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Re: [howardpubliced] Re: HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks

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  • Sue Medicus
    Actually, many checks (particularly business) indicate void after 90 days. The Schools are acting incredibly irresponsibly if they fail to deposit checks
    Message 1 of 20 , Aug 21 5:55 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      Actually, many checks (particularly business) indicate void after 90 days.

      The Schools are acting incredibly irresponsibly if they fail to deposit checks timely.  They cost the School system money in the terms of potential interest that could be earned, if nothing else.

      Of course, the Schools are NOT good money managers, as we've seen time and time again.

      But they are VERY irresponsible to hold checks that long.  They could end up losing.  We've had examples where, because of mergers, old accounts are closed by banks.  So it may not even be the individual's fault.

      Sue Medicus

      On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 8:09 AM, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...> wrote:
       

      Can't say I agree.  Once a check is written, funds should be reserved for that check for at least a year (or whatever the time limit is for cashing personal checks).  Yes, the schools should be cashing checks on a regular, frequent basis, but I disagree that we should expect checks to bounce if they aren't cashed within 3 months.  Whatever their banks' terms are -- 12 months generally -- is the timeframe that check-writers should dedicate funds for every check they write.
       
      Diane

      On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 7:45 AM, debra21794 <debra4@...> wrote:
       

      I think part of the problem is how long it takes HCPSS to cash the checks. I always made sure that I had enough in the checking acct in Aug and Sept to deal with school expenses, but by December my checking account was pretty slim...and that was when I saw my checks to the school being cashed! They should not be complaining about bad checks when they hold onto them for 3 months! No wonder they are getting NSF returns.
      Debra



      --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > David makes a good point.
      >
      > I would also like to add that in the case of parents writing checks to the school system for some kind of fee for their kid to either participate in an activity or some supplies they need to fully participate - it is once again the most vulnerable kids and their families who are going to be impacted not only by the original fees, but by the fees incurred for NSF checks.
      >
      > Theoretically, a parent could write a check for $15 for some "little expense", and potentially end up paying $35 to their bank, $35 to the the School system - and if I am reading this correctly, some other fee to the FARS company (for a total cost to the family in excess of $85 for the original $15 item)... not to mention that these fees can be automatically withdrawn from the offenders account without additional action on their part --- which could easily cause more unnecessary overdrafts in the account and a potentially unending series of financial set-backs for the family, all stemming from their effort to pay fees to the school system so their children can fully participate in the "free" education.
      >
      > And please, let's not rely too heavily on the notion that there are waivers available for needy families in many cases. It is the families who are too proud to request this help, too uninformed or ill equiped to apply for it, or simply experiencing unusually stressful financial times and do not want their children to be embarassed who are most likely to be hit with these difficulties.
      >
      > There should be very limited circumstances for parents to need to write checks to the school system at all - that would help reduce "bad checks".
      >
      > cindy v
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
      > From: david@...

      > Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 16:58:24 +0000
      > Subject: [howardpubliced] HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
      >
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      > The following notice makes me wonder what the checks are for and how much money they represent. If they are thousands of checks from parents for minor expenses, it might be less expensive to just include the expenses in the budget and forget about the fees. If they are checks for large amounts, why are we even accepting such checks?
      >
      >
      >
      > The outside company is certainly taking a percentage of any funds recovered. Administration is already a major cost in our budget, and I would like to see it reduced in favor of real teaching expenses.
      >
      >
      >
      > - David T
      >
      >
      >
      > August 10, 2009 (#2010-011)
      >
      >
      >
      > HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
      >
      >
      >
      > While it may seem like a minor issue to some, processing of non-sufficient fund (NSF) checks is a time consuming and costly process for organizations and businesses. Due to the growing volume of uncollectible checks received by the Howard County Public School System, school officials have decided to use an outside company to recover returned checks in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
      >
      >
      >
      > The school system receives over 800 NSF checks annually and following up on the collection is an arduous task, according to the school system's Director of Finance Beverly Davis. As of August 1, the school system began using the Federal Automated Recovery Systems (FARS) for the electronic collection of checks.
      >
      >
      >
      > FARS uses an electronic recovery process for NSF checks as allowed by state and federal laws. This results in a high rate of recovery at no cost to the school system. The cost becomes the responsibility of the individual who wrote the bad check because the electronic system allows for the recovery of the face amount of the check and a NSF check fee from the check writer's bank account.
      >
      >
      >
      > Howard County Public School System gladly accepts checks, says Davis, but the system has an obligation to be fiscally accountable to county taxpayers.
      >
      >
      >
      > "We want all check writers to understand that when they sign a check to the school system, they are in fact authorizing us to use information from the check to process the payment as a check transaction or to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from their account," Davis explains.
      >
      >
      >
      > Davis says state and federal laws also give the school system the right to collect the authorized State of Maryland $35 fee through an electronic fund transfer from the check writer's account if the payment is returned unpaid.
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      > __________________________________________________________
      > With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.
      > http://www.windowslive.com/Desktop/PhotoGallery
      >





      --
      Sue Medicus
    • The Sola's
      Sounds like a way to make some money for HCPSS. If a check is not cashed within 30 days by HCPSS it ought not be on the back of the check writer. Does anyone
      Message 2 of 20 , Aug 21 6:15 AM
      • 0 Attachment

        Sounds like a way to make some money for HCPSS.  If a check is not cashed within 30 days by HCPSS it ought not be on the back of the check writer.  Does anyone know of a business that does not go at least once a week to make a bank deposit??

         

        Peter Sola

         

        From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of debra21794
        Sent: Friday, August 21, 2009 7:45 AM
        To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks

         

         

        I think part of the problem is how long it takes HCPSS to cash the checks. I always made sure that I had enough in the checking acct in Aug and Sept to deal with school expenses, but by December my checking account was pretty slim...and that was when I saw my checks to the school being cashed! They should not be complaining about bad checks when they hold onto them for 3 months! No wonder they are getting NSF returns.
        Debra

        --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:

