Bounced checks are also known as checks that have been rejected for lack of funds or NSF checks, which is an abbreviation for “non-sufficient funds”. Basically, this means that the amount of the check isn’t enough to cover the amount of the check in the bank account of the person or company that wrote the check. You may be wondering where the phrase “bounced check” came from. To answer that question, imagine a check hitting your account and bouncing right off because there is not enough money to pay it off. There is no better “boing” sound in the world of personal finance than this one.
Steps to be followed when you Accidentally Bounce a Check
The first thing you need to do is not panic. Even though it may feel uncomfortable and cost you an overdraft fee, it’s easy to fix.
- The person to whom you wrote the check should be contacted as soon as possible. It would be wise to inform them of the error that you have made and ask them how they would like it to be fixed.
- Make a payment on the check. Make sure you pay the amount owed, whether through an alternate payment method or by having the receiving party send the check back through. Make sure you are able to show a reporting agency or your bank proof of payment if you need to.
- Make sure that you set up a payment plan with your bank. Make sure to deposit funds to cover any fees you may have been charged by your bank in order to bring your account up to date.
Follow these procedures to Avoid Receiving a Bounced Check:
- If you receive a check from someone you know, you should only accept it. You should be aware that when receiving payments from people that you are not familiar with, a cash payment or a digital payment using Venmo or Zelle is the more secure option.
- It is not recommended that you accept checks that have already been signed. You should make sure that whoever is writing you a check signs it in front of you to ensure that they did not steal the check from you.
- Keep the money in your bank account instead of spending it. Even though the funds may show as “available” in your account, it can take several days for the funds to be returned to your account once a bad check has been issued. You can ensure that your check has cleared by waiting a week to ten days after you receive it.
- Make sure that the contact information you have is correct. It is important to compare the address on the person’s identification card with the information on the check regarding the person’s contact information. Don’t be afraid to ask for additional information, such as a phone number or date of birth, if you need them.
Other important facts:
Validity period of the bounced cheque – Penalties and consiquences