General Question

AshlynM's avatar

What happens if you write a check from a bank account that's been closed?

Asked by AshlynM (10552points) March 25th, 2017

As in no longer exists?
I mean like an innocent mistake, not intentional fraud.
Not saying I’ve done this, just curious what happens.

Is it different than writing a check from an account with non sufficient funds?

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11 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It is against the law and may cause “uttering forged instrument” arrest with jail time.

The “innocent mistake” could be a brought up at the trial which is a felony trial..

johnpowell's avatar

It can also get you blacklisted from opening another bank account for a long time. This can get very expensive if you have to go to check cashing places in the future.

Coloma's avatar

It’s called fraud and it’s a crime. You know the account is closed, you know there are no funds, but you are passing a bad check with the intent to steal/defraud. Bad idea unless you want to go to jail, pay restitution to the merchants you defraud / steal from and have a criminal record.

jca's avatar

@AshlynM: You said it would be an innocent mistake and not done on purpose, but if one is writing checks, one should be aware whether the account is open or not and the person who write the check is responsible. Saying “I didn’t know it was closed” is not a defense.

Darth_Algar's avatar

That would be fraud and “oops, my bad” probably won’t fly in court.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The bank will try and process it. It will be rejected and kicked back to your bank. They will probably slap your hand, and make you pay some sort of a bad-check charge.

It is unlikely they will get the police on you if this is the first time and you are apologetic.

Throw away any remaining checks from that account, and shred the debit card.

So if this is an honest, one-time-only mistake it might cost you $45 in fees. If you make a habit, of it, that’s another story.

kritiper's avatar

It will bounce. Issuing a check with insufficient funds (or no funds at all) is against the law.

jca's avatar

If you are a licensed insurance broker or hold another type of license, you put your license at risk (brokerage license).

Darth_Algar's avatar


Never heard of anyone being criminally prosecuted just for bouncing a check. That happens all the time and is quite a bit different from writing a check off a closed account.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It is called uttering a false instrument, @Darth_Algar; there are between 8 and 10 occurrences a week in the local courts (70,000 people in the county). Repeater get jail time but it is a felony.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Again, there’s a difference between simply writing a check that bounces and committing fraud. If a bounced check were, in and of itself, felonious then banks would not offer overdraft protection.

(Congrats on posting the first link that came up in your Google search though. Unfortunately, however, the link does nothing to further the premise.)

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