Maryland Dishonored Check Law

Debts and Credit – Bad Checks – Maryland

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.

CIVIL PROVISIONS

Maryland Code
COMMERCIAL LAW
TITLE 15. Special Provisions Regarding Debt Collection.
Subtitle 8. Dishonored Checks and Other Instruments: Collection.

MD Code Comm. Law. 15-802 Dishonored checks or other instruments (Maryland Code (2016 Edition))


§ 15-802. Dishonored checks or other instruments

(a) Notice of dishonor. — When a check or other instrument has been dishonored by nonacceptance or nonpayment and has not been paid within 10 days, the holder to whom the check or other instrument was issued or negotiated may send a notice of dishonor to the maker or drawer as provided under this section.

(b) Liability for dishonored check or instrument; fines and fees. — If a check or other instrument has not been paid within 30 days after the holder has sent a notice of dishonor to the maker or drawer, the maker or drawer of a check or other instrument that has been dishonored shall be liable for:

(1) The amount of the check or instrument;

(2) A collection fee of up to $ 35; and

(3) An amount up to 2 times the amount of the check, but not more than $ 1,000.

(c) Timing for damages sought; certificate of mailing. —

(1) (i) The holder of a check or other instrument that has been dishonored may seek the damages provided under this section in the District Court of Maryland 30 days after a notice of dishonor has been sent by mail to the last known address of the maker or drawer.

(ii) For each notice sent by the holder under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, the holder shall:

1. Obtain a certificate of mailing from the U. S. Postal Service; or

2. Execute an affidavit that attests to the mailing of the notice in compliance with subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.

(2) A notice of dishonor sent by a holder under this section to a maker or drawer of a dishonored check or other instrument shall substantially comply with the form prescribed in § 15-803 of this subtitle.

(d) When damages prohibited. — A holder may not recover any damages under subsection (b)(3) of this section if:

(1) The holder has demanded of, and received from, the maker or drawer:

(i) Collection costs in excess of the collection fee provided under subsection (b)(2) of this section; or

(ii) Collection costs within 30 days after the mailing of the notice of dishonor, under subsection (c) of this section; or

(2) The dishonored check or other instrument provides for the payment of collection costs in the event of dishonor.

(e) Defenses. —

(1) It shall be a complete defense to any action brought under this section by any holder of a dishonored check or other instrument that, within 30 days from the mailing of the notice of dishonor, the maker or drawer has paid to the holder the full amount of the check or other instrument and collection costs of not more than $ 35.

(2) It shall be a complete defense to any action brought under this section by a holder to whom a dishonored check or other instrument was issued that the dishonor of the check or other instrument was due to a justifiable stop payment order or to the attachment of the account.

(3) In any action brought under this section by a holder or holder in due course to whom a dishonored check or other instrument was negotiated, the action is subject to all valid defenses that may be raised by the maker or drawer against the holder or holder in due course under Title 3 of this article.

HISTORY: 1998, ch. 682; 1999, ch. 34, § 1; 2001, ch. 579; 2002, ch. 298; 2003, ch. 275.
MD Code Comm. Law. 15-803 Form of notice of dishonored check; contents; criminal penalties; defenses; posting of notice of liability (Maryland Code (2016 Edition))


§ 15-803. Form of notice of dishonored check; contents; criminal penalties; defenses; posting of notice of liability

(a) Form for notice of dishonor; penalties. — A notice of dishonor sent by a holder to a maker or drawer under § 15-802 of this subtitle shall substantially comply with the following form:

“NOTICE OF DISHONORED CHECK

Date

Name of Issuer

Street Address

City and State

You are according to law hereby notified that a check or instrument
numbered and dated , drawn on the bank of in the amount of
has been returned unpaid with the notation the payment has been refused
because of

Within 30 days from the mailing of this notice, you must pay or tender to

(Holder)

sufficient money to pay such check or instrument in full and a collection
fee of $ (not more than $ 35). If payment of the above amounts is not made
within 30 days of the mailing of this notice of dishonor, you shall be liable
under § 15-802 of the Commercial Law Article, in addition to the amount of the
check or instrument and a collection fee of up to $ 35, for an amount up to 2
times the amount of the check or instrument, but not more than $ 1,000. In
addition, you may be prosecuted under Title 8, Subtitle 1 of the Criminal Law
Article of Maryland and subject to the following penalties:

(1) If the property or services has a value of at least $ 1,000 but less
than $ 10,000, a fine not exceeding $ 10,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 10
years, or both;

(2) If the property or services has a value of at least $ 10,000 but
less than $ 100,000, a fine not exceeding $ 15,000 or imprisonment not
exceeding 15 years, or both;

(3) If the property or services has a value of $ 100,000 or more, a fine
not exceeding $ 25,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 25 years, or both;

(4) If the property or services has a value of less than $ 1,000, a fine
not exceeding $ 500 or imprisonment not exceeding 18 months, or both.

It shall be a complete defense to any action brought by any holder under §
15-802 of the Commercial Law Article that, within 30 days from the mailing of
the “Notice of Dishonored Check”, the maker or drawer has paid the holder the
full amount of the check or instrument and collection costs of not more than $
35. A holder may not recover any damages if the holder has demanded of, and
received from, the maker or drawer collection costs exceeding $ 35.

It shall be a complete defense to any action brought under § 15-802 of the
Commercial Law Article by a holder to whom a dishonored check or other
instrument was issued that the dishonor of the check or other instrument was
due to a justifiable stop payment order or to the attachment of the account.

In any action brought under § 15-802 of the Commercial Law Article by a
holder or holder in due course to whom a dishonored check or other instrument
was negotiated, the action is subject to all valid defenses that may be raised
by the maker or drawer against the holder or holder in due course under Title
3 of the Commercial Law Article.”

(b) Location of notice of liability and criminal penalties. — The holder
to whom a check or other instrument is issued or negotiated may post a clearly
conspicuous notice at or near the point of receipt stating the liability of
the maker or drawer for the collection fee and damages provided in § 15-802 of
this subtitle and criminal penalties provided in §§ 8-106 and 8-107 of the
Criminal Law Article.

HISTORY: 1998, ch. 682; 2001, ch. 579; 2002, ch. 213, § 6; 2013, ch. 415.


Inside Maryland Dishonored Check Law