What can I do about a stop payment on a check that was written to us?

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What can I do about a stop payment on a check that was written to us?

We were doing alLease option for a home. We put down $3,500 as the option money. We went to move in and the house was not ready yet. We ask them to fix the issues with the house and they offered to give us our option money back because they had someone who wanted to pay the $5,000 they were asking for to begin with. We decided take take back our money and look for something else. We went to get the check from them and they asked us not to cash it for a couple of days and they post dated it. When we went to cash it there was a stop payment on the check. What can we do?

Asked on February 15, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can sue them. If there was an agreement that they would pay you the $3,500 by check, as way to return your option money to you, in exchange for you letting them out of their obliation to provide the home to you (i.e. you agreeing to let them go with the other person and get their $5,000), and they breached that agreement, you can sue them to enforce it. You may bring a legal action for not just the $3,500, but also other direct costs you've incurred (e.g. if this caused you to have an overdraft); you might also be able to seek attorneys expenses in a case like this. So you should bring a legal action, and you can either bring it yourself (e.g. in small claims court; check the monetary limits on your courts) or engage an attorney and possibly be able to recover the attorney fees (you can discuss this posibility with the lawyer before  retaining him or her).


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