        >
        >
        > David makes a good point.
        >
        > I would also like to add that in the case of parents writing checks to the
        school system for some kind of fee for their kid to either participate in an activity or some supplies they need to fully participate - it is once again the most vulnerable kids and their families who are going to be impacted not only by the original fees, but by the fees incurred for NSF checks.
        >
        > Theoretically, a parent could write a check for $15 for some "little
        expense", and potentially end up paying $35 to their bank, $35 to the the School system - and if I am reading this correctly, some other fee to the FARS company (for a total cost to the family in excess of $85 for the original $15 item)... not to mention that these fees can be automatically withdrawn from the offenders account without additional action on their part --- which could easily cause more unnecessary overdrafts in the account and a potentially unending series of financial set-backs for the family, all stemming from their effort to pay fees to the school system so their children can fully participate in the "free" education.
        >
        > And please, let's not rely too heavily on the notion that there are
        waivers available for needy families in many cases. It is the families who are too proud to request this help, too uninformed or ill equiped to apply for it, or simply experiencing unusually stressful financial times and do not want their children to be embarassed who are most likely to be hit with these difficulties.
        >
        > There should be very limited circumstances for parents to need to write
        checks to the school system at all - that would help reduce "bad checks".
        >
        > cindy v
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
        > From: david@...
        > Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 16:58:24 +0000
        > Subject: [howardpubliced] HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad
        Checks
        >
        >
        >
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        >
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        >
        > The following notice makes me wonder what the checks are for and how much
        money they represent. If they are thousands of checks from parents for minor expenses, it might be less expensive to just include the expenses in the budget and forget about the fees. If they are checks for large amounts, why are we even accepting such checks?
        >
        >
        >
        > The outside company is certainly taking a percentage of any funds
        recovered. Administration is already a major cost in our budget, and I would like to see it reduced in favor of real teaching expenses.
        >
        >
        >
        > - David T
        >
        >
        >
        > August 10, 2009 (#2010-011)
        >
        >
        >
        > HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
        >
        >
        >
        > While it may seem like a minor issue to some, processing of non-sufficient
        fund (NSF) checks is a time consuming and costly process for organizations and businesses. Due to the growing volume of uncollectible checks received by the Howard County Public School System, school officials have decided to use an outside company to recover returned checks in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
        >
        >
        >
        > The school system receives over 800 NSF checks annually and following up
        on the collection is an arduous task, according to the school system's Director of Finance Beverly Davis. As of August 1, the school system began using the Federal Automated Recovery Systems (FARS) for the electronic collection of checks.
        >
        >
        >
        > FARS uses an electronic recovery process for NSF checks as allowed by
        state and federal laws. This results in a high rate of recovery at no cost to the school system. The cost becomes the responsibility of the individual who wrote the bad check because the electronic system allows for the recovery of the face amount of the check and a NSF check fee from the check writer's bank account.
        >
        >
        >
        > Howard County Public School System gladly accepts checks, says Davis, but
        the system has an obligation to be fiscally accountable to county taxpayers.
        >
        >
        >
        > "We want all check writers to understand that when they sign a check
        to the school system, they are in fact authorizing us to use information from the check to process the payment as a check transaction or to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from their account," Davis explains.
        >
        >
        >
        > Davis says state and federal laws also give the school system the right to
        collect the authorized State of Maryland $35 fee through an electronic fund transfer from the check writer's account if the payment is returned unpaid.
        >
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        > __________________________________________________________
        > With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.
        > http://www.windowslive.com/Desktop/PhotoGallery
        >

      • Diane Goodridge
        Sue, The issue is not about cashing BUSINESS checks, it s about cashing PERSONAL checks (i.e., from parents for school fees for field trips, etc). And so the
        Message 3 of 20 , Aug 21 6:57 AM
        • 0 Attachment
          Sue,
           
          The issue is not about cashing BUSINESS checks, it's about cashing PERSONAL checks (i.e., from parents for school fees for field trips, etc).  And so the 90 day time limit (for a "stale" check) does not apply to PERSONAL checks written by parents. 
           
          My point was/is that anyone who writes a check should be fiscally responsible and reserve funds to cover that check for whatever time limit is listed in their bank's terms (I've always gone by a 12 month timeframe).  PERSONAL checks (NOT business/rebate checks that sometimes have "Void after XX days" printed directly on it) are typcially considered stale after 6 months (which is double the 3-month timeframe mentioned by Debra), yet banks can and do allow them to be cashed even months after 6 months.  In the real world,  a check's date is often ignored by bank tellers/processors.  Which makes the 3-month assumption for personal checks even more absurd.
           
          I just don't buy the argument that the school system is "automatically wrong" for holding onto to checks for 3 months and therefore we should blame HCPSS for personal checks bouncing.  The original fault lies with the drawer of the check (check-writer) for insufficient funds within 3 months of writing a personal check (assuming other parents are like Debra and think their funds are "free" after 90 days).  Again, I agree that schools should be processing deposits on a regular, frequent basis (nobody would argue that point), but that does not erase the original fault of passing bad checks if they are not cashed within 3 months -- unless the time limit is printed on the check itself (as is typically the case for rebate/business checks -- not personal checks).
           
          - Diane
          Here are some other links that discuss this issue:

          A bank is under no obligation to a customer having a checking account to pay a check, other than a certified check, which is presented more than six months after its date, but it may charge its customer’s account for a payment made thereafter in good faith.

          In other words: the bank isn’t required to pay a check more than six months old. But it can if it wants. The bottom line? If you have a stale check outstanding, contact your bank to determine their policy. Don’t just assume the funds are free to be spent.

           

           
           
           
           

           
          On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 8:55 AM, Sue Medicus <berryfolks@...> wrote:
           

          Actually, many checks (particularly business) indicate void after 90 days.

          The Schools are acting incredibly irresponsibly if they fail to deposit checks timely.  They cost the School system money in the terms of potential interest that could be earned, if nothing else.

          Of course, the Schools are NOT good money managers, as we've seen time and time again.

          But they are VERY irresponsible to hold checks that long.  They could end up losing.  We've had examples where, because of mergers, old accounts are closed by banks.  So it may not even be the individual's fault.

          Sue Medicus



          On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 8:09 AM, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...> wrote:
           

          Can't say I agree.  Once a check is written, funds should be reserved for that check for at least a year (or whatever the time limit is for cashing personal checks).  Yes, the schools should be cashing checks on a regular, frequent basis, but I disagree that we should expect checks to bounce if they aren't cashed within 3 months.  Whatever their banks' terms are -- 12 months generally -- is the timeframe that check-writers should dedicate funds for every check they write.
           
          Diane

          On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 7:45 AM, debra21794 <debra4@...> wrote:
           

          I think part of the problem is how long it takes HCPSS to cash the checks. I always made sure that I had enough in the checking acct in Aug and Sept to deal with school expenses, but by December my checking account was pretty slim...and that was when I saw my checks to the school being cashed! They should not be complaining about bad checks when they hold onto them for 3 months! No wonder they are getting NSF returns.
          Debra



          --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > David makes a good point.
          >
          > I would also like to add that in the case of parents writing checks to the school system for some kind of fee for their kid to either participate in an activity or some supplies they need to fully participate - it is once again the most vulnerable kids and their families who are going to be impacted not only by the original fees, but by the fees incurred for NSF checks.
          >
          > Theoretically, a parent could write a check for $15 for some "little expense", and potentially end up paying $35 to their bank, $35 to the the School system - and if I am reading this correctly, some other fee to the FARS company (for a total cost to the family in excess of $85 for the original $15 item)... not to mention that these fees can be automatically withdrawn from the offenders account without additional action on their part --- which could easily cause more unnecessary overdrafts in the account and a potentially unending series of financial set-backs for the family, all stemming from their effort to pay fees to the school system so their children can fully participate in the "free" education.
          >
          > And please, let's not rely too heavily on the notion that there are waivers available for needy families in many cases. It is the families who are too proud to request this help, too uninformed or ill equiped to apply for it, or simply experiencing unusually stressful financial times and do not want their children to be embarassed who are most likely to be hit with these difficulties.
          >
          > There should be very limited circumstances for parents to need to write checks to the school system at all - that would help reduce "bad checks".
          >
          > cindy v
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
          > From: david@...

          > Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 16:58:24 +0000
          > Subject: [howardpubliced] HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > The following notice makes me wonder what the checks are for and how much money they represent. If they are thousands of checks from parents for minor expenses, it might be less expensive to just include the expenses in the budget and forget about the fees. If they are checks for large amounts, why are we even accepting such checks?
          >
          >
          >
          > The outside company is certainly taking a percentage of any funds recovered. Administration is already a major cost in our budget, and I would like to see it reduced in favor of real teaching expenses.
          >
          >
          >
          > - David T
          >
          >
          >
          > August 10, 2009 (#2010-011)
          >
          >
          >
          > HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
          >
          >
          >
          > While it may seem like a minor issue to some, processing of non-sufficient fund (NSF) checks is a time consuming and costly process for organizations and businesses. Due to the growing volume of uncollectible checks received by the Howard County Public School System, school officials have decided to use an outside company to recover returned checks in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
          >
          >
          >
          > The school system receives over 800 NSF checks annually and following up on the collection is an arduous task, according to the school system's Director of Finance Beverly Davis. As of August 1, the school system began using the Federal Automated Recovery Systems (FARS) for the electronic collection of checks.
          >
          >
          >
          > FARS uses an electronic recovery process for NSF checks as allowed by state and federal laws. This results in a high rate of recovery at no cost to the school system. The cost becomes the responsibility of the individual who wrote the bad check because the electronic system allows for the recovery of the face amount of the check and a NSF check fee from the check writer's bank account.
          >
          >
          >
          > Howard County Public School System gladly accepts checks, says Davis, but the system has an obligation to be fiscally accountable to county taxpayers.
          >
          >
          >
          > "We want all check writers to understand that when they sign a check to the school system, they are in fact authorizing us to use information from the check to process the payment as a check transaction or to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from their account," Davis explains.
          >
          >
          >
          > Davis says state and federal laws also give the school system the right to collect the authorized State of Maryland $35 fee through an electronic fund transfer from the check writer's account if the payment is returned unpaid.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > __________________________________________________________
          > With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.
          > http://www.windowslive.com/Desktop/PhotoGallery
          >





          --
          Sue Medicus


        • Diane Goodridge
          I think that HCPSS can/should offer guidelines for schools to process checks in a timely manner, but it cannot and should not supercede the law! There s a
          Message 4 of 20 , Aug 21 7:09 AM
          • 0 Attachment
            I think that HCPSS can/should offer guidelines for schools to process checks in a timely manner, but it cannot and should not supercede the law!  There's a limit to what HCPSS/BOE policy can mandate; there are laws and banking terms that already spell out all this stuff.  Thirty days is totally absurd as a time limit ... and totally unenforceable.
            Diane
             

             
            On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 9:15 AM, The Sola's <pmbsola@...> wrote:
             

            Sounds like a way to make some money for HCPSS.  If a check is not cashed within 30 days by HCPSS it ought not be on the back of the check writer.  Does anyone know of a business that does not go at least once a week to make a bank deposit??

             

            Peter Sola

             

            From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of debra21794
            Sent: Friday, August 21, 2009 7:45 AM
            To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks

             

             

            I think part of the problem is how long it takes HCPSS to cash the checks. I always made sure that I had enough in the checking acct in Aug and Sept to deal with school expenses, but by December my checking account was pretty slim...and that was when I saw my checks to the school being cashed! They should not be complaining about bad checks when they hold onto them for 3 months! No wonder they are getting NSF returns.
            Debra

            --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > David makes a good point.
            >
            > I would also like to add that in the case of parents writing checks to the school system for some kind of fee for their kid to either participate in an activity or some supplies they need to fully participate - it is once again the most vulnerable kids and their families who are going to be impacted not only by the original fees, but by the fees incurred for NSF checks.
            >
            > Theoretically, a parent could write a check for $15 for some "little expense", and potentially end up paying $35 to their bank, $35 to the the School system - and if I am reading this correctly, some other fee to the FARS company (for a total cost to the family in excess of $85 for the original $15 item)... not to mention that these fees can be automatically withdrawn from the offenders account without additional action on their part --- which could easily cause more unnecessary overdrafts in the account and a potentially unending series of financial set-backs for the family, all stemming from their effort to pay fees to the school system so their children can fully participate in the "free" education.
            >
            > And please, let's not rely too heavily on the notion that there are waivers available for needy families in many cases. It is the families who are too proud to request this help, too uninformed or ill equiped to apply for it, or simply experiencing unusually stressful financial times and do not want their children to be embarassed who are most likely to be hit with these difficulties.
            >
            > There should be very limited circumstances for parents to need to write checks to the school system at all - that would help reduce "bad checks".
            >
            > cindy v
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
            > From: david@...
            > Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 16:58:24 +0000
            > Subject: [howardpubliced] HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > The following notice makes me wonder what the checks are for and how much money they represent. If they are thousands of checks from parents for minor expenses, it might be less expensive to just include the expenses in the budget and forget about the fees. If they are checks for large amounts, why are we even accepting such checks?
            >
            >
            >
            > The outside company is certainly taking a percentage of any funds recovered. Administration is already a major cost in our budget, and I would like to see it reduced in favor of real teaching expenses.
            >
            >
            >
            > - David T
            >
            >
            >
            > August 10, 2009 (#2010-011)
            >
            >
            >
            > HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
            >
            >
            >
            > While it may seem like a minor issue to some, processing of non-sufficient fund (NSF) checks is a time consuming and costly process for organizations and businesses. Due to the growing volume of uncollectible checks received by the Howard County Public School System, school officials have decided to use an outside company to recover returned checks in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
            >
            >
            >
            > The school system receives over 800 NSF checks annually and following up on the collection is an arduous task, according to the school system's Director of Finance Beverly Davis. As of August 1, the school system began using the Federal Automated Recovery Systems (FARS) for the electronic collection of checks.
            >
            >
            >
            > FARS uses an electronic recovery process for NSF checks as allowed by state and federal laws. This results in a high rate of recovery at no cost to the school system. The cost becomes the responsibility of the individual who wrote the bad check because the electronic system allows for the recovery of the face amount of the check and a NSF check fee from the check writer's bank account.
            >
            >
            >
            > Howard County Public School System gladly accepts checks, says Davis, but the system has an obligation to be fiscally accountable to county taxpayers.
            >
            >
            >
            > "We want all check writers to understand that when they sign a check to the school system, they are in fact authorizing us to use information from the check to process the payment as a check transaction or to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from their account," Davis explains.
            >
            >
            >
            > Davis says state and federal laws also give the school system the right to collect the authorized State of Maryland $35 fee through an electronic fund transfer from the check writer's account if the payment is returned unpaid.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > __________________________________________________________
            > With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.
            > http://www.windowslive.com/Desktop/PhotoGallery
            >


          • cynthia vaillancourt
            I have also had weird checks clear my account months after the fact. Fortunately it is not usually a problem - though I have been known to mess up my account
            Message 5 of 20 , Aug 21 7:26 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              I have also had weird checks clear my account months after the fact.  Fortunately it is not usually a problem - though I have been known to mess up my account from time to time.

              For my part, I am not talking about "letter of the law" rights or obligations, or even responsible checking account hygiene.

              There are lots of things HCPSS "may" do that they don't "have" to do to parents.  

              Holding on to checks for months is just rude, whether the writer keeps conscientious records or not.

              When my kids "lose" checks from their grandparents and find them months later I make them call their grandparent and explain the lapse and ask if it would be ok to still deposit it.  I'm pretty sure that they are still "good", but over drawing someone's account doesn;t do anyone any good except the bank.  And, as I said, I consider it rude.

              cindy v


              To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
              From: RGoodri973@...
              Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 10:09:50 -0400
              Subject: Re: [howardpubliced] Re: HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks

               

              I think that HCPSS can/should offer guidelines for schools to process checks in a timely manner, but it cannot and should not supercede the law!  There's a limit to what HCPSS/BOE policy can mandate; there are laws and banking terms that already spell out all this stuff.  Thirty days is totally absurd as a time limit ... and totally unenforceable.
              Diane
               

               
              On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 9:15 AM, The Sola's <pmbsola@verizon. net> wrote:
               

              Sounds like a way to make some money for HCPSS.  If a check is not cashed within 30 days by HCPSS it ought not be on the back of the check writer.  Does anyone know of a business that does not go at least once a week to make a bank deposit??
               
