New Jersey Business Lawyers Explain the New State Law
Recently, Governor Chris Christie signed Assembly Bill 1162 into law, which amends the old law for the writing of bad checks. From now on, electronic fund transfers are included in the laws that penalize people who write bad checks, drafts or money orders. A bad electronic transfer would include any electronic transfer that was rejected for lack of funds, lack of credit to pay or if the person that creates the transfer does not have an account with the drawee.
What are the Rules for Electronic Transfers?
The new law has divided the rules between those who unknowingly make bad transfers and those who knowingly make bad transfers.
For example, suppose you send an electronic payment for a product that you received; however, your account did not have enough money in it to actually pay the company for the product. The company would then send a demand for payment to you. You would have 35 days to send the required payment; otherwise, you risk paying monetary damages or going to court over the business dispute.
If brought to court, you are likely to have to pay the amount of you owed from your transfer, as well as the costs of the attorney fees, the court case, and for the mailing of the written demand for payment, according to the assembly bill. Additionally, you could face a minimum of $100 in liquidated charges, but no more than the amount of your check plus $500. If the court or jury finds that you cannot pay due to economic hardship, then there is a chance that all or some of the statutory damages you owe could be waived; however, this does not exclude paying for the amount of the bad transfer, court costs, attorney fees, and the cost of the payment request.
The criminal penalty for knowingly sending a bad electronic transfer will depend upon the amount of money involved in the transfer. The penalty is as follows:
- Second-degree offense if the bad transfer exceeds $75,000
- Third-degree offense if the bad transfer is between $1,000 and $75,000
- Fourth-degree offense if the bad transfer is between $200 and $1,000
- Disorderly persons offense is set aside for transfers less than $200
Need a New Jersey Business Lawyer?
Garland & Mason, L.L.C. can serve clients with a variety of legal business and employment needs. Our Monmouth County business attorneys have several decades of combined legal experience. If you have been on the wrong end of a bad business transaction, then call our New Jersey business litigation office today or fill out the contact form on our website.