How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask J.Hazelbaker Your Own Question
J.Hazelbaker, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience:  Attorney and small business owner with 10 years experience in the general practice of law.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
J.Hazelbaker is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My apartment complex said they had to have a $300 check to

Customer Question

My apartment complex said they had to have a $300 check to hold the apartment and we agreed that my roommate and I would come back the very next day with the applications, application fees, and two $150 checks for the real deposit. They told me they would not deposit the original check for $300 because we had the two checks for $150. Well, a week or so after we moved into the apartment I checked my online bank account balance and found that I was over drawn by about $1000. The apartments had deposited the original $300 check which put my bank account into the negative. Then, every time I used my debit card or a check, my bank charged me $35. So, after ten purchases I was down to -600 in my account. I then got paid and assumed my direct deposit went into my bank account and kept using my debit card because I had no idea I was negative. The next thing I know I am at the -1000 mark. I was just wondering if there is something I can do to get the apartments to pay the overdraft.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  J.Hazelbaker replied 6 years ago.

You have a legal claim against the apartment complex for depositing the check without authority and based on your oral agreement to hold the check. That gets you $300 to the postive from the start. If that withdrawal put you in the red, then you would be entitled to the overdraft fees directly related to that withdrawal.


However, that liability would end at the point of your first ATM withdrawal, at which point you would be charged by a court with constructive knowledge of the cricumstances. However, you can recover for the $300, as stated above, and any overdraft and fee between that unauthorized withdrawal and that first ATM transaction.



Please let me know, if you have follow-up questions.


The information is provided for discussion and entertainment purposes only. I believe in helping people and answering their questions and providing information and solutions. To encourage and facilitate this practice, it is understood and agreed by the recipient that by opening, reading, accepting, and viewing this information, no attorney-client relationship has been discussed, agreed to or otherwise established. It is understood that by posting to this site, your information is made public and no attorney-client confidence is created or possible.


In legal matters, time is of the essence. As such, you should contact an experienced lawyer right away to protect your legal rights!


I appreciate your "Accepting" my answer if it has been helpful to you. Doing so allows me to continue helping in this manner. Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Should I get a lawyer or can/should I represent myself in a small claims court? Would a Justice of the Peace Court be applicable? Can the apartment appeal and make this a long drawn out legal battle? I'm sorry for the follow up questions but this is my first time in any kind of legal bind. I will accept your answer no matter what. I really appreciate it.
Expert:  J.Hazelbaker replied 6 years ago.

Ideally, you should get an attorney. Realistically, however, that cost would be greater than any amount you could recover (you can 't get your attorney fees paid by the other side in a case like this).


Small claims court is an option. That's the route I would go. The clerk of court provides the forms and instructions for getting started and all you need to do is state the facts. Before filing, however, I would take the blank forms with you and tell the Apt. managment that, unless they compensate you, you will file the complaint. Give them a couple days to comply, then decide whether you will file.


Yes, the Apt. owner can appeal. So, it could get drawn out.


I would also hit up the bank to credit you some of the fees back. I would argue that the ATM should have alerted you to the overdraft situation, rather than allow you to rack up fees.


Don't hesitate to ask additional follow-up questions.

J.Hazelbaker, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience: Attorney and small business owner with 10 years experience in the general practice of law.
J.Hazelbaker and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Well, I did call my bank and because it wasn't a "Bank Error" all they could help with was one overdraft fee. But I will get the forms and see what the apartment has to say. Thank you for your time!
Expert:  J.Hazelbaker replied 6 years ago.

You're welcome. Thank you for the Accept.


Please don't hesitate to continue the thread in the future, should any issues arise while you negotiate with the Apartment.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan

Meet The Experts:

  • Tina



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • JPEsq's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • FiveStarLaw's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.