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Check fraud-Stop Payment?

Los Angeles, CA |

I got trapped into a door salesman deal for magazine subscriptions. I paid the $60 bucks with a check. The company (in Florida) turned out to be very shady and has a history. I canceled the subscription immediately and sent the cancellation via certified mail. I called multiple times and they supposedly received the cancellation and destroyed the check. They took the address off the check rather than the one i provided and do not want new address. I am not sure if I put a stop payment on the check because my bank is not being very helpful. If the company does file charges, what could be the punishment?

I have no intention of defrauding the company. They have a track record, for example the company name changed because company was connected to rape, burglary and death of a salesman (as ironic as it sounds). There were always sufficient funds on the account, which I can prove via my online account transactions. The stop payment may have been a panic reaction because of the history of the company.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. The company cannot file charges against you. Only the District Attorney can file charges. If the company calls the police and the cops take a report, that would be forwarded to the DA, who would decide what charges to file, if any.

    You had no intent to defraud them when you wrote the check and it sounds like you never actually got any magazines. It is extremely unlikely that any DA would file charges based on these facts.

    I would be more concerned that the company might turn the check over to a collection agency is you stopped payment and try to damage your credit rating. When talking to them, make sure to keep records of the date and time of the calls, and the name of the person you speak to. I would also follow up with another certified letter, stating your understanding that the subscription was canceled and they destroyed the check, and asking them to reply promptly if that is not their understanding.


  2. There is nothing criminal about changing your mind.

    It is called buyer's remorse.

    If you signed a subscription agreement, you could arguably be held liable in small claims court for the amount of the subscription.

    This could also be reported as a non-payment to the credit reporting agencies.

    It might be worth $60 to preserve your good credit, even if you don't read the magazine.

    Good luck.

    I would strongly urge you to consult immediately with a litigator skilled in this area of the law.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS RESPONSE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS A LEGAL OPINION OR ADVISE, AND DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. IN ORDER TO RENDER A LEGAL OPINION OR ADVISE, THE RESPONDING ATTORNEY WOULD NEED FAR MORE INFORMATION THAN HAS BEEN PROVIDED, AND WOULD NEED TO BE RETAINED PURSUANT TO A WRITTEN FEE AGREEMENT.