Every state has its own laws when it comes to writing a bad check. In the state of Tennessee, there are serious penalties for bad check writing, in particular if the check
was written with the intent of fraud. Tennessee has implemented laws that will ensure an individual who writes fraudulent checks will suffer consequences both criminal and monetary.
In Tennessee a bad check writer is defined as a person who writes a check for fraudulent intent or a check that is written and the funds are not there to cover it, the individual is then subject to pay for the bad check, an interest rate of about 10% and a fee that is issued for service and handling, that is not to exceed $20. If a civil lawsuit is taken out against the check writer, then attorney fees and court costs may also be issued as well.
The fraudulent check issuer can avoid paying monetary fees if the face value of the check is paid in full ten days within receiving notice of the bad check. The type of notice that is typically sent out is a letter through the United States Postal Service, which is addressed to the address on the check or the address the writer of the check gave at the time the check was issued.
When a certified letter is sent to a bad check writer and the individual has not paid the debt in full within 30 days, the party could owe added costs up to $500 if the intent to fraud is proven. Criminal charges may also be filed for writing a bad check, one can be punished under the theft of property or services law, this is a misdemeanor if the amount of the check is under $500. On the other hand, if the check is written for more than $500 it is considered a felony and the check writer could face prison time and fairly large fees.
Below are the civil and criminal penalties for writing a bad check in Tennessee under criminal statute Title 39 - Criminal Offenses, Chapter 14 - Offenses Against Property, Part 1 - Theft, 39-14-121 - Worthless checks, if the issuer fails to make good within ten days after receiving notice of that their check remained unpaid and has bounced.
Civil Penalties: Triple amount of check, but not to exceed $500.
Criminal Penalties: If the check amount is $500 or less it is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Bogus check amounts from $500 to $1,000 are considered a Class E felony that carries a one to six year prison sentence with up to $3,000 in fines. If you pass a bad check from $1000 to $10,000 you can be charged with a Class D felony, which can get you 2 to 12 years in prison along with a fine up to $10,000. Bad checks written from $10,000 to $60,000 is considered a Class C felony that can land you in prison for 3 to 15 years and fined up to $10,000.
For more information on bad check laws and for criminal and civil penalties in other states for writing bad checks, please read Bad Check Laws
Check with your state statutes for the most current information on Tennessee bad check laws.
You may want to also read Getting A Checking Account While On The Chex System
Learn how to Prevent Overdraft And Bounced Check Fees
Although all information has been written in good faith and has been reviewed, please email us at [email protected] to report any inaccuracies.