Laws of the Land
The Best of Times|February 2021
But That's All I Have!
Lee Aronson

Wimpy owed Popeye $600 (all names have been changed), but Wimpy didn’t have $600. Instead, he sent Popeye a check for $450. Popeye cashed the check and sent Wimpy a bill for the remaining $150. Wimpy felt he didn’t have to pay any more money. He had sent all that he had, and Popeye had accepted it. Therefore, according to Wimpy, under the law, he didn’t owe the balance. Is he right?

No. But he was close. If Wimpy had written something on his check like “Payment in full” or “Final payment,” then Wimpy could have been right. If that had been the case, then Popeye would have had to make a choice: return the check and try to get the full $600 from Wimpy or cash the check and forget about the $150 balance.

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