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if you overdraw your checking account you can go to jail

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Latest post Wed, Sep 10 2008 8:37 PM by Stboerma. 4 replies.
  • Sat, Aug 23 2008 11:12 PM

    Question [=?] if you overdraw your checking account you can go to jail

    Am I the only person that didnt know you can go to jail for overdrawing your checking account? It was not intentional, and was not able to repay it immediately. The bank sent it collections. I spoke to them and agreed to make payments. Im waiting for a fairly large settlement, and was going to pay it off. I have a bunch of other medical bills and what not in collection also. And am looking forward to paying off all debts with my settlement. However, they are now going to press criminal charges on me for overdrawing my own active (it wasnt a closed acct) open account. So I guess Im going to go to jail if I cant get them to agree to drop charges so I can pay it. Does anyone have any info that might be helpful?
  • Sun, Aug 24 2008 7:48 AM In reply to

    re: if you overdraw your checking account you can go to jail

    "However, they are now going to press criminal charges on me for overdrawing my own active (it wasnt a closed acct) open account."

    Gee, if that were true there'd be 100 million people in jail. And there aren't.

    Who's telling you that?

    The collection agent that calls you on the phone?

    They'll say anything to scare you into sending money.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Sun, Aug 24 2008 8:08 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: if you overdraw your checking account you can go to jail

    It CAN be a crime. It depends on the applicable state law and the circumstances. Generally, you'd have to intentionally overdraw the account to commit a theft or fraud crime here. The bank can file a criminal complaint if it wants, but it doesn't decide whether charges are filed in court against you; that's the job of the prosecutor. Unless there is something here that distinguishes your case from any other run of the mill overdrawn bank account, the prosecutor is not likely to pursue it.
  • Tue, Aug 26 2008 9:06 PM In reply to

    • Drew
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    re: if you overdraw your checking account you can go to jail

    The prosecutor would need to show yo had criminal intent--and odds are he or she has lots of other stuff to do.

    ASIDE: it may well be a felony to attempt to force you to pay a civil debt by threatening a criminal complaint--now they can say stuff close to same but if they cross the line----youmay want to think thru and docuement who threatened a criminal action and how etc...just in case...

  • Wed, Sep 10 2008 8:37 PM In reply to

    • Stboerma
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Tue, Aug 19 2008
    • Posts 9

    Angry [:@] re: if you overdraw your checking account you can go to jail


    I have a similar situation.

    I have a bank account in California with Wells Fargo that, as of Sept 8 was ~$615 overdrawn due to automatic withdraw and fee that keep "attempting" to charge to the account.

    I recently moved to Michigan and as there isn't any branches out here, I called to have my accounts closed. This was on Sept 8.

    I was told that I needed to take care of the $615 before they would close it. I wanted them to "freeze" the account or change the account numbers so that nothing else would be able to attempt to post to the account. They said there wasn't any way to do that without reporting fraud on the account. But, the person I talked to on the 8th, said if I made a payment via check over the phone, that any charges or fees after the 8th would be waived once the check clears and I could call to close the account.

    So... On the 8th of September, I gave the person my check number to take care of the overdrawn balance. She told me it would take 24 to 48 hours to clear and to call back on Wednesday (today).

    Well, today is is Wendesday and I called. The guy I talked to was totally non-budging and told me that other charges were attempted on the account and fees in the additional amount of around $800!!! He said there was now way anyone should have (or could have possibly) told me that a check would clear in 24 to 48 hours and there was no way to waive the additional charges and fees since the 8th. He told me I would need to send in another $800 and wait again for it to clear and then they could close it. I tried to explain to them what I was told on the 8th and he kept saying no one would ever tell that to me.

    I told him that I was trying to close the account and, if there were any branches here in Michigan, that I would gladly have gone to a branch, paid cash, and closed it all on the 8th. However, the person I talked to on the 8th, only gave me the option of an electronic check and said what I mentioned above that I could close the account after 48 hours.

    The guy I talked to today said that if I don't take care of the extra $800 negative balance by the 10th of October, that the account would be charged off, I would be sued for the amount, and I would lose all banking privilages for 5 years including the account I now have in Michigan!

    I am totally perplexed and angry. In good faith, I gave them an electronic check on the 8th and was told I could close on the 10th. Now, according the guy I talked to today, I need to send even more money before the account can be closed otherwise I would be in big trouble.

    Can anyone confirm or deny what they are doing and/or saying?

    Even if it is true, what about acting in good faith on monday the 8th and now being told I was given incorrect information, but that he couldn't believe anyone would give me that information?


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