              Peter Sola
               
              From: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of debra21794
              Sent: Friday, August 21, 2009 7:45 AM
              To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
              Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks

               
               
              I think part of the problem is how long it takes HCPSS to cash the checks. I always made sure that I had enough in the checking acct in Aug and Sept to deal with school expenses, but by December my checking account was pretty slim...and that was when I saw my checks to the school being cashed! They should not be complaining about bad checks when they hold onto them for 3 months! No wonder they are getting NSF returns.
              Debra

              --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt @...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > David makes a good point.
              >
              > I would also like to add that in the case of parents writing checks to the school system for some kind of fee for their kid to either participate in an activity or some supplies they need to fully participate - it is once again the most vulnerable kids and their families who are going to be impacted not only by the original fees, but by the fees incurred for NSF checks.
              >
              > Theoretically, a parent could write a check for $15 for some "little expense", and potentially end up paying $35 to their bank, $35 to the the School system - and if I am reading this correctly, some other fee to the FARS company (for a total cost to the family in excess of $85 for the original $15 item)... not to mention that these fees can be automatically withdrawn from the offenders account without additional action on their part --- which could easily cause more unnecessary overdrafts in the account and a potentially unending series of financial set-backs for the family, all stemming from their effort to pay fees to the school system so their children can fully participate in the "free" education.
              >
              > And please, let's not rely too heavily on the notion that there are waivers available for needy families in many cases. It is the families who are too proud to request this help, too uninformed or ill equiped to apply for it, or simply experiencing unusually stressful financial times and do not want their children to be embarassed who are most likely to be hit with these difficulties.
              >
              > There should be very limited circumstances for parents to need to write checks to the school system at all - that would help reduce "bad checks".
              >
              > cindy v
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
              > From: david@...
              > Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 16:58:24 +0000
              > Subject: [howardpubliced] HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > The following notice makes me wonder what the checks are for and how much money they represent. If they are thousands of checks from parents for minor expenses, it might be less expensive to just include the expenses in the budget and forget about the fees. If they are checks for large amounts, why are we even accepting such checks?
              >
              >
              >
              > The outside company is certainly taking a percentage of any funds recovered. Administration is already a major cost in our budget, and I would like to see it reduced in favor of real teaching expenses.
              >
              >
              >
              > - David T
              >
              >
              >
              > August 10, 2009 (#2010-011)
              >
              >
              >
              > HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
              >
              >
              >
              > While it may seem like a minor issue to some, processing of non-sufficient fund (NSF) checks is a time consuming and costly process for organizations and businesses. Due to the growing volume of uncollectible checks received by the Howard County Public School System, school officials have decided to use an outside company to recover returned checks in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
              >
              >
              >
              > The school system receives over 800 NSF checks annually and following up on the collection is an arduous task, according to the school system's Director of Finance Beverly Davis. As of August 1, the school system began using the Federal Automated Recovery Systems (FARS) for the electronic collection of checks.
              >
              >
              >
              > FARS uses an electronic recovery process for NSF checks as allowed by state and federal laws. This results in a high rate of recovery at no cost to the school system. The cost becomes the responsibility of the individual who wrote the bad check because the electronic system allows for the recovery of the face amount of the check and a NSF check fee from the check writer's bank account.
              >
              >
              >
              > Howard County Public School System gladly accepts checks, says Davis, but the system has an obligation to be fiscally accountable to county taxpayers.
              >
              >
              >
              > "We want all check writers to understand that when they sign a check to the school system, they are in fact authorizing us to use information from the check to process the payment as a check transaction or to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from their account," Davis explains.
              >
              >
              >
              > Davis says state and federal laws also give the school system the right to collect the authorized State of Maryland $35 fee through an electronic fund transfer from the check writer's account if the payment is returned unpaid.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
              > With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.
              > http://www.windowsl ive.com/Desktop/ PhotoGallery
              >







              Hotmail® is up to 70% faster. Now good news travels really fast. Try it now.
            • Sue Medicus
              Well, the School system looses money by not timely depositing checks, if in overnite investments alone That s a ridiculous waste of money in my mind, simply
              Message 6 of 20 , Aug 21 8:23 AM
              • 0 Attachment
                Well, the School system looses money by not timely depositing checks, if in overnite investments alone

                That's a ridiculous waste of money in my mind, simply because they don't have a business understanding of how finances work

                Sue

                On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 9:57 AM, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...> wrote:
                 

                Sue,
                 
                The issue is not about cashing BUSINESS checks, it's about cashing PERSONAL checks (i.e., from parents for school fees for field trips, etc).  And so the 90 day time limit (for a "stale" check) does not apply to PERSONAL checks written by parents. 
                 
                My point was/is that anyone who writes a check should be fiscally responsible and reserve funds to cover that check for whatever time limit is listed in their bank's terms (I've always gone by a 12 month timeframe).  PERSONAL checks (NOT business/rebate checks that sometimes have "Void after XX days" printed directly on it) are typcially considered stale after 6 months (which is double the 3-month timeframe mentioned by Debra), yet banks can and do allow them to be cashed even months after 6 months.  In the real world,  a check's date is often ignored by bank tellers/processors.  Which makes the 3-month assumption for personal checks even more absurd.
                 
                I just don't buy the argument that the school system is "automatically wrong" for holding onto to checks for 3 months and therefore we should blame HCPSS for personal checks bouncing.  The original fault lies with the drawer of the check (check-writer) for insufficient funds within 3 months of writing a personal check (assuming other parents are like Debra and think their funds are "free" after 90 days).  Again, I agree that schools should be processing deposits on a regular, frequent basis (nobody would argue that point), but that does not erase the original fault of passing bad checks if they are not cashed within 3 months -- unless the time limit is printed on the check itself (as is typically the case for rebate/business checks -- not personal checks).
                 
                - Diane
                Here are some other links that discuss this issue:

                A bank is under no obligation to a customer having a checking account to pay a check, other than a certified check, which is presented more than six months after its date, but it may charge its customer’s account for a payment made thereafter in good faith.

                In other words: the bank isn’t required to pay a check more than six months old. But it can if it wants. The bottom line? If you have a stale check outstanding, contact your bank to determine their policy. Don’t just assume the funds are free to be spent.

                 

                 
                 
                 
                 

                 
                On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 8:55 AM, Sue Medicus <berryfolks@...> wrote:
                 

                Actually, many checks (particularly business) indicate void after 90 days.

                The Schools are acting incredibly irresponsibly if they fail to deposit checks timely.  They cost the School system money in the terms of potential interest that could be earned, if nothing else.

                Of course, the Schools are NOT good money managers, as we've seen time and time again.

                But they are VERY irresponsible to hold checks that long.  They could end up losing.  We've had examples where, because of mergers, old accounts are closed by banks.  So it may not even be the individual's fault.

                Sue Medicus


                On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 8:09 AM, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...> wrote:
                 

                Can't say I agree.  Once a check is written, funds should be reserved for that check for at least a year (or whatever the time limit is for cashing personal checks).  Yes, the schools should be cashing checks on a regular, frequent basis, but I disagree that we should expect checks to bounce if they aren't cashed within 3 months.  Whatever their banks' terms are -- 12 months generally -- is the timeframe that check-writers should dedicate funds for every check they write.
                 
