Here's how it started: This summer, I needed to pay the contractor who was renovating my house out of my account at a large bank. (I'll call it BigBank.) So I drew a $6,000 check on my line of credit at a community bank - let's call it TinyBank - drove down to the local branch of BigBank, put the check and the deposit slip in the night deposit box and headed out of town on business.

Then the trouble began.

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