Decimal point problem

We look at the power of a decimal point as we work to get a contractor his money.

MAUMELLE (KATV) - If you add a couple zeros to a hundred dollar check, it can make it appear to be worth ten thousand.

That is why you must write out the amount of the check. It helps prevent fraud.

KATV takes a look at how a mistake in the written amount on a check is costing one small business owner.

Phillip Saneda with Breeze Carpet Cleaning is not so sure this was a mistake.

He cleaned the carpets inside a foreclosed home and was expecting to be paid $160.00.

Instead, Saneda received a check written for $1.60.

"I go to deposit the money in the bank and the cashier says, 'I'm sorry but I can't deposit this,'” recalls Saneda. “Even though it is wrote for $160.00 on the one side, it is only wrote for $1.60 on the legal part."

"And the legal part takes precedence."

"And the legal part takes precedence," agrees Saneda.

Saneda says he immediately called the man who hired him, who apologized and pledged to write him a new check.

But nearly seven weeks later, that hasn't happened.

Saneda says he has called and left several messages but has not received a call back.

He says $160.00 may not sound like much, but it is to his small business.

"It's a lot,” says Saneda. “I mean, it can cover insurance, part of sales tax, I mean everything. And that's not counting your employees. And just, you know, the gas and the time, you know. It just adds up. I mean, we don't make a killing. We make a living."

We contacted the man who wrote the check and he says he has authorized his bank to cash it for the $160.00 amount, acknowledging that it was his mistake.

Mr. Saneda plans to visit a branch of that bank and try on Thursday. If the check is cashed, problem solved. If not, we will revisit this story in the future.

The Maumelle property in question is being managed by a corporation out of California. It hires local companies to maintain foreclosed properties.

Air date: December 20th, 2017

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