                Diane

                On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 7:45 AM, debra21794 <debra4@...> wrote:
                 

                I think part of the problem is how long it takes HCPSS to cash the checks. I always made sure that I had enough in the checking acct in Aug and Sept to deal with school expenses, but by December my checking account was pretty slim...and that was when I saw my checks to the school being cashed! They should not be complaining about bad checks when they hold onto them for 3 months! No wonder they are getting NSF returns.
                Debra



                --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > David makes a good point.
                >
                > I would also like to add that in the case of parents writing checks to the school system for some kind of fee for their kid to either participate in an activity or some supplies they need to fully participate - it is once again the most vulnerable kids and their families who are going to be impacted not only by the original fees, but by the fees incurred for NSF checks.
                >
                > Theoretically, a parent could write a check for $15 for some "little expense", and potentially end up paying $35 to their bank, $35 to the the School system - and if I am reading this correctly, some other fee to the FARS company (for a total cost to the family in excess of $85 for the original $15 item)... not to mention that these fees can be automatically withdrawn from the offenders account without additional action on their part --- which could easily cause more unnecessary overdrafts in the account and a potentially unending series of financial set-backs for the family, all stemming from their effort to pay fees to the school system so their children can fully participate in the "free" education.
                >
                > And please, let's not rely too heavily on the notion that there are waivers available for needy families in many cases. It is the families who are too proud to request this help, too uninformed or ill equiped to apply for it, or simply experiencing unusually stressful financial times and do not want their children to be embarassed who are most likely to be hit with these difficulties.
                >
                > There should be very limited circumstances for parents to need to write checks to the school system at all - that would help reduce "bad checks".
                >
                > cindy v
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                > From: david@...

                > Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 16:58:24 +0000
                > Subject: [howardpubliced] HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > The following notice makes me wonder what the checks are for and how much money they represent. If they are thousands of checks from parents for minor expenses, it might be less expensive to just include the expenses in the budget and forget about the fees. If they are checks for large amounts, why are we even accepting such checks?
                >
                >
                >
                > The outside company is certainly taking a percentage of any funds recovered. Administration is already a major cost in our budget, and I would like to see it reduced in favor of real teaching expenses.
                >
                >
                >
                > - David T
                >
                >
                >
                > August 10, 2009 (#2010-011)
                >
                >
                >
                > HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
                >
                >
                >
                > While it may seem like a minor issue to some, processing of non-sufficient fund (NSF) checks is a time consuming and costly process for organizations and businesses. Due to the growing volume of uncollectible checks received by the Howard County Public School System, school officials have decided to use an outside company to recover returned checks in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
                >
                >
                >
                > The school system receives over 800 NSF checks annually and following up on the collection is an arduous task, according to the school system's Director of Finance Beverly Davis. As of August 1, the school system began using the Federal Automated Recovery Systems (FARS) for the electronic collection of checks.
                >
                >
                >
                > FARS uses an electronic recovery process for NSF checks as allowed by state and federal laws. This results in a high rate of recovery at no cost to the school system. The cost becomes the responsibility of the individual who wrote the bad check because the electronic system allows for the recovery of the face amount of the check and a NSF check fee from the check writer's bank account.
                >
                >
                >
                > Howard County Public School System gladly accepts checks, says Davis, but the system has an obligation to be fiscally accountable to county taxpayers.
                >
                >
                >
                > "We want all check writers to understand that when they sign a check to the school system, they are in fact authorizing us to use information from the check to process the payment as a check transaction or to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from their account," Davis explains.
                >
                >
                >
                > Davis says state and federal laws also give the school system the right to collect the authorized State of Maryland $35 fee through an electronic fund transfer from the check writer's account if the payment is returned unpaid.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > __________________________________________________________
                > With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.
                > http://www.windowslive.com/Desktop/PhotoGallery
                >





                --
                Sue Medicus





                --
                Sue Medicus
              • The Sola's
                WI am not talking about a bad check I am talking about HCPSS not depositing checks in a timely fashion. Peter Sola From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                Message 7 of 20 , Aug 22 6:26 AM
                • 0 Attachment

                  WI am not talking about a bad check I am talking about HCPSS not depositing checks in a timely fashion.

                  Peter Sola

                   

                  From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Diane Goodridge
                  Sent: Friday, August 21, 2009 9:58 AM
                  To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [howardpubliced] Re: HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks

                   

                   

                  Sue,

                   

                  The issue is not about cashing BUSINESS checks, it's about cashing PERSONAL checks (i.e., from parents for school fees for field trips, etc).  And so the 90 day time limit (for a "stale" check) does not apply to PERSONAL checks written by parents. 

                   

                  My point was/is that anyone who writes a check should be fiscally responsible and reserve funds to cover that check for whatever time limit is listed in their bank's terms (I've always gone by a 12 month timeframe).  PERSONAL checks (NOT business/rebate checks that sometimes have "Void after XX days" printed directly on it) are typcially considered stale after 6 months (which is double the 3-month timeframe mentioned by Debra), yet banks can and do allow them to be cashed even months after 6 months.  In the real world,  a check's date is often ignored by bank tellers/processors.  Which makes the 3-month assumption for personal checks even more absurd.

                   

                  I just don't buy the argument that the school system is "automatically wrong" for holding onto to checks for 3 months and therefore we should blame HCPSS for personal checks bouncing.  The original fault lies with the drawer of the check (check-writer) for insufficient funds within 3 months of writing a personal check (assuming other parents are like Debra and think their funds are "free" after 90 days).  Again, I agree that schools should be processing deposits on a regular, frequent basis (nobody would argue that point), but that does not erase the original fault of passing bad checks if they are not cashed within 3 months -- unless the time limit is printed on the check itself (as is typically the case for rebate/business checks -- not personal checks).

                   

                  - Diane

                  Here are some other links that discuss this issue:

                  A bank is under no obligation to a customer having a checking account to pay a check, other than a certified check, which is presented more than six months after its date, but it may charge its customer’s account for a payment made thereafter in good faith.

                  In other words: the bank isn’t required to pay a check more than six months old. But it can if it wants. The bottom line? If you have a stale check outstanding, contact your bank to determine their policy. Don’t just assume the funds are free to be spent.

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   


                   

                  On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 8:55 AM, Sue Medicus <berryfolks@...> wrote:

                   

                  Actually, many checks (particularly business) indicate void after 90 days.

                  The Schools are acting incredibly irresponsibly if they fail to deposit checks timely.  They cost the School system money in the terms of potential interest that could be earned, if nothing else.

                  Of course, the Schools are NOT good money managers, as we've seen time and time again.

                  But they are VERY irresponsible to hold checks that long.  They could end up losing.  We've had examples where, because of mergers, old accounts are closed by banks.  So it may not even be the individual's fault.

                  Sue Medicus

                   

                  On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 8:09 AM, Diane Goodridge <RGoodri973@...> wrote:

                   

                  Can't say I agree.  Once a check is written, funds should be reserved for that check for at least a year (or whatever the time limit is for cashing personal checks).  Yes, the schools should be cashing checks on a regular, frequent basis, but I disagree that we should expect checks to bounce if they aren't cashed within 3 months.  Whatever their banks' terms are -- 12 months generally -- is the timeframe that check-writers should dedicate funds for every check they write.

