A company in Taipei, which currently has a foreigner as the “responsible person”, owes me a considerable amount of money for translations performed and accepted in the past year.
Following friendly negotiations with said company, the boss/responsible person (we’ll call him “Mr. X”, but as he is in fact a regular reader of Forumosa, I’m sure he will recognize himself if he happens to read this thread) agreed to make payment on the debt by giving me approximately NT$25,000 in cash plus a series of post-dated checks, each one payable on the 15th of the month, from December through June. The amount of each check is considerable but not huge (less than 6 digits).
I accepted this arrangement and pocketed the first cash installment (signing a proper receipt for it). I also signed a receipt acknowledging receipt of the series of checks dated as stated above.
During the past few days, I have received two calls from “Mr. X’s” accountant (whom I have reason to believe is rather far out of the loop in terms of knowing the true financial situation of Company X). The accountant, whom I will call “Miss A”, says that “Mr. X” is currently outside of Taiwan (this is true) and would I please hold the check due and payable on Monday 12/15. I, however, informed her in my opinion it was the responsbility of “Mr. X” to run his company, and that if he chose to go abroad, he should have made reasonable arrangements before so doing, said arrangements to include having sufficient funds available to make good on the checks I hold, all of which were executed with his approval as to amount and timetable.
“Miss A”, meanwhile, is near tears telling me that “the check will bounce.”
Herein the question – what are the consequences to a Taiwan-registered company if the check bounces? And, much more to the point (because frankly this company has made its own bed), how do I get my money? What is the proper next step to take when a company who claims good faith essentially goes back on its word (spare me the explanations, “Mr. X”) and refuses to make timely payment on its debt? If the check is not honored on Monday, is the next step to bring suit in court, or is there another way to obtain payment?
I prefer not to have to change my Forumosa handle to “litigious lady” but it certainly looks as though a good lawsuit is the only thing that gets people’s attention on this lovely island…