are stopped. The buyers bank can hold funds.

USPS MO- are like cash, and cannot be stopped, and are your best bet if accepting that form of payment. There is a $700 limit, but, that shouldnt stop someone who can afford a $5000 amp, to pay 7 $700, and 1 $100 MO, at a cost of $5.40 (.90cents each MO)

good luck on this Glen
Hi Glen

Sorry to hear about the difficulties with selling your amp.
I hope that it all clears up okay for you. Keep us all
posted. I think I can safely say that I speak for everybody
when I say that we all empathize with you.


Glen: Sounds like a bank screwup to me and hope all works out for both of you. We bank with Washington Mutual in CA and trust me the EE's @ my branch are clueless (including the manager). I worked for a large clearings bank and the Federal Reserve in my youth and know a great deal more about the business than our branch manager (and I was just a kid then). Many banks "farm" out so much of the processing now that the EE's do not even have a basic understanding of how the system works.
Greetings Glen, I sold a pair of cables here on Audiogon once and I received a cashiers check for $450. I went to my bank, Bank of *merica and the cashiers check was also from Bof* and they said there is a stop payment on the check but did not know why. They said to come back Monday. This was on a Saturday. I returned the following Monday and they said the reason a stop payment was placed was because California, where I live, does not have a computer link to Texas, where the cashiers check was from. The Texas branch was already closed due to the time differential and they could not call. They cashed it after calling the issueing branch on Monday. Keep us posted. Good luck!
I always pay and receive large payments by wire transfer. Past the close of business and excepting bank error, there are no reversals.

True freedom is having no other choice. When the money's sent, it's gone.

Good luck, I still believe this should be a dispute resolution with both parties named.

Bill E.
I got a call from the branch manager of the buyers bank this mourning. She went out of her way to track down this check. She made a photo copy of both sides. Guess what? I forgot to sign the back.

My thoughts at this time are that my bank stinks. They couldn't tell me this three day's ago? Instead they give me the run around, nobody knows nothing. Every person I talked to told me something different.

The last idiot I talked to said they were going to stick it in an envelope, put a stamp on it and send it back to me.

How nice!

Strip the money from my account without warning me or without any explination. Then mail a pretty big chunk of change back to me non-certified mail. Think twice before signing up at Washington Mutual. These people don't have a clue how to treat their customers.

Imagine if this were an international transaction for three times the amount. :^(

Never say it can't happen to me because for me it just did.

I'll keep this thread going till the deal is complete.

Right now I'm waiting a few days on the mail.
Forget to sign; Homer Simpson said it best:--- DOH !!
Glen, I think the story goes something like and God blamed Adam and Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent and Glen blamed the bank and the bank blamed the clerk and clerk blamed ....
Just recieved the check back in the mail. Take us back to DEF CON 5 or is it DEF CON 1 I forget? anyway got to get to the bank.

Thanks everyone for your concern and support. Your the best family a guy could have :^)
Hey Glen- Nice to have a happy ending; real scary that the bank could foul things up so much. I now bank at the largest New England regional bank and most of their folks are clueless. And the phones for the branches are unlisted, you have to call the answer center and they are worse than clueless. Luckily, I met the branch manager at a local branch (not nearly the nearest) through my accountant, and he can usually solve my problems pretty quickly, but it is amazing how many mistakes they've made over the past 5 years.
Glen, Defcon 5 is nice and mellow. Defcon 1, the mountain is locked and secured, and the mushrooms will soon be sprouting!
Hii Glen , In defense of the buyer, I had purchased a Casher's Check for a pair of Magnepan Speakers , I had the sellers name on the check and my name as the remitter . It seemed to be correct .A week later the seller and I had to meet so I had so sign the Check too! After that his bank deposited the check into his account.
Thanks FP, sounds like I called off the attack just in time :^)