Legal Question in Business Law in Minnesota

Writing Paid In Full on the back of check payment

We ordered through a mail order business 2 items on an open account/deferred payments. We received one item, 2nd item put on back order. We received 3 postcards stating item on back order, will ship soon. Final letter stated we did not qualify for credit so they were not sending the item. We paid for first item a few months later becuase we were trying to find out what was going on. Finally paid for the 1st item. Received a letter stating company was changing names and they opened an account in my name with a limit well over the cost of the first two items ordered. Finance charges are accruing becuase our check did not cover total amount they said we owed for finance charges. We paid for item, s/h, taxes in full. Can they: not ship an item after they said they were,deny credit then open another account w/o permission (they say the first item gave them the okay to open account even though they denied credit one month before). They cashed our check on which we had written on the back "paid in full/account closed". We spoke with Representatives in South Dakota who stated that that is not a enforcable legal statement in Minnesota, where the company is "based". We are in California. Do we have any legal stand here?

Asked on 8/26/99, 7:53 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Re: Writing Paid In Full on the back of check payment

Many people believe that writing "Paid in Full" on the back of a check means that the recipient can only negotiate the check if he is willing to forfeit the rest of the funds owed. This is not the law, and the recipient of such a check can negotiate it without jeopardizing their claim to other funds owed.

It does sound like this company is trying to take advantage of you, but the disclaimer you wrote on your check will not resolve the problem.

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Answered on 8/29/99, 6:04 pm
John Hayes The John Hayes Law Offices

Re: Writing Paid In Full on the back of check payment

I don't quit understand your question or the sequence of events. The law varies from state to state, but I think that you are in the right and that this company is trying to pull a fast one and are threatening your credit. Please feel free to call me at 888-563-8529. The consultation is free. Sometimes all it takes is a letter and a few calls from an attorney to get something like this to go away. I look forward to speaking with you and please don't stress about it.

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Answered on 8/28/99, 3:22 pm

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