Debtor’s Revenge

In my latest article, I explore the phenomenon of Debtor's Revenge — when debtors decide to get even by paying fines with pennies. Though it's not always pennies. Might be $1 bills, or some other form of deviousness intended to spite the debt collector. There were so many examples of this that I could easily have made the article 10x as long as it was. Also might have mentioned that, if I remember correctly, Chuck once declared this phenomenon "no longer weird."

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 30, 2015
     Category: Misbehavior, Rebellion, Acting-out and General Naughtiness | Money | Alex

In the UK this is illegal. See the Coinage Act 1971 .
Posted by Tom on 06/30/15 at 04:13 PM
Technically coins do not have to be accepted in the US either. Unlike paper bills they do not have the "Legal Tender" statement on them.
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 06/30/15 at 04:49 PM
BrokeDad -- from what I understand (and I might be wrong), American businesses don't have to accept coins, and can, in fact, demand payment in any form they want (such as credit cards only, or bananas only) as long as they specify beforehand what forms of payment they will accept.

But I think it's different for government institutions. They have to take "legal tender." But if you bring in a bucket of pennies, they don't have to count it. They can demand it be in rolls.
Posted by Alex on 06/30/15 at 05:33 PM
True enough, Alex. I haven't had cause to pay a fine in pennies to assuage my anger, yet.

I did paint a car once with pennies. As a poor student I gathered up my stash and counted and rolled a little over a hundred dollars worth before the bank would accept them, But they issued the bills I needed to pay for supplies.
Posted by KDP on 06/30/15 at 05:43 PM
A couple of decades ago I paid for my new passport with left over Kennedy Halves and Eisenhower Dollars. The Greek cashier decided she didn't have to take those!!! I told her that it was legal tender in the country (I was in the embassy) and that she would MOST DEFINITELY be taking them. She then called her boss and was told what I'd already told here.

Here's the answer from
The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," which states: "United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues."

This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 07/03/15 at 12:50 AM
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