House painter denies getting payment. How to proceed?

I had a guy I’ve used before to paint my property out of state for $3,700. Put him in my Capital One bill pay and issued a check on the 20th. Says Check #60457296 was mailed to xxx xxx for receipt by Nov 26, 2018. And Funds were withdrawn from your …7892 account on Nov 28, 2018. Painter said he never got or cashed the check. Going in to the bank tomorrow to get a copy of the check, front and back, but what else should I do? Can I stop payment even if it was cashed already?

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In my opinion, no reason to go to the bank for this. Just call and ask if the check was cashed and a copy of the canceled check if it’s been negotiated. It should have the endorsement on it.

If it hasn’t been negotiated, just wait a couple days.


Not report the check fraud (?) since the check was “apparently” cashed by someone other than the payee?

Edit: wait, I get the distinction now. Since it’s bill pay it may or may not have actually been cashed. Some banks “withdraw” when the check is mailed out or when they think it should arrive or ___.


You mean, “Check #60457296 was mailed to xxx xxx for receipt by Nov 26, 2018” doesn’t me he got the check, and “Funds were withdrawn from your …7892 account on Nov 28, 2018” doesn’t mean it was cashed?

I don’t know what it means. But what you wrote doesn’t give me 100% confidence that the check was negotiated or even actually received.

IOW no, that quote doesn’t say the check was was received, and the second quote doesn’t say the check was cashed.


Well, I issued the check on the 20th so I assume he got it by the 26th. Will see tomorrow.

With the holiday, the 26th is the standard delivery estimate for a payment requested on the 20th. And yes, some banks withdraw the money when they mail the check, and some withdraw it when the check is actually cashed, but some withdraw it on the date the payment is expected to be received.

The branch wont be able to do anything you cant do yourself right now, online bill pay is a separate department, if not a completely independent company. I’d at least wait until Monday, to give it the weekend to get delivered, but otherwise you need to go to your billpay service and submit an inquiry about the missing payment. Virtually all billpay systems I’ve used have a FAQ that includes some form of the question “what happens when the payee doesnt get my check?” Just follow their instructions, a missing piece of mail is not a unique problem.

One thing (from past experiences), once you do initiate an inquiry with Cap1, be sure to tell your paint guy that if a check shows up to call you first. When investigating a missing check, one of the first steps they’ll do is place a stop payment on the one that was mailed. You’ll want to verify the date on the check before he deposits it to ensure it’s the replacement not the original (or even send the replacement check with an extra penny to clearly differentiate it).


I called and they can mail me a copy of the check or I can go into a branch and get it tomorrow. First time I needed this from Capital One but remember with Alliant I could look up a copy of a check online.

But did they say it had been cashed? And did you call the billpay-specific phone number, or the basic Cap1 bank number?


I just asked if I can see a copy of the check online and they said no, they can mail me a copy or I can go into a branch. I didn’t ask if it was actually cashed. I assumed it was, from what I previously posted.

In my opinion, you are wasting your time. Just submit an inquiry about the payment online, from in the billpay history (NOT your checking account transactions). Whatever the situation, they’ll take care of it.

If you do anything beyond that, I’d call up your paint guy and tell him if anyone asks, your payment is now late and subject to a late fee. I dont know Cap1’s specific policies and guarantees regarding bill pays, but a lot of places will reimburse such fees when a payment doesnt get to where it was supposed to go.


What do you mean late fee? I’m the one who is paying HIM. I sent the payment. Maybe it 's just me, but I feel bad if after working hard for a week painting a house, there is a problem with the payment I sent him.

I mean (unless he’s a complete dolt) you should suggest that if anyone asks HIM, HE should say HE is charging YOU a late fee. Because if the check got lost in the mail, there’s a decent chance they’ll reimburse that fee. You’d be getting him a few extra dollars at no cost to you.


In the law, that’s called “conspiracy.”


I’ve had this situation happen a couple of times with online bill pay (payee claimed not to have received it after it was supposed to be received). I contacted customer service at the bank and they researched it, reissued the check and I didn’t have to deal with it beyond that.

Possibly. But it’s still the most productive use of his time, beyond reporting the payment as not received and letting the bank deal with it.

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You shouldn’t assume it was cashed. You should actually assume the opposite.


Maybe a good piece of advice to give the painter. Every business should charge late fees. They should be waived most of the time, without customers asking.


Did you ask for a copy of the check? Or a copy of the canceled check? If it’s just a copy of the check, I don’t think that’s going to help you much.

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