What is a person’s liability for stopping payment on a check?

UPDATED: Dec 3, 2011

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What is a person’s liability for stopping payment on a check?

My husband and I have been separated to see if we could work things out. About 6 months ago he was desperate and came to me and asked for a 3 day $2100 loan. He needed to pay is electric bill and child support or he would be arrested. He said he was suicidal. I wrote the check on a Friday and he didn’t have the funds on Monday as promised so I stopped payment on the check. His bank did release the money which he immediately took out and paid neither the child support or the electric. This was the final deal breaker for me. He sent me an email yesterday saying he was criminally prosecuting me for a “bad check” which could result in prosecution with jail time. Is there any truth to this? I wrote “loan” on the check and his promise was 3 days for getting me the money. He knew he wouldn’t have the money. I was duped but now scared for criminal charges. We haven’t even filed for divorce yet. Can he do this?

Asked on December 3, 2011 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You were entirely within your rights to have stopped payment on a loan to your estranged husband. You had a suspicion that something was amiss soon after you loaned him the money and to your credit you stopped payment on the check.

If you have a family law attorney concering your marital separation matter, I recommend that you consult him or her about the situation that you are writing about. I sense that your husband has problems that are quite serious and that he may try to blame you for what is going wrong in his life.

I see no factual or legal basis for any criminal charges being filed against you. Your husband is trying to scare you into loaning him some money that he probably will be unable to repay you in my opinion.


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