Bounced checks

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… :imp:

I believe that I sent you full instructions on how to file the lawsuit. Hence, I suggest that you put the check in the bank. If it bounces, that is all the more reason to file the lawsuit.


Yes, I have your other instructions, but this is NOT that lawsuit! The other one is a simple matter of a loan for which Debtor Boy is refusing to repay.

This is a completely new matter. That’s why I wonder if I’m just lucky this year or what? I’m trying to explore any other options for getting payment without suing. But I will sue if necessary.

Anyway, my point is, is there any other recourse to get payment other than filing suit? Is there a specific procedure that should be followed, or is it the now-familiar sequence of 2 or 3 Post Office letters followed by the filing at court the one to go with?

You can send the Post Office letters (using the letter-paper sheets provided by the Post Office) to show your good faith in bargaining. (In the letter I would suggest asking for a written reply within fifteen days or something similar. ) The fact that you have sent such a letter is additional evidence for you.

One should be enough, especially if the other party does not give you the written reply within your specified time limit.

Perhaps all your clients should pay you a substantial deposit before you begin work??

My NT$ 2.

You may want to consider applying for a court order for payment.

An application for a payment order is a simple procedure and the court usually will only review the evidence of the debts without holding any hearing. A payment order will normally be issued if sufficient evidence of the debt is provided (such as the bounced checks).

The fee for an application for a payment order is approximately NT$ 1000.

The court will issue a decision for a payment order. If the debtor does not raise any objection to a payment order within twenty days after receiving the order, the payment order will become final and you can apply for compulsory execution of the same. If the debtor does raise objections within the twenty-day period, a civil suit will be commenced.

As foreign plaintiffs are not recognized under ROC law, they may, upon a motion by defendant, be required to deposit with the court an amount equal to 3% of the claim amount as a security for the court fee. A plaintiff who prevails on all claims, or who otherwise obtains the defendant