Why does the person depositing the check have to pay the penalty for NSF (bounced) checks?

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Shouldn’t the person whose account I’m getting funds from be the one who gets the penalty? If I’m receiving payments from someone like rent, and that person does not have sufficient funds in their account, why am I getting charged the penalty when I have zero control over their bank account? That would be like saying I should get fined if the car in front of me ran a red light.

In: Other

Typically both the person who wrote the check AND the person who deposited the check get assessed fees for the bounced check.

The goal is to discourage writing bad checks and for the depositor to trust that the check will be honored. Really banks just want to slap fees wherever they can get away with it.

To discourage me from going to my friend Jack and saying “write me a check for $100. I’ll cash it even though you don’t have the money and then you’ll get $50, and I’ll get $50.”

&&to discourage me from taking checks from people that I know don’t have the money. The first time a friend’s check bounces and you gotta pay $30 for it is the last time you take a check from that friend (and the last time the bank has to deal with it)

This was a lot more prevalent pre-debit cards, when checks were the only way to make decently sized purchases. Banks aren’t about to repeal anything that makes them money.

Two things:

The bank has a relationship with the depositor, not the person writing the check.

It is not the bank’s job to collect debts for the depositor.