Two bipartisan bills that include electronic funds transfers (EFTs) within the criminal and civil statutes for the issuance of bad checks were approved by the Assembly Financial Institutions Committee today.
The legislation, A-1153 and A-1162, is sponsored by Assembly Republican
"Whether someone is passing insufficient funds electronically, or receiving them, there is a victim in either case," explained Ciattarelli. "Modernizing the current statutes to include the electronic transfer of funds goes a long way towards keeping our laws current with new technological reporting and payment systems and ensuring there is recourse for those who are impacted."
Under criminal law, a person who makes a fraudulent EFT for checks or money orders would be subject to the following penalties:
(1) a second degree crime if the amount is
(2) a third degree crime if the amount is
(3) a crime of the fourth degree if the amount is
(4) a disorderly persons offense if the amount of the check is less than
Under civil law, if payment is not made, the maker is subject to certain monetary damages, whereby the recipient can enforce the payment to be made in a civil action. For a person who passes a bad check, the payee on the check or order may recover the amount owed, attorney's fees, court costs, and damages in an amount equal to
Both bills clarify that electronic funds transfers are to be treated the same as a check, draft, or order under the provisions of the statute, and includes appropriate references to electronic funds transfers throughout the demand for payment form.
Ciattarelli noted the bill will be of particular help to the state's
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