                   

                  Diane

                  On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 7:45 AM, debra21794 <debra4@...> wrote:

                   

                  I think part of the problem is how long it takes HCPSS to cash the checks. I always made sure that I had enough in the checking acct in Aug and Sept to deal with school expenses, but by December my checking account was pretty slim...and that was when I saw my checks to the school being cashed! They should not be complaining about bad checks when they hold onto them for 3 months! No wonder they are getting NSF returns.
                  Debra



                  --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > David makes a good point.
                  >
                  > I would also like to add that in the case of parents writing checks to the school system for some kind of fee for their kid to either participate in an activity or some supplies they need to fully participate - it is once again the most vulnerable kids and their families who are going to be impacted not only by the original fees, but by the fees incurred for NSF checks.
                  >
                  > Theoretically, a parent could write a check for $15 for some "little expense", and potentially end up paying $35 to their bank, $35 to the the School system - and if I am reading this correctly, some other fee to the FARS company (for a total cost to the family in excess of $85 for the original $15 item)... not to mention that these fees can be automatically withdrawn from the offenders account without additional action on their part --- which could easily cause more unnecessary overdrafts in the account and a potentially unending series of financial set-backs for the family, all stemming from their effort to pay fees to the school system so their children can fully participate in the "free" education.
                  >
                  > And please, let's not rely too heavily on the notion that there are waivers available for needy families in many cases. It is the families who are too proud to request this help, too uninformed or ill equiped to apply for it, or simply experiencing unusually stressful financial times and do not want their children to be embarassed who are most likely to be hit with these difficulties.
                  >
                  > There should be very limited circumstances for parents to need to write checks to the school system at all - that would help reduce "bad checks".
                  >
                  > cindy v
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com

                  > From: david@...


                  > Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 16:58:24 +0000
                  > Subject: [howardpubliced] HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > The following notice makes me wonder what the checks are for and how much money they represent. If they are thousands of checks from parents for minor expenses, it might be less expensive to just include the expenses in the budget and forget about the fees. If they are checks for large amounts, why are we even accepting such checks?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > The outside company is certainly taking a percentage of any funds recovered. Administration is already a major cost in our budget, and I would like to see it reduced in favor of real teaching expenses.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > - David T
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > August 10, 2009 (#2010-011)
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > While it may seem like a minor issue to some, processing of non-sufficient fund (NSF) checks is a time consuming and costly process for organizations and businesses. Due to the growing volume of uncollectible checks received by the Howard County Public School System, school officials have decided to use an outside company to recover returned checks in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > The school system receives over 800 NSF checks annually and following up on the collection is an arduous task, according to the school system's Director of Finance Beverly Davis. As of August 1, the school system began using the Federal Automated Recovery Systems (FARS) for the electronic collection of checks.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > FARS uses an electronic recovery process for NSF checks as allowed by state and federal laws. This results in a high rate of recovery at no cost to the school system. The cost becomes the responsibility of the individual who wrote the bad check because the electronic system allows for the recovery of the face amount of the check and a NSF check fee from the check writer's bank account.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Howard County Public School System gladly accepts checks, says Davis, but the system has an obligation to be fiscally accountable to county taxpayers.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > "We want all check writers to understand that when they sign a check to the school system, they are in fact authorizing us to use information from the check to process the payment as a check transaction or to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from their account," Davis explains.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Davis says state and federal laws also give the school system the right to collect the authorized State of Maryland $35 fee through an electronic fund transfer from the check writer's account if the payment is returned unpaid.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > __________________________________________________________
                  > With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.

                  > http://www.windowslive.com/Desktop/PhotoGallery
                  >

                   



                  --
                  Sue Medicus

                   

                • debra21794
                  Diane said, Assuming other parents are like Debra and think their funds are free after 90 days. I never thought that! You are putting words in my mouth.
                  Message 8 of 20 , Aug 22 7:50 AM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Diane said, "Assuming other parents are like Debra and think their funds are "free" after 90 days."

                    I never thought that! You are putting words in my mouth. I DID have the funds to cover the checks, but not knowing WHEN the checks would be cashed made budgeting difficult for me. As a self-employed person, I never know when I will be paid, unlike people who get a paycheck every two weeks, or twice a month, or whatever. So I resent the implication that I am frivolous regarding my personal spending habits and that you ASSUMED that my checks bounced. Mine did not.

                    Still, budgeting would have been much easier for me if my checks had been cashed in a more timely fashion.

                    Debra
                  • cynthia vaillancourt
                    I have to chuckle at the tone of the advice on how folks ought to handle their checking accounts.... as a defense of the school system s irresponsible habit
                    Message 9 of 20 , Aug 22 8:07 AM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      I have to chuckle at the tone of the "advice" on how folks ought to handle their checking accounts.... as a defense of the school system's irresponsible habit of stockpiling checks for months at a time.

                      However, it is still not my particular concern when it comes to this issue.  But then, maybe I can find some compassion for the people who get caught up in this extremely expensive punishment for their fiscal lapses since I am not immune from checking account pinball --- and no, I don't recall ever bouncing a check to the school system, but i did recently manage to pay my mortgage multiple times in the same month I signed up for a variety of automatic payments causing a veritable avalanche of craziness, thank goodness for overdraft protection and a good relationship with my bank --- something many financially strapped families trying to cover school expenses for their children do not have.

                      cindy v



                      To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                      From: debra4@...
                      Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2009 14:50:01 +0000
                      Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks

                       

                      Diane said, "Assuming other parents are like Debra and think their funds are "free" after 90 days."

                      I never thought that! You are putting words in my mouth. I DID have the funds to cover the checks, but not knowing WHEN the checks would be cashed made budgeting difficult for me. As a self-employed person, I never know when I will be paid, unlike people who get a paycheck every two weeks, or twice a month, or whatever. So I resent the implication that I am frivolous regarding my personal spending habits and that you ASSUMED that my checks bounced. Mine did not.

                      Still, budgeting would have been much easier for me if my checks had been cashed in a more timely fashion.

                      Debra




                      With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos. Click here.
                    • Diane Goodridge
                      Debra, I never said (or even assumed) your checks bounced. Check my posting. I just don t buy your argument that budgeting is easier if checks are cashed in
                      Message 10 of 20 , Aug 22 8:27 AM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Debra,
                         
                        I never said (or even assumed) your checks bounced.  Check my posting.  I just don't buy your argument that "budgeting is easier if checks are cashed in a more timely fashion" because a dedicated fund is a dedicated fund is a dedicated fund.  Doesn't matter if your check is cashed by HCPSS (or any other payee) within 3 days, 30 days, 3 months -- or even 1 year.  Funds should be dedicated once the check is written.   Untimely check processing is (unfortunately) not illegal.  Might be "rude" (Cindy's comment) but it's not illegal. 
                         
                        As I've said in every post, HCPSS should be cashing checks in on a regular, and frequent basis. And honestly, we don't know that that's NOT happening but still resulting in bounced checks.  But many of the posts in this conversation have the placed blame on the school system for the bouncing (citing delayed check processing); I doubt that's where the blame truly belongs.
                         
                        Diane

                        On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 10:50 AM, debra21794 <debra4@...> wrote:
                         


                        Diane said, "Assuming other parents are like Debra and think their funds are "free" after 90 days."

                        I never thought that! You are putting words in my mouth. I DID have the funds to cover the checks, but not knowing WHEN the checks would be cashed made budgeting difficult for me. As a self-employed person, I never know when I will be paid, unlike people who get a paycheck every two weeks, or twice a month, or whatever. So I resent the implication that I am frivolous regarding my personal spending habits and that you ASSUMED that my checks bounced. Mine did not.

