Monday, August 20, 2012
Help Me Howard: Bad Check
When someone hands you a check, you are getting money for work you have done, thats nice. Whats painful is when that check bounces and the bad check writer wont pay what they owe. Which is why one South Florida couple called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Beatriz Arana: "We love entertainment. We love dancing. We have lots of people who follow us."
Julio nicknamed Cha, is the leader of their salsa band called Sonido Cha that performs all over South Florida.
Julio Evans: "I like to see people happy."
Beatriz Arana: "And that is a fantastic thing to do right now, especially laugh and dance."
Beatriz does the accounting and takes pictures of the band. Recording this video as fireworks exploded in the background at the New Years Eve party they did in Miami.
Beatriz Arana: "It turned out really good I mean the music to me is really fantastic, and my feet just keep on pit patting all over the place."
Beatriz says they were hired by this man, Antonio Alvarez.
Beatriz Arana: "Oh, he was having a great time. He was dancing back and forth talking to the people come on lets dance. He was just a happy go lucky person."
At the end of the night he wrote them a check for $2,100 that included a tip and then...
Beatriz Arana: "The check bounced. Three days later account closed."
According to the paperwork, not only was there insufficient funds there was no account. So Cha called Alvarez who promised to take care of it.
Julio Evans: "He sound like he was interested in paying."
For three months, they tried to get Alvarez to make good. 53 texts in Spanish back and forth them inquesting the money Alvarez promising to pay then he disconnected his phone. So they took him to small claims court.
Beatriz Arana: "He did not appear and you got a judgment against him, and we got a judgment against him."
Antonio Alvarez did not pay the court ordered judgment. Didn't pay for the bad check and cant be found. Disappointing the happy go lucky Cha.
Julio Evans: "I am very surprised. Yeah, I am hurt cause I never had this before, never had this done to us before."
Well Howard, the check bounced and was not made good. They got a judgment that has been ignored. So can you get away with writing a bad check?
Howard Finkelstein: "Sometimes you can because the police might consider it a civil matter and you are left alone to try to collect. But if you can get the bad check writer charged with a crime and it is a crime then its easier to collect."
I first went to the house where the salsa band performed. A woman who told me she was Antonio Alvarez's half sister said I wasn't the first person to come looking for him. That she had thrown him out and had no idea where he was. The Miami-Dade state then stepped in and told Beatriz and Cha the proper steps to take. Now begins the criminal process.
Howard Finkelstein: "If the state attorney files a charge, a warrant will be issued for the bad check writer. Eventually, he will arrested. If he is convicted a judge will insist that he pay the money. If he still refuses the judge can put him in jail that's why you don't write bad checks."
Whats even worse for Beatriz and Cha, they paid the other band members so they would not get ripped off by the bad check writer.
Beatriz Arana: "He should not treat anyone like that and we treated him very well."
Patrick Fraser: "Well Beatriz is still looking for the bad check writer and soon the state attorney may be looking. If you know where Antonio Alvarez is, give us a call. In the meantime, if you would like to hire the salsa band for a party, their contact information is on our website at wsvn.com under Help me Howard."
A problem taken the dance out of your step? Wanna hear a different tune? Check with us, we have an account full of legal information that doesn't bounce.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
To Sonido Cha