The statute of limitations for collections on a check written in the state of Washington is six years. Collecting on a check returned for non-sufficient funds requires adherence to state standards, but the state does allow for interest and penalties, depending on the check writer's response to your notice.
Notify the check writer that you received a check written on an account that lacked funds to cover the check. Include in your letter details from the check, such as the number, who signed it and the amount. Consider sending this notice by certified mail, so you have a record of its mailing.
Penalties for Bad Checks
Inform the check writer of the potential penalties for writing an NSF check. If you are not reimbursed for the full amount of the check within 15 days, you are entitled to charge the check writer 12 percent interest per year; a penalty of up to three times the check or $300, whichever is less; and up to $40 cost for collecting the check, plus attorney fees.
Go to Court
File a civil action if payment is not made. Ideally that will not be necessary, but if it is and you have followed the steps above, your case in court should go well.
Pitfalls to Avoid
Do not seek damages greater than the state allows. Do not demand interest to be paid before the 15-day period is over, and do not set the figure for the attorney fee yourself. If you do, the court can deny you the fees you are owed.
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