If a client under paid me and I cash the check, can I still go after the rest of the money?

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If a client under paid me and I cash the check, can I still go after the rest of the money?

A graphic design client I did work for got their finished product from me before I got paid by them. They now sent a check for 130 less than the bill because they think that is fair. If I cash the check that says

Asked on February 22, 2019 under Business Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can. One party may not unilaterally change the amount owed or terms of payment by making such a designation. There is a common myth that the memo line on a check has legal significance but it doesn't. It's just for information purposes only; it is not legally binding. Think about it, if it was that easy to alter the terms of a payment, then everyone would do it. Basically, a person could write "payment in full" for a bill and be done with it. Further, the fact is that not every check can be that closely monitored for such notations as it would tie up commerce.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can. One party may not unilaterally change the amount owed or terms of payment by making such a designation. There is a common myth that the memo line on a check has legal significance but it doesn't. It's just for information purposes only; it is not legally binding. Think about it, if it was that easy to alter the terms of a payment, then everyone would do it. Basically, a person could write "payment in full" for a bill and be done with it. Further, the fact is that not every check can be that closely monitored for such notations as it would tie up commerce. 


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