Investor's wiki

Awful Check

Bad Check

What Is a Bad Check?

A terrible check alludes to a check that can't be negotiated on the grounds that it is drawn on a nonexistent account or has insufficient funds. Composing a terrible check, otherwise called a hot check, is illegal.

Banks regularly charge a fee to any individual who composes a terrible check unintentionally. The discipline for trying to pass a terrible check intentionally goes from a wrongdoing to a lawful offense. The exact penalty relies upon the amount and the state in which the check is written. Cashiers checks and certified checks are less defenseless to this possibility.

Seeing Bad Checks

Checks are basically a IOU for money. By composing a check, you guarantee the payee that you have sufficient money in your account to cover the check. At the point when you compose a terrible one, the bank will bounce it since there are lacking funds in your account.

Awful checks are frequently written unintentionally by individuals who are just unaware that their bank balances were too low. Banks and merchants oftentimes charge fees for bounced checks, at times surpassing the amount for which the check was written. The bank ordinarily adds a nonsufficient funds (NSF) charge to your account, which can be basically as high as $35 for every terrible check written. You may likewise be on the hook for any charges the payee causes because of your awful check.

However, there are individuals out there who try to compose and pass checks even however they know there's insufficient money in their accounts. As referenced over, this comprises fraud and is, thusly, a crime. For individuals who carry out these crimes, there are punishments far in excess of NSF charges. A crime is generally not committed if a post-dated check is introduced. That is on the grounds that the check is a guarantee to pay from now on โ€” whether there are lacking funds at the time is irrelevant.

Awful Checks and the Law

There might be cases where you compose a terrible check and don't for even a moment acknowledge it. Maybe you assumed you had sufficient money in your account. Or on the other hand perhaps you thought the check already cleared and you spent the money. Life occurs, thus commit errors, so you're presumably not going to be punished too vigorously โ€” you can most likely hope to pay a bank fee or two. However, that may not be the situation for individuals who intentionally compose terrible checks.

Purposely composing a terrible check is an act of fraud, and is punishable by law.

Composing terrible checks is a crime. Punishments for individuals who tender checks realizing there are deficient funds in their accounts shift by state. A few states require an intent to fraud. Be that as it may, in the majority of states, the crime is viewed as a wrongdoing. In the event that the check amount surpasses certain edges, the crime might be treated as a lawful offense. Civil punishments apply in all cases, with a common penalty amount equivalent to the check's face value, a various of the check amount with a cap, or the check amount plus court and attorney fees.

The most effective method to Avoid Writing a Bad Check

Staying up with the latest with your finances is a lot simpler now than it at any point was. Online banking can assist you with trying not to compose awful checks. By preparing access to your account, you can see their balance all the more much of the time, and you can confirm if and when any checks you compose clear your account.

In the event that you realize a check you've written won't go through, contact the payee and address them about holding the deposit until a later date. It very well might be humiliating to do as such, yet you'll be better off eventually. It's better to be proactive and postpone the check's cashing instead of risk getting charges from both your bank and payee.

Another option is to add overdraft protection to your account. Overdraft acts as a cushion or insurance policy on the off chance that you really want to cover expenses yet need more money in your account. At the point when you go into overdraft, the bank covers any charges โ€” up to a certain cutoff โ€” allowing you to go below a $0 balance since this option is basically a short-term loan, the bank charges interest on the overdraft balance as well as a fee for having the service on the account.

In the event that You Receive a Bad Check

You may not even realize you received a terrible check for a considerable length of time โ€” essentially until the bank tells you or you check your account. At the point when a check bounces, the bank will reverse it from your account, so you'll see a debit for a similar amount of the written check. Assuming you've spent the money, you'll most likely end up with an overdraft.

The primary thing to do is contact the person who composed the check and illuminate them it bounced. Try not to accept it was finished on purpose since it could be an innocent slip-up. Whenever you've contacted them, you might have the option to try to deposit the check once more. Assuming the check actually bounces from that point forward, you might have legal recourse to recover the funds by prosecuting the writer.

The Bottom Line

Adding overdraft protection will assist with preventing accidental overspending and bounced checks. In the event that you receive a terrible check, contact the person who composed it and determine the reason why it was returned. In some cases botches occur, however ensure it's anything but a common occurrence, and of course, eagerly composing terrible checks is illegal. In the event that you compose a terrible check unintentionally, contact the beneficiary and your bank quickly to pay any fees brought about by the awful check and what you owe.


  • Composing a terrible check, otherwise called a hot check, is illegal.
  • Purposely composing a terrible check might comprise a misdeed or crime, contingent upon the amount of the check and the state wherein it was written.
  • Individuals who compose terrible checks are typically charged fees by their banks and could be on the hook for any fees incurred by the payee.
  • A terrible check alludes to a check that can't be negotiated in light of the fact that it is drawn on a nonexistent account or one that has lacking funds.