New Mexico Dishonored Check Law

Debts and Credit – Bad Checks – New Mexico

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.


CHAPTER 56 Commercial Instruments and Transactions
ARTICLE 14 Worthless Checks
56-14-1. Civil action; damages.
A.  In any civil action against a person for drawing any worthless check, the plaintiff may recover from the defendant damages in the amount equal to one hundred dollars ($100) or triple the amount for which the check is drawn, whichever is greater; provided that damages recovered under this section shall not exceed the amount of the check by more than five hundred dollars ($500) and may be awarded only if:

(1) the plaintiff made written demand of the defendant for payment of the amount of the check not less than ten days before commencing action; and

(2) the defendant failed to tender to the plaintiff prior to the commencement of the action an amount of money not less than the amount demanded.

B.  The written demand by the plaintiff shall include notice that if the money is not paid within ten days, triple damages may be incurred by the defendant. The plaintiff shall provide the defendant written notice of demand for payment by certified mail at the last known address of the defendant with a request for a return receipt and marked “deliver to addressee only”.

C.  Subsequent to the commencement of the civil action but prior to the hearing, the defendant may tender to the plaintiff as satisfaction of the claim, an amount of money equal to the sum of the amount of the check and the incurred court and service costs.

D.  If the court or jury determines that the failure of the defendant to satisfy the worthless check was due to economic hardship resulting from an inevitable accident or act of God, the court or jury may waive all or part of the statutory damages; provided the court or jury shall render judgment against the defendant for not less than the amount of the worthless check plus incurred court and service costs.

E.  As used in this section:

(1) “draw” means making, drawing, uttering or delivering a worthless check;

(2) “thing of value” includes money, property, services, goods, wares and lodging; and

(3) “worthless check” means a check, draft or order for payment drawn upon any bank or other depository and issued in exchange for anything of value with intent to defraud when the drawer knows at the time of the issuing that there are insufficient funds in or credit with the bank or depository for the payment of the check, draft or order in full upon presentation; but does not mean any check where the payee or holder knows or has been expressly notified prior to the drawing of the check, draft or order for payment or has reason to believe that the drawer did not have on deposit or to his credit with the drawee sufficient funds to insure payment on its presentation nor does it mean any postdated check.

Inside New Mexico Dishonored Check Law