Debts and Credit – Bad Checks – Iowa
Related Iowa Legal Forms
Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive summary of the law of bad checks, but does contain basic and other provisions.
TITLE XIII – COMMERCE
SUBTITLE 5. – REGULATION OF COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISES
CHAPTER 554 – UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE
ARTICLE 3. – NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS
PART 5. – DISHONOR
IA Code Sec. 554.3513 Civil remedy for dishonor. (Iowa Statutes (2016 Edition))
554.3513 Civil remedy for dishonor.
1. In a civil action against a person who makes a check, draft, or order, which has been dishonored for lack of funds or credit, after having been presented twice, or because the maker has no account with the drawee, the plaintiff shall recover from the defendant total damages equaling three times the face value of the dishonored check, draft, or order, which sum shall include the face value of the check, draft, or order. However, total recovery under this section shall not exceed by more than five hundred dollars the amount of the check, draft, or order and may be awarded only if all of the following apply:
a. The plaintiff made written demand of the defendant for payment of the amount of the check, draft, or order not less than thirty days before commencing the action.
b. The written demand notified the defendant that treble damages would be sought if the face value of the dishonored check was not paid within thirty days of receipt, and was received by the defendant via any of the following methods:
(1) Personal service.
(2) Restricted certified mail.
(3) Regular mail to at least one of the following addresses, supported by an affidavit of service retained by the payee or holder of the dishonored check, which affidavit shall be presumptive evidence of the receipt of the demand by the maker three days from the date of execution of the affidavit:
(a) The address printed or written on the check.
(b) The address given by the drawer at the time of issuance of the check.
(c) The last known address of the drawer.
c. The defendant has failed to tender to the plaintiff, prior to commencement of the action, an amount of money not less than the face value of the dishonored check, draft, or order.
d. The plaintiff clearly and conspicuously posted a notice at the usual place of payment, or in a billing statement of the plaintiff, stating that civil damages pursuant to this section would be sought upon dishonorment.
2. In an action for damages pursuant to subsection 1, if the court or jury determines that the failure of the defendant to satisfy the dishonored check, draft, or order is due to economic hardship, the court or jury may waive all or part of the allowable civil damages. However, if the court or jury waives all or part of the civil damages, the court or jury shall render judgment against the defendant in the amount of the dishonored check, draft, or order and the actual costs incurred by the plaintiff in bringing the action.
3. This section does not apply if the reason for the dishonor of the check, draft, or order is that the maker has stopped payment pursuant to section 554.4403 because of a bona fide dispute between the maker and the holder relating to the consideration for which the check, draft, or order was given.
4. In actions brought pursuant to this section, no additional award pursuant to section 554.3512 or 625.22 shall be made.
5. The plaintiff in a civil action to collect a dishonored check, draft, or order brought before the district court sitting in small claims shall not request or recover punitive or exemplary damages, but may seek the civil damages allowed under this section. The plaintiff in a civil action to collect a dishonored check, draft, or order in the district court not sitting in small claims, may seek punitive or exemplary damages if appropriate under chapter 668A, or civil damages allowed under this section, but not both.
6. A violation of this section is an unlawful practice as provided in section 714.16, subsection 2, paragraph “a”.