The Madison County Record Nov. 26, 2013, 12:25pm

“Psst! Hey, Mac. Over here. You going in the store to cash your paycheck? Listen, you look like a shrewd businessman. You wanna make an extra twenty bucks? Okay, pay attention.

“How much is that check for? $1,875? Say $1,900. One percent of that is $19. That’s all they can charge you for cashing it. That’s the law. If they charge you more than that, we’ll nail ’em.

“Say they charge you 2 percent. That’s $38. You’re out 19 bucks. We take ’em to court, you get your money back. What do you think?”

“Why don’t I just tell them they overcharged me and get my money back right now? Why go to court and wait several months for a refund?”

“Hey, you got something against attorneys? I’m trying to make a living here.”

Does Thomas Maag have to hang out in store parking lots trying to solicit clients from check-cashers who might be overcharged--in a manner reminiscent of  a teenager trying to persuade someone to buy liquor for him?

Or is his reputation so well established that overcharged check-cashiers flock to him?

Either way, why does anyone bother with Thomas Maag, when the refund they eventually get is not likely to exceed what they could have gotten from the store several months earlier at the time of the overcharge?

Granted, in Maag’s most recent check-cashing overcharge suit, the $800 lead plaintiff Willie Hadley may receive is extravagant compensation for the injury he might have incurred in August 2011 when the Cahokia Mor for Less allegedly charged him $38 for cashing his $1,875 check.

But what about other members of the class of overcharged check-cashers? What nominal compensation will they get?

If they think the Cahokia Mor for Less took advantage of them, what will they think of Thomas Maag when they find out he’s receiving $9,200 for “representing” them?

If they felt cheated before, wait ’til they cash their puny settlement checks.

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