Can funds be deducted from your bank account for a check that you were told had been cleared?

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Can funds be deducted from your bank account for a check that you were told had been cleared?

I received a check related to a work from home mystery shopper program company. I deposited the check into my bank on 9/27. The bank removed the hold on 9/29. I call bank customer service on 9/29 to verify that the check has been cleared. The bank representative confirmed that it had. Well one day later, 9/30 the bank debited my account with the full amount of the check $3500 plus $10 return fee and stated that the check was “altered fictitious”. What is my liability in all of this?

Asked on October 3, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) You are responsible for the check you deposited; you may in turn have recourse against the program which sent you this check, but that doesn't prevent the bank from looking to you to make good the check and pay fees/costs associated with it.

2) If the bank believes that you were an accomplice to an attempt to pass a bad or fraudulent check (or were in fact the primary party attempting to do so), you could potentially suffer criminal liability if you were reported to the police. At a minimum, you could (if reported) face investigation and the cost/effort of clearing yourself.

This may not be  safe program with which to be associated.


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