New Hampshire Dishonored Check Law

Debts and Credit – Bad Checks – New Hampshire

Related New Hampshire 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.

CIVIL PROVISIONS

TITLE LV – PROCEEDINGS IN SPECIAL CASES
CHAPTER 544-B CIVIL LIABILITY FOR BAD CHECKS

NH Stat. 544-B:1 Civil Penalties for Bad Checks. (New Hampshire Statutes (2016 Edition))

I. In any action against a person who makes, issues, or draws any check, draft or order for the payment of money which has been dishonored for lack of funds or credit to pay the same, or because the maker, issuer, or drawer has no account with the drawee, the holder may recover from the maker, issuer, or drawer the amount of the check, draft, or order, plus court costs, service costs, and collection costs incurred by the holder. The amount of the check, draft, or order plus the enumerated costs may be recovered only if:

(a) The holder gives notice pursuant to RSA 544-B:2, for payment of the check, draft, or order; and

(b) The maker, issuer, or drawer, fails to tender an amount equal to the amount of the check, draft, or order, plus bank fees and mailing costs, within 10 days of receiving the notice as set forth in RSA 544-B:2.

II. If a judgment is made against a maker, issuer, or drawer pursuant to RSA 544-B:1, I(a) and (b) and he fails to make restitution on the date of judgment, he shall pay to the holder $10 per business day that the debt remains outstanding from the date of judgment up to a limit of $500.

III. An action under this section may be brought as a small claims action if the amount claimed does not exceed the jurisdictional limits for small claims action, or may be brought in any other court that has jurisdiction.

Source. 1985, 229:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.

NH Stat. 544-B:2 Notice of Nonpayment. (New Hampshire Statutes (2016 Edition))

“Notice” as used in RSA 544-B:1, I(a) means notice given to the maker, drawer, or issuer of the check, draft, or order, either in person or in writing. Such notice in writing shall be conclusively presumed to have been given when properly deposited in the United States mails, postage prepaid, by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, and addressed to such maker, drawer, or issuer at his address as it appears on the check, draft, or order or at his last known address.

Source. 1985, 229:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.

NH Stat. 358-C:5 Check Collection Charges. (New Hampshire Statutes (2016 Edition))

I. A creditor involved in a consumer credit transaction or a debt collector designated to collect on a check, negotiable order of withdrawal, share draft, or other negotiable instrument may charge and receive a check collection charge of not more than $25, unless otherwise expressly authorized by written agreement with the consumer.

II. In the case of a consumer credit transaction, disclosure of a check collection charge made pursuant to paragraph I of this section shall be made in the promissory note or sales finance contract. In the case of debt collectors, notification of imposition of a check collection charge pursuant to paragraph I of this section shall be done by telephone or written notice sent by regular mail to the debtor at the debtor’s last known telephone number or address or at the address shown on the check or other instrument. The notice shall state the amount of the check collection charge that has been or will be imposed, and shall state that the debtor is responsible for paying the check collection charge as well as the value of the check or other instrument.

Source. 1997, 161:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; 322:27, eff. Jan. 1, 1998 at 12:01 a.m.

NH Stat. 638:4 Issuing Bad Checks. (New Hampshire Statutes (2016 Edition))

I. A person is guilty of issuing a bad check if he issues or passes a check for the payment of money and payment is refused by the drawee, except in cases where a legal stop payment order has been issued or where the drawee refuses payment for any other reason through no fault of the person who issued or passed the check.

I-a. A person who issues or passes a bad check is subject to prosecution in the jurisdiction in which he issued or passed the check.

II. For the purposes of this section, as well as in any prosecution for theft committed by means of a bad check, a person who issues a check for which payment is refused by the drawee is presumed to know that such check would not be paid if he had no account with the drawee at the time of issue.

III. It is an affirmative defense that the actor paid the amount of the check, together with all costs and protest fees, to the person to whom it was due, within 14 days after having received notice that payment was refused. The actor’s failure to make such payment within 14 days after receiving notice that payment was refused shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of paragraph I of this section.

IV. (a) Issuing a bad check is:

(1) A class A felony if:

(A) The face amount of the check exceeds $1,500; or

(B) The defendant has 2 or more prior convictions under this section, the present and prior convictions were based on offenses committed within a 12-month period, and the aggregate face amount of the checks underlying the present and prior convictions exceeds $1,500;

(2) A class B felony if:

(A) The face amount of the check exceeds $1,000 but is not more than $1,500; or

(B) The defendant has 2 or more prior convictions under this section, the present and prior convictions were based on offenses committed within a 12-month period, and the aggregate face amount of the checks underlying the present and prior convictions exceeds $1,000 but does not exceed $1,500;

(3) A class A misdemeanor if the face amount of the check does not exceed $1,000 and the actor has been convicted of an offense under this section within the previous 12 months; and

(4) A class B misdemeanor in all other cases.

(b) In any prosecution under subparagraph IV(a), the prosecutor shall prove that the person issued or passed the check knowing or believing that the check would not be paid by the drawee.

(c) Face amounts involved in the issuance of bad checks committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.

V. In addition to any other sentence which it imposes, the court shall, if restitution is authorized under RSA 651:63, order any person convicted of a violation of this section to make restitution to the person to whom the check was due. Such restitution shall include the amount of the check and may include all reasonable costs and protest fees.

VI. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, in any judicial proceeding under this section, a notarized or sworn statement by the bank official who is the keeper of records of the bank upon which the check was drawn shall be admissible as evidence at trial to prove the status or account balance of the person’s account on the date the check was issued or passed. The admission of this statement shall eliminate the need for the keeper of records to personally appear and testify before the court.

(b) Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the person who issued the check for which payment was refused from securing the appearance of the keeper of the records before the court by subpoena or other legal process.

Source. 1971, 518:1. 1979, 265:1. 1983, 378:1, 2. 1985, 163:1. 1989, 269:1-4. 1990, 153:1. 1993, 215:1, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994. 2010, 239:4, eff. July 1, 2010.


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