If a debt collector is harassing you to make a payment, you may decide to give them a post-dated check to get rid of them because you are expecting to get the money soon. Often times, the debt collector will promise not to deposit it right-away in the hopes that you will send them a check.
By law, a debt collector is allowed to ask you to write a post-dated check. However, if the debt collector cashes the check early, which happens often, whether on accident or purposely, you will have a problem to deal with. Although, banks aren’t supposed to put checks through before the date that is written on them, it happens all the time. In addition to the problem of the check being deposited early, some debt collectors will use the information on the check to withdraw additional money from your account. They will also have information about your checking account to use later if they sue you.
You shouldn’t give a check to anyone, knowing that you don’t have enough money in your account to cover it. If you do bounce a check and can’t cover it, you may be facing criminal and/or civil penalties. As well as, your bank will charge you for that check and any other checks that bounce later and those fees can be very expensive. For example, there is one large, well known bank that charges $35 per overdraft. That can quickly add up!
However, If a debt collector has deposited your post-dated check early, you may not be out of luck, you may have a cause of action under a federal law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA says that it’s illegal for a debt collector to take a check that is postdated by more than 5 days, unless the consumer is notified in writing of the debt collector’s intent to deposit the check between 10 and 3 days prior to the deposit. If the debt collector takes a check that’s postdated by more than 5 days, and gives no notification before cashing it, the collector may be in violation. If this has happened to you call (877) 449-8898.