                        Still, budgeting would have been much easier for me if my checks had been cashed in a more timely fashion.

                        Debra


                      • cynthia vaillancourt
                        I don t think the theme of the conversation is that it is the fault of the HCPSS that the checks bounce. However, as HCPSS has turned over collections to a
                        Message 11 of 20 , Aug 22 8:46 AM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          I don't think the theme of the conversation is that it is the fault of the HCPSS that the checks bounce.

                          However, as HCPSS has turned over collections to a company, and is taking advantage of the fullest extent of its' legal rights to fees and fines - I think it is worth mentioning that the HCPSS is not a paragon of fiscal responsibility when it comes to depositing checks in a responsible and timely way. 

                          I can absolutely vouch for the fact that checks written to the schools for various things are often held in limbo for weeks or even months.

                          As a distinct aspect of the same topic - I believe the fact that there are bounced checks, many of which were likely written by financially struggling families trying to keep up with the requirements of the free public education we are supposed to be offering, begs one to wonder if there is a different problem which ought to be addressed (other than poor checking account hygiene). 

                          Specifically, are some families being "forced" to pay for things they simply cannot afford in order for their children to fully participate in the education system?  What public purpose is being served by further durying these struggling families with fees and fines? 

                          Perhaps the HCPSS could consider a bounced check a sign that there may be an undisclosed problem that might qualify a family for some services that it does not know about.

                          Cindy V



                          To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                          From: RGoodri973@...
                          Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2009 11:27:01 -0400
                          Subject: Re: [howardpubliced] Re: HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks

                           

                          Debra,
                           
                          I never said (or even assumed) your checks bounced.  Check my posting.  I just don't buy your argument that "budgeting is easier if checks are cashed in a more timely fashion" because a dedicated fund is a dedicated fund is a dedicated fund.  Doesn't matter if your check is cashed by HCPSS (or any other payee) within 3 days, 30 days, 3 months -- or even 1 year.  Funds should be dedicated once the check is written.   Untimely check processing is (unfortunately) not illegal.  Might be "rude" (Cindy's comment) but it's not illegal. 
                           
                          As I've said in every post, HCPSS should be cashing checks in on a regular, and frequent basis. And honestly, we don't know that that's NOT happening but still resulting in bounced checks.  But many of the posts in this conversation have the placed blame on the school system for the bouncing (citing delayed check processing);  I doubt that's where the blame truly belongs.
                           
                          Diane

                          On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 10:50 AM, debra21794 <debra4@earthlink. net> wrote:
                           

                          Diane said, "Assuming other parents are like Debra and think their funds are "free" after 90 days."

                          I never thought that! You are putting words in my mouth. I DID have the funds to cover the checks, but not knowing WHEN the checks would be cashed made budgeting difficult for me. As a self-employed person, I never know when I will be paid, unlike people who get a paycheck every two weeks, or twice a month, or whatever. So I resent the implication that I am frivolous regarding my personal spending habits and that you ASSUMED that my checks bounced. Mine did not.

                          Still, budgeting would have been much easier for me if my checks had been cashed in a more timely fashion.

                          Debra






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                        • Diane Goodridge
                          Cindy, I agree that bounced checks are just a symptom of another problem -- or, rather, MULTIPLE problems. [As an aside, I also think that some of the checks
                          Message 12 of 20 , Aug 22 9:43 AM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Cindy,
                             
                            I agree that bounced checks are just a symptom of another problem -- or, rather, MULTIPLE problems.
                             
                            [As an aside, I also think that some of the checks we've been discussing that have been written to "the schools" are possibly really checks written to the PTAs -- NOT the schools -- so I wonder how many references to untimely check processing might really be due to PTAs not cashing checks promptly, and not necessarily "the schools" .... since PTAs are run by volunteers, and PTA(membership) payments are sent through the school mail/backpacks, which undoubtedly prolongs processing.]
                             
                            I also wonder if SOME of the financial burden problem has been mitigated this year with the new HCPSS program of consistent student fees/supplies across schools.   Before this school year, there was a disparity across schools in what they "charged" parents for supplies and fees (agenda books, classroom magazine fees, foreign language workbooks, etc.).  I'm hoping that this new program helps parents to save money.
                             
                            I think PART of the bad check problem will continue -- with the weak economy -- but the more the school system publicizes their bad check policy, (some/most) parents will be more careful if they've passed bad checks before.  If there is no punitive result in passing bad checks (to the school system), what incentive is there to NOT do so?  I think this policy is needed.  HCPSS is no different from any other payee.
                             
                            The only fees that some families might not be able to afford that are a required part of the curriculum are field trip fees.  If a family cannot afford field trip  fees (and many cannot), the PTAs' budgets and the principals' discretionary budgets can likely cover these fees, for students in need.  Perhaps this needs to be better publicized, so no family suffers embarrassment if they cannot afford field trip fees.  Most other school fees throughout the year are optional, and are related to fundraising, photos/yearbooks, class parties or teachers' gifts -- or at the high school level, club/sports fees.   To the extent that the PTAs and/or principals' budgets can cover yearbook fees for graduating seniors (and perhaps 8th graders) in need, I think that is a wonderful use of discretionary funds.  Booster clubs cover a lot of the other expenses for extracurricular activities. 
                             
                            Diane
                             
                             
                             
                             
                             
                             


                             
                            On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 11:46 AM, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:
                             

                            I don't think the theme of the conversation is that it is the fault of the HCPSS that the checks bounce.

                            However, as HCPSS has turned over collections to a company, and is taking advantage of the fullest extent of its' legal rights to fees and fines - I think it is worth mentioning that the HCPSS is not a paragon of fiscal responsibility when it comes to depositing checks in a responsible and timely way. 

                            I can absolutely vouch for the fact that checks written to the schools for various things are often held in limbo for weeks or even months.

                            As a distinct aspect of the same topic - I believe the fact that there are bounced checks, many of which were likely written by financially struggling families trying to keep up with the requirements of the free public education we are supposed to be offering, begs one to wonder if there is a different problem which ought to be addressed (other than poor checking account hygiene). 

                            Specifically, are some families being "forced" to pay for things they simply cannot afford in order for their children to fully participate in the education system?  What public purpose is being served by further durying these struggling families with fees and fines? 

                            Perhaps the HCPSS could consider a bounced check a sign that there may be an undisclosed problem that might qualify a family for some services that it does not know about.

                            Cindy V



                            To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                            From: RGoodri973@...
                            Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2009 11:27:01 -0400

                            Subject: Re: [howardpubliced] Re: HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks

                             

                            Debra,
                             
                            I never said (or even assumed) your checks bounced.  Check my posting.  I just don't buy your argument that "budgeting is easier if checks are cashed in a more timely fashion" because a dedicated fund is a dedicated fund is a dedicated fund.  Doesn't matter if your check is cashed by HCPSS (or any other payee) within 3 days, 30 days, 3 months -- or even 1 year.  Funds should be dedicated once the check is written.   Untimely check processing is (unfortunately) not illegal.  Might be "rude" (Cindy's comment) but it's not illegal. 
                             
                            As I've said in every post, HCPSS should be cashing checks in on a regular, and frequent basis. And honestly, we don't know that that's NOT happening but still resulting in bounced checks.  But many of the posts in this conversation have the placed blame on the school system for the bouncing (citing delayed check processing); I doubt that's where the blame truly belongs.
                             
                            Diane

                            On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 10:50 AM, debra21794 <debra4@...> wrote:
                             

                            Diane said, "Assuming other parents are like Debra and think their funds are "free" after 90 days."

