Unfortunately, we continue to amend a high percentage of decisions in which a Prior Payment was incorrectly handled. We are sharing more detail about proper review of these Prior Payment scenarios in the hope of reducing the number of Post-Decision Inquires our members must file in the future.
The key issue the arbitrator must resolve regarding an alleged Prior Payment(s) is the following: Did the Prior Payment the Adverse Party alleges in regards to the damages sought in the arbitration (including deductible) clear the Recovering Party’s bank? Clearing the bank means the issued payment was cashed/deposited by the Recovering Party.
The wording that each company uses in its proofs varies. If the issued payment was cashed/deposited, it may appear with a date of payment or use Status terms such as Paid, Cleared, Honored, etc., to show it was cashed/deposited. These payments, including those made via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), should be credited against any potential award so long as the payment pertains to the damages sought. For example, credit would not be given for a payment to a rental company if Rental damages were not sought by the filer.
If the proof of payment does not show that the payment was cashed/deposited, it may appear with a date of issue only or the words “Outstanding,” “Pending,” etc. Please review the examples of acceptable versus unacceptable proofs to gain a better understanding of the issue. Your anticipated cooperation is much appreciated!