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What exactly is a bounced check?
If the person writing the check doesn’t have the money in his or her account to cover the amount, the check will “bounce.” A “bounced check” is a slang term referring to a check that cannot be processed because the account holder has nonsufficient funds (NSF). Banks return, or bounce, these checks (also known as rubber checks) rather than accepting them, and banks typically charge the check writer NSF fees. Overdraft or NSF fees average around $30 but can greatly vary between one bank to the next. Chase Bank, for example, has an average bounced check fee of $34. Some credit unions will provide lower NSF fees, often around $8, to incentivize membership.
Writing bad checks can be illegal, and the crime can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the amount and whether the activity in question involved crossing state lines. For the average person, if you bounce a check, you should take the following steps to avoid further issues:
There’s an element of trust involved in accepting checks are payment. The payee has no immediate way of knowing if the payor has the money to cover the transaction, and no cash changes hands immediately. It can take a few days for the transaction to be complete. The payee accepts the check on faith. Account holders have a responsibility to do what they can to prevent bounced checks using the following tips: