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Bounced Checks Can Land You In Jail

Posted By admin || 4-Aug-2009

Times are rough out there and many Texans are facing tough choices as they face foreclosure and job losses. Unemployed/underemployed and low on savings, some unscrupulous Texans are choosing to bounce checks to pay their rent/mortgage, utilities or to just put food on the table. Many don't set out to bounce a check, they figure they can write the check and will have enough time to deposit money in their account before it clears. Unfortunately, many of these check writers are in for a nasty surprise.

In the past it may have taken a week for a check to clear; but with the advancement of technology and increased efficiency of the banking process, a check can clear almost instantly. Within a day or two, a check can clear you bank account leaving you vulnerable to even more financial problems if you don't have the money in your account. That's where the trouble begins. If you have failed to deposit the money into your bank account one of two things will happen, 1) the bank with clear your check and charge you a fee or 2) the bank will deny your check and send it back to the merchant "insufficient funds."

If you're unlucky enough to have your check returned to a merchant you could face high fees from the merchant or jail time if you fail to repay the check plus the fees within the prescribed period of time, usually around 7 days. Unfortunately for the bad check writer, Texas law allows merchants to have bad check writers arrested. What type of time are you looking at? Bad checks over $20 are a class B misdemeanor. If you bounce a few $25 checks one month and can't pay them you are looking at an arrest, bail, and prosecution, up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine on each case. It's not worth it. If you find yourself unable to cover your checks or tempted to write a bad check that means you're way in over your head financially and may need bankruptcy relief. Delaying bankruptcy at this point could create a situation where you're tempted to do things that could get you in legal trouble. Bankruptcy gives debtors LEGAL debt relief and a fresh financial start. Speak with a bankruptcy attorney about your financial situation and find out how bankruptcy can offer you much needed debt relief.

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