I have atenant in who has filed for bankruptcy, can I file criminal charges on her for 2 bad checks?

Asked on July 23, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Bankruptcy stays collections efforts; it does not stay, or stop, criminal charges. The issue though is whether what the tenant did is actually criminal. A bad check is not automatically a criminal act; they can come about for a variety of innocent reasons, such as overdrawing an account by mistake. If the tenant tended to live paycheck to paycheck or hand to mouth, it's easy to imagine that she simply got caught short on funds. Of course, if there is reason or evidence to believe that the tenant deliberate tried to pass bad checks, that would be a different matter. In that case, contacting the police and looking to press charges would seem to be wholly appropriate. So first, take a deep breathe and consider the context and evidence; then if you still, on reflection, believe this was a deliberate attempt to defraud, contact the police and share your thoughts with them.

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