If a friend asked to deposit a check into my bank account and then withdraw the amount but the check had bounced. am I liable?

This is not a very close friend of mine, but I had trusted this person solely because i wanted to help them. The check was deposited and immediately withdrawn. A week or so later I had received a letter that the check was unpaid and the amount was deducted from my account. This “friend” is now unreachable.

Asked on June 4, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you are liable. When money is withdrawn from your account for any person or any purpose, you have to cover that amount (e.g. have or deposit money into the account to make good the withdrawal). It does not matter if you were the victim of a bad check--if you took or allowed money to be taken out of your account, you are liable for it. You, in turn, could sue your alleged "friend"--including, for smaller amounts (several hundred, as opposed to several thousand, dollars), in small claims court, where you could act as your own attorney and save on legal fees.

In the future, do NOT do this: it is a very common scam or form of theft.

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