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Is it check fraud if I stopped payment on check?

Fort Myers, FL |

Mechanic did work, car still not right..

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Filed under: Fraud
Attorney answers 3


If you intended to homor the check when it was written and you had the ability to pay the check then it is not fraud for ordering a stop payment. You should first consult a Florida attorney to determine if such an act violates any other State laws.


Answered 01/12/2010 In Virginia, where I practice, if the reason for the "stop payment" is legitimate (ie. like the money was not earned or something like that), as a practice, the police won't write out the summons or investigate it. However, if the reason is insufficient funds or trying to cheat the person, they will. So, in your example, the work not being performed by the mechanic would be one of those legitimate things. In your case, the mechanic and you would be left to your civil remedies. I'd say you are OK regarding a criminal complaint for check fraud. If someone gets a summons or warrant or civil complaint against you, contact an attorney. Good luck with this.

[Note: Consistent with Avvo policy, this communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]

Brian Geno
Geno Law Firm
Red Maple Court Office Condominiums
10617 Jones Street, Suite 201-B
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-691-GENO (4366) Office
703-691-4774 Fax Email Web


I must ask, but what was your intent when you issued the stop payment? In Florida, it is illegal to write a check if there is no money in the account, for instance, you cannot write a check and "race" to the bank in the hopes that you will beat that check to the bank. The money in the account must be there BEFORE the check is written. That practice is a form of "check kiting."

Additionally, if you were not satisfied with someone's services and that is why you stopped the check, the person who performed the service can always turn around and sue you for the amount of the check plus fees and/or costs. Stopping payment on a check for that reason is unlawful, but it is not necessarily fraud. The proper remedy would have been not to pay and explain and detail your dissatisfaction with the service provider.

Best of luck

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