Is putting a stop payment on a $300 check a felony?

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It depends entirely on the circumstances and state of mind. Stopping payment because you never in fact received the services or goods the check was to pay for, or because you believe you that you were tricked or defrauded into writing the check, or even due to an error (wrote the wrong amoung or wrong payee), or because you think the check was lost, is not a crime, though you could be liable for any costs the receiving party then incurs.

On the other hand, stopping paying a check because you don't want to pay the payee, or do not intend to pay for goods you've received, or are angry with or having some dispute with the payee, could be a crime--basically, you only legitimately stop payment when there is a lost check, a mistake on the check, fraud, or a failure by the other party to provide the goods or services which the check is in payment for.

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