What should I do if I receive an NSF check? 

Verified 27 July 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister), Ministry of Finance

You received a check non-provision ? You must first try to obtain payment by contacting the person who gave you the check (amicable procedure). If this approach fails, you can ask a commissioner of justice (formerly bailiff and judicial auctioneer) for payment of the check (compulsory procedure).

Step-by-step approach

If you receive a NSF check, the bank of the person who issued the check (the issuer) informs your bank that the payment cannot be made.

Your bank sends you a certificate of rejection of checks for lack of provision.

You can then, for a 30-day period, ask your bank again to cash the check. During this same period, you can also ask the check issuer in writing to regularize the situation by providing his bank account or by paying by another means. You can do this by using the following letter template:

Request the amicable regularization of an NSF check from its issuer

The remainder of the procedure differs depending on the amount of the check.

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More than 15 €

If the check is more than €15 is still not paid at the end of the 30-day period, the bank of the check issuer issues you a free certificate of non-payment. If the check is rejected for the second time, the certificate will automatically be given to you. Otherwise, you have to ask for it in writing.

You can do this by using the following letter template:

Request a certificate of non-payment

The certificate of non-payment must be signed by the debtor.

The delivery of the certificate of non-payment allows you to go from the amicable procedure to the forced recovery with an appeal to a commissioner of justice.

Less than or equal to €15

If the check is less than or equal to €15 is still not paid at the end of the 30-day period, your bank debtor must pay you the sum.

When the amicable procedure failed, you can ask a Commissioner of Justice to signify to the check issuer the certificate of non-payment.

The debtor is then obliged to settle his debt within 15 days.

If the payment is not regularized within 15 days, the Commissioner of Justice can then initiate any procedure to compel the debtor to pay (a wage attachment, for example). This is calledenforcement.

The costs of the enforced procedure shall be borne by your debtor.

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