What to Do When a Client Pays You a Bounced Check?

UPDATED: October 9, 2019

Bad check or bounced, or also known as NSF (non-sufficient funds) check, is the most common concern for both Debt Collectors and business owners.

While many people assume that bad checks will only bounce if the writer has insufficient money in their bank account to pay off the required amount. However, there are some reasons why a check might consider as bad:

  • Closed bank account
  • Stop payment
  • Insufficient funds
  • Check is too old
  • Check has incorrect information

According to the law, any person who wrote a bad check will be charged an additional fee. But are you aware that the person who received a bounced check will also get fees?

Yes, you read it right. Anyone who attempts to clear a “bad” check is subjected to returned-check fees. The fee can range from $20 up to $40, or worst a percentage of the check value.

What If a Client Give You a Bad Check?

Once you have a hint that the check you received is a bad one, then you need to take action immediately. Follow the instructions below to retrieve your payment and ditch additional fees.

Know Your State’s Law

If the customer gives you a bad check, they will also provide a secure and valuable means of creating the obligation as well as the chance to recover more than the amount written on the check.

Mostly, state statutes provide treble damages and the amount of check that can be recovered from the payer, or if the payer fails to clear the money owing to the payee within 30 days.


Debt Collection Agency

If the customer has proven to commit this wrongful act, the court will grant the payer the treble damages according to the intent of the payer. Moreover, a creditor can retrieve the costs of the suit as well as the attorney’s fees. But keep in mind that this law may vary depending on the state, so always check the laws in your state to be prepared by the requirements of the statute.

Call the Client Immediately

Remember, people do make mistakes – so, don’t always assume that the client intentionally gives you a bad check. Inform them right way that their check looks like a bounced check and see if they can provide other payment options.

Mostly, checks have the person’s name, phone number, and address, so it makes sense to contact them immediately as soon as you receive a bad check.

However, some people can be hard to contact or locate, especially if they intentionally give you a bad check. If the debtor won’t respond to you, hiring a collection agency is a solution. They will help you to trace or track them down.

Visit the Bank on the Check

Aside from contacting the client, you may also visit the bank branch on the check. Other banks may cooperate with you and will agree to cash the check even if the debtor has insufficient funds or they just suddenly disappeared.

Another thing is, you can avoid bad check fees if you visit the bank listed on the check. Yes, you read it right; as mentioned earlier, the one who receives the bad check can also be charged with fees. So, visiting the bank branch will help to avoid those fees.

However, the bank has the authority to decline or proceed with the transaction of the said check.

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