How to Cash a Bounced Check


Authored by Casey Quinn in Banking 
Published on 01-15-2009

So you deposited a check from a friend and a week later you find out it bounced. Not only are you out the amount of the check but most likely you have been hit with additional fees charged by the bank. Take a deep breath; there are still ways to get your cash back from the bounced check. Here are three ways to go about getting your money if you happen to cash a bounced check.

First thing to remember is to remain positive with the person who wrote the check. For all you know it was an accident, and they simply may have forgotten to transfer funds from savings to checking to cover the check. Once you have the notice and calmed down from the initial shock, pick up the phone and give the person a call. Simply explain the situation and ask them to cut you a new check (or cash would be better at this point given their track record). Mention nicely about the additional fees. Hint for them to cover it. If they push back, let it go. Better to get the amount of the check and not worry about the twenty dollar fee added on. Remember, something is better than nothing.

Second way to get your money is to understand the situation. If the first scenario doesn’t work out and the person truly does not have the money, work out a payment plan (and include the fees in the plan if possible). Payment over time is still better than no payment at all. Always try to keep in your mind this person wants to pay you; they simply just did not have the money to do so. Give them options on how to pay you back. The more flexible you are, the more likely you will see your money in the future. If someone is struggling to pay their bills you can be sure that your check is not the only one that bounced. With that in mind, keep upbeat and try to be friendly. The person is most likely under enough stress as it is. Pushing for your money will get you hung up on and distanced leaving you empty handed.

The third way to cash a bounced check is the hard route, file a police report. Believe it or not, bouncing a check is a crime. It is check fraud and filing a report should only be used as a last resort with the understanding that you and this person are not likely on good terms ever again. In the end, you need to use your judgments. If you have tried various avenues to get your money from the bounced check, then this route may be the only way. You need to balance the friendship against the money and see if it is worth cutting your loses financially or personally. Your decision will most likely be determined by who the check writer is but keep this as an option if needed.

In the end, the best way to cash a bounced check is to remain positive and friendly toward the debtor. Ask nicely understanding of the financial strain they may be under.


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