LandInvestors.com Forums **Ask A Question** I got burned. How do I fix this one?

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    Luke Smith
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    Post count: 1263

    Sold a piece of land for $2,100. Marketed it for $2,500 and he haggled me down. Got a cashiers check from Navy Federal Credit Union. Deposited it and set the deed up for recording. Now the bank is telling me the cashiers check is counterfeit.

    The buyer is claiming it is real.

    I’m out the land and the money. What is my recourse? Record a lien on the land?

    Can I do that before taking him to small claims court?

    Should I just suck it up and learn for next time to have a delay period?

    Thanks

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
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  • Luke Smith
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    Post count: 1263
    ProAdvanced

    My check to pay the county recording fees was already cashed. It is recorded.

    Brad Melis
    Participant
    Post count: 14
    Pro

    Luke,

    This really sucks. Recording a lien without the owner’s consent is a bit dicey. It could be set aside. But given the circumstances I would probably do it. You might want to call the local DA’s office to see what they suggest.

    Best of luck. Brad

    Luke Smith
    Moderator
    Post count: 1263
    ProAdvanced

    The buyers address is owned by the same name he gave me. Wonder if it is a mistake more than a fraud.

    Jill DeWit
    Participant
    Post count: 439
    ProAdvancedStaffPrincipal

    How long did you wait for payment to process? I let buyer’s know that deed will be sent after payment cleared. Never had a issue (they get it).

    Please let us know what you and the buyer come up with as a resolution.

    Michel
    Participant
    Post count: 199
    Pro

    @luketsmith

    That really sucks. I haven’t had this happen but I do Teel the customers the certified bank check needs to clear before they get the deed. Feb has been one of those months. Bidders on eBay are MIA after winning bid, things are moving slow, and all kinds of silly questions after they win. Pretty fed up with eBay customers.

    Luke Smith
    Moderator
    Post count: 1263
    ProAdvanced

    Thanks guys, Talked to the buyer again today. He is still sticking to his story. Says he can see my signature on the cleared cashiers check. His dates line up. All the numbers he gives me line up. His story seems solid to me.

    My bank says it is a counterfeit check and they keep asking me questions like I am involved in trying to pass a fake check.

    Guess it is a big lesson in waiting to record the deed after getting “Paid”. I waited over the weekend. How long should I wait? The bank said at least two weeks, three would be even better, still no guarantees.

    Time for a new bank.

    Will try to get the returned check and take it to a local Navy Federal Credit Union branch to see what I can find out there.

    Chris
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    Wow Luke, sorry to hear that you got burned.

    I appreciate you sharing your experience with us. Helps everyone know what to do (and not do).

    Chris
    Participant
    Post count: 252
    Pro

    @luketsmith Can you get a copy of the check from the buyer and take it Navy Federal? My question is your bank saying it’s a fraud or is Navy Federal saying it’s a fraud? What if your bank is paranoid and they aren’t familiar with what a NFCU cashiers check looks like?

    Luke Smith
    Moderator
    Post count: 1263
    ProAdvanced

    @diego79
    My bank said they were mailing the check back to me. Then their fraud department called and sounded like they had the check. Either way I want to stop using that bank. They just got bought out and the merger is looming. Everything is just about to change. I started setting up new accounts at a different bank. Will move over.

    They said they see lots of counterfeit cashiers checks and lots of them are from Navy Federal Credit Union or some other lesser known credit union or bank so it is harder to verify them locally.

    If I get that check back I will take it to my local Navy Federal Credit Union and ask them if it is theirs or fake.

    Craig_McMahon
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    @Luke Smith- I used to work at a retail bank, and what I would have my tellers do in this situation is simply call Navy Federal Credit Union and ask them to verify that the check is good. A cashier’s check has a serial number and is trackable.

    It’s a simple matter to say “Hey, this is So-And-So over at Local Bank in State. I’m trying to verify if a cashier’s check that was deposited into our bank last week is legitimate. It’s number 0123, drawn from the account of a Mr. Landbuyer.”

    NFCU Employee- “Hang on a sec. Yes, that cashier’s check was issued on Date.”

    Local Bank- “Can you confirm to whom it was made it out?”

