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Cancelling a cheque illegal?

Posted by Happy Kids - Created: 8 years ago
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2 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 2)

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Posted by ChristopherL-188542 - 8 years ago

Yes what the bank told you is correct. You cannot stop the organization cashing the cheque as it represents "une transaction commerciale engagée". If you have a difference of opinion with the creche you have to either ask them to return the cheque or to cash it and to refund you an amount you agree. Otherwise you run the risks that robbie has clearly indicated.
Best not to tell lies to the bank just to stitch up the creche. In any case an opposition (if passed) would have additional charges for you and quite high rejection charges for the creche who will cash it in good faith - so it is a lose-lose situation.
You can however concoct ways to stop a cheque. For example you can pretend to have lost the whole chequebook and you can bluff that you had written "some" cheques but "can't quite remember how many". Then the bank will oppose the whole cheque book except for cheques already presented before the date of loss. A customer once tried to stitch me up like this. Rather than having an honest discussion with me about a problem he had with something I sold him, he stopped the whole chequebook on the pretence of it being lost. I found this out when I called his bank after my bank rejected his cheque. When I told the bank that this was illegal they said that they are indemnified because they have taken the claim as an "attestaion sur l'honneur" of the client. When I found out (via methods that I don't want to get into) that later cheques from his same chequebook had actually been honoured, I put that to the bank as it became clear to me that this very wealthy individual had put pressure on his bank (in Monaco) to stop the cheque. I thought I had the bank over a barrel but they returned to the "attestaion sur l'honneur" as their protection (i.e. they fingered their client). They agreed that it looked pretty fishy and told me that my recourse was to "porter plainte à la Gendarmerie". Even though it was a Monagesque bank, the cheque was indicated as signed, dated at a town in France. Therefore prima facie case of financial fraud - punishable under French criminal law - not commercial law - i.e. prison sentence. Fascinating learning for me. The amount in question was tiny - not worth my time of day so I let it drop and don't allow the memory of the dishonesty to trouble me. But if I had fought this on principle, then the perpetrator could have had even more than the nasty consequences that robbie describes.
So - don't lie to the bank - it is really not worth the risk.

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Posted by robbie1400 - 8 years ago

My experience of this issue is that if a cheque is presented by a payee and not honoured by the bank, there are very serious consequences. The Bank of France is immediately notified and the drawer is automatically banned from issuing any more cheques. In other words you are breaking the law if you do. For this ban to be lifted the Bank has to be convinced of the validity of your argument. This can take a very long time as you are dealing with a number of layers of bureaucrats. For this reason, cancelling the cheque must be your very last resort.

Do you have a contract with the creche that contains a clause allowing you to stop part way through the period? If so then you must advise them in writing and send the letter registered post. If there is no contract or no break clause then you are at the mercy of the creche I'm afraid.