HOUSE BILL NO. 152
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DISHONORED CHECKS, DRAFTS OR ORDERS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Title 6 of the Delaware Code by adding a new Chapter 13A to read as follows:
“CHAPTER 13A. DISHONOR OF CHECKS, DRAFTS OR ORDERS.
§1301A. Actions relating to dishonor of checks, drafts, or orders; damages.
(a) In any action against a drawer of any check, draft, or order for the payment of money that has been duly dishonored for lack of funds or credit to pay the same, or because the drawer has no account with the drawee, the plaintiff may recover from the drawer the amount of the check, draft, or order, plus Court costs, damages in the amount of $50.00 for the first instance of a dishonored check, draft, or order issued to the plaintiff by the drawer within one (1) year; for a second or subsequent dishonored check, draft or order for the payment of money issued to the plaintiff by the drawer within one (1) year of the issuance of a previous dishonored check, draft, or order, triple the amount of the check, draft or order; not to exceed $250.00, plus Court costs, provided that:
(1) the plaintiff made written demand of the defendant for payment of the amount of the check, draft, or order not less than thirty (30) days before commencing the action; and
(2) the defendant failed to tender to the plaintiff, prior to commencement of the action, an amount of money not less than the amount of the check, plus a fee of $40.00.
(a) Subsequent to the commencement of an action governed by this Section, but prior to the hearing, the defendant may tender to the plaintiff as satisfaction of the claim, an amount of money equal to the sum of the amount of the check, plus $40.00 and court costs.
(b) Nothing within this Section shall be interpreted to prohibit the drawer of a check, draft, or order for the payment of money, and the payee of any of the foregoing, from agreeing in writing to terms that exceed the foregoing limits; provided, however, that no damages may be recovered under this Section in any action for the repayment of any short-term consumer loan subject to the provisions of § 978 or § 2235A of Title 5; and
(c) The Justice of the Peace Court shall develop and produce appropriate forms and regulations to ensure efficiency in the application of this Statute.”.
Approved July 12, 2005