    NFCU- “Sure thing. It’s made out to _____ for _______.”

    Local Bank- “Great, thank you!”

    Now, some banks won’t confirm over the phone. My bank would call other banks for this info, but wouldn’t provide it if someone else called. Sometimes the bank can send a copy of the check to NFCU, which can then confirm it’s good.

    The nice thing about a cashier’s check is that they’re pretty easily verifiable. Shouldn’t be too much trouble for your bank to check this out.

    Luke Smith
    Moderator
    Post count: 1263
    ProAdvanced

    @craigmcmahon4
    Craig, that is awesome. Thanks so much for chiming in.

    From now on I am scanning it all and saving the info.

    My bank is not being very helpful at all. They are basically accusing me of being involved in trying to deposit a fake cashiers check.

    One guy said they were sending it back to me so if I get it back I can try what you are saying at a different bank.

    Thanks,
    Luke

    Craig_McMahon
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    Luke- Sounds like it’s a good thing you’re moving banks, then! I would never have even hinted at accusing a customer of attempting to commit fraud. That’s extremely poor customer service, especially since a) verifying cashier’s checks is simple as pie and b) a few questions about the nature of the transaction should have cleared everything up.

    You might want to offer to forward them the emails between you and the seller, show them that the address/name matches the name of your seller, and maybe even show them the purchase/sales agreement for the same amount. That kind of transparent documentation gives bankers thrills of pleasure (it didn’t for me…which is why I’m not a banker anymore!).

    Remember, too, that the person you’re dealing with probably makes 15 bucks an hour and is infinitely fireable if he/she makes even the smallest mistake. That kind of low pay/high stakes setup might keep costs down, but it also incentives employees to be way too conservative and eschew common sense.

    Basically, the more documentation/proof you offer and the more transparent you are, the more cover the fraud prevention people have to cover their own behinds. The more they feel those behinds are covered, the more they’ll work to resolve the issue to your satisfaction. If they even catch a whiff of danger, though, they’ll protect their own necks before going out on a limb for you.

    And I promise I’m not trying to be condescending, because I doubt very much this is relevant to your situation, but I’m always amazed at how far I get being calm and polite in these kinds of situations. I mean exceedingly calm–unflappable, even. Even though this poorly paid clerk is screwing you over, even though it’s ridiculous, and even though they’re insulting your character by treating you so suspiciously, being exceedingly calm, polite, and staying solutions-focused (“what other documentation can I provide to help prove this check is real?”) will go a long way.

    Again, don’t mean to imply you weren’t already doing that.

    Ariel Muller
    Participant
    Post count: 75

    Wow! @luketsmith that realy sucks, hope it works out in your favor!

    Luke Smith
    Moderator
    Post count: 1263
    ProAdvanced

    Thank you guys. As a stockbroker in my former profession I was on the other end of lots of these kinds of conversations. I’m pretty calm and collected when it comes to moving money around.

    We used to finance mining exploration companies in third world countries. Lots of the time we were the largest foreign investment in these little countries. Just about everything goes wrong in that business. When it does not go wrong there is a lot of money to be made so we kept doing it.

    Used to get the grand woo ha ha of po dunk county ville mad. They say they are the top of the food chain and what they say goes. Yea so does the money, it goes somewhere else.

    S. Jack Butala
    Participant
    Post count: 101
    ProAdvancedStaffPrincipal

    @luketsmith

    Luke, I’m sorry this happened. I have had similar experiences in the past.

    If there’s some way I can help you work this out, count me in.

    For everyone else:

    Here’s some suggested check out policiesfor accepting payment.

    1). “Our preferred method of payment is credit card” Please check out here. Why? It speeds up the transaction processing and insures the safety of this transaction in many ways. You should have deed to your property in just a few days. Otherwise,

    2). “We accept checks.” We love checks and cashier’s checks just like you do because there’s really no fees involved. Once the funds have cleared our bank, we will drop the executed deed in the mail. Processing time is between two to four weeks (yes, it takes that long because the money needs to clear our bank).

    3) “Wire transfers” are welcome also. Our bank information is XYZ. Please notify us when you wire in via email. We will drop the executed deed packing in the mail within 2 business days following funds confirmation.

    Still really sucks, Luke.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)

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