                            I never thought that! You are putting words in my mouth. I DID have the funds to cover the checks, but not knowing WHEN the checks would be cashed made budgeting difficult for me. As a self-employed person, I never know when I will be paid, unlike people who get a paycheck every two weeks, or twice a month, or whatever. So I resent the implication that I am frivolous regarding my personal spending habits and that you ASSUMED that my checks bounced. Mine did not.

                            Still, budgeting would have been much easier for me if my checks had been cashed in a more timely fashion.

                            Debra






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                          • pamythompson
                            The Parents coalition of Montgomery county spent a lot of time discussing school fees if any of you are interested in a simalar discussion . begs one to
                            Message 13 of 20 , Aug 22 9:35 PM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              The Parents coalition of Montgomery county spent a lot of time discussing school fees if any of you are interested in a simalar discussion .

                              "begs one to wonder if there is a different problem which ought to be addressed "

                              "a sign that there may be an undisclosed problem "

                              These two points stand out because they need to be applied in the mind set of the administration in many areas , for example a child failing and why , a child with behavior issues , a child not participating or any other sign that there may be issues which effect the positive performance of a child . The issue is that to educate a child you must include and educate the community , you must welcome and seek participation from the community . You have before you two views , the legal and the moral . What you are missing is inclusion of the community in the discussion . In actuality the community does not have access to the discussion and therefore the system is broken , an amicable solution can not be reached and therefore the legal solution is imposed which furthers the rift between the system and those that it is charged to serve .

                              Jack



                              --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > I don't think the theme of the conversation is that it is the fault of the HCPSS that the checks bounce.
                              >
                              > However, as HCPSS has turned over collections to a company, and is taking advantage of the fullest extent of its' legal rights to fees and fines - I think it is worth mentioning that the HCPSS is not a paragon of fiscal responsibility when it comes to depositing checks in a responsible and timely way.
                              >
                              > I can absolutely vouch for the fact that checks written to the schools for various things are often held in limbo for weeks or even months.
                              >
                              > As a distinct aspect of the same topic - I believe the fact that there are bounced checks, many of which were likely written by financially struggling families trying to keep up with the requirements of the free public education we are supposed to be offering, begs one to wonder if there is a different problem which ought to be addressed (other than poor checking account hygiene).
                              >
                              > Specifically, are some families being "forced" to pay for things they simply cannot afford in order for their children to fully participate in the education system? What public purpose is being served by further durying these struggling families with fees and fines?
                              >
                              > Perhaps the HCPSS could consider a bounced check a sign that there may be an undisclosed problem that might qualify a family for some services that it does not know about.
                              >
                              > Cindy V
                              >
                              >
                              > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                              > From: RGoodri973@...
                              > Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2009 11:27:01 -0400
                              > Subject: Re: [howardpubliced] Re: HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Debra,
                              >
                              > I never said (or even assumed) your checks bounced. Check my posting. I just don't buy your argument that "budgeting is easier if checks are cashed in a more timely fashion" because a dedicated fund is a dedicated fund is a dedicated fund. Doesn't matter if your check is cashed by HCPSS (or any other payee) within 3 days, 30 days, 3 months -- or even 1 year. Funds should be dedicated once the check is written. Untimely check processing is (unfortunately) not illegal. Might be "rude" (Cindy's comment) but it's not illegal.
                              >
                              >
                              > As I've said in every post, HCPSS should be cashing checks in on a regular, and frequent basis. And honestly, we don't know that that's NOT happening but still resulting in bounced checks. But many of the posts in this conversation have the placed blame on the school system for the bouncing (citing delayed check processing); I doubt that's where the blame truly belongs.
                              >
                              >
                              > Diane
                              >
                              >
                              > On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 10:50 AM, debra21794 <debra4@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Diane said, "Assuming other parents are like Debra and think their funds are "free" after 90 days."
                              >
                              > I never thought that! You are putting words in my mouth. I DID have the funds to cover the checks, but not knowing WHEN the checks would be cashed made budgeting difficult for me. As a self-employed person, I never know when I will be paid, unlike people who get a paycheck every two weeks, or twice a month, or whatever. So I resent the implication that I am frivolous regarding my personal spending habits and that you ASSUMED that my checks bounced. Mine did not.
                              >
                              >
                              > Still, budgeting would have been much easier for me if my checks had been cashed in a more timely fashion.
                              >
                              > Debra
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
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                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > _________________________________________________________________
                              > Windows Live: Make it easier for your friends to see what you're up to on Facebook.
                              > http://windowslive.com/Campaign/SocialNetworking?ocid=PID23285::T:WLMTAGL:ON:WL:en-US:SI_SB_facebook:082009
                              >
                            • Allen Dyer
                              i appreciate the thot that is going into this excellent discussion. a lot to think about. thank you. allen
                              Message 14 of 20 , Aug 23 4:00 AM
                              • 0 Attachment
                                i appreciate the thot that is going into this excellent discussion.  a lot to think about.  thank you.  allen
                              • david_thalheimer
                                Obviously, the issue of school fees has hit a nerve! Perhaps this is why the parents in Montgomery County were so unified and were able to challenge illegal
                                Message 15 of 20 , Aug 24 9:29 AM
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Obviously, the issue of school fees has hit a nerve! Perhaps this is why the parents in Montgomery County were so unified and were able to challenge illegal fees and force changes that eventually caused Howard County to change its policies.

                                  I doubt that the county is collecting checks on behalf of the PTA, a private organization. So, the checks are probably related to mandatory fees and optional fees for non-PTA supported school events such as field trips. It would be good to get a list of what the checks are for or a list of the amounts, which might give us some indication of their purpose. Unfortunately, I'll bet that the school system has no idea what they are for.

                                  - David T

                                  --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "Allen Dyer" <aldyer@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > i appreciate the thot that is going into this excellent discussion. a lot
                                  > to think about. thank you. allen
                                  >
                                • cynthia vaillancourt
                                  Fees do hit a nerve. But, for me, the ability of the company collecting on behalf of hcpss to withdraw funds from the writer s checking account (unlke the
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Aug 24 9:55 AM
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Fees do hit a nerve.

                                    But, for me, the ability of the company collecting on behalf of hcpss to withdraw funds from the writer's checking account (unlke the average company one might bounce a check to) makes a difference.

                                    While as a tax payer I appreciate that HCPSS may exercise that option - as a person concerned about the impact this could have on struggling families, and the need for the schools and the families to work together toward a common goal - I would prefer to see this option used as a last resort, or for repeat offenders who refuse to cooperate.

                                    cindy v



                                    To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                                    From: david@...
                                    Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 16:29:39 +0000
                                    Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: HCPSS Turns to Outside Company to Collect on Bad Checks

                                     
                                    Obviously, the issue of school fees has hit a nerve! Perhaps this is why the parents in Montgomery County were so unified and were able to challenge illegal fees and force changes that eventually caused Howard County to change its policies.

                                    I doubt that the county is collecting checks on behalf of the PTA, a private organization. So, the checks are probably related to mandatory fees and optional fees for non-PTA supported school events such as field trips. It would be good to get a list of what the checks are for or a list of the amounts, which might give us some indication of their purpose. Unfortunately, I'll bet that the school system has no idea what they are for.

                                    - David T

                                    --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "Allen Dyer" <aldyer@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > i appreciate the thot that is going into this excellent discussion. a lot
                                    > to think about. thank you. allen
                                    >




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