Beating Bad Checks
"Sometimes they are checks written for $300...as little as $30 to $35. And a lot of times those people may know, and send us the money, and they're very sorry and we're very understanding. Other people, we can't get ahold of them any more," El-Toumi said.
Unfortunately, El-Toumi doesn't have the backing of her bank in these situations. "The bank has nothing to do with it. Once we get the check back it is our responsibility to either prosecute or collect the money," she said.
Some businesses have moved toward electronic processing. "ReSubmiIt" from Boone County National Bank allows faster, more efficient check processing. "We've seen increased collections, and the merchants are a lot happier, because they don't have to spend as much on the backside going and collecting those checks," said Rob Quinn, the Assistant Vice-President Business Banking.
The electronic system processes the check instantaneously and it has no extra costs for business owners, and it's something El-Toumi is looking into. Paper checks currently make up only about 11 percent of all consumer payments.
Reported by Mallory Trenor