Suppose a person writes a check that bounces because the account has "insufficient funds." That would be a misrepresentation (of the person's bank balance). How long does the person have to make the funds sufficient so that the check becomes "good" before the person can be charged with a crime. (If it is within a reasonable period of time, might it be case of "no harm, no foul.")

Take another example with cases a) and b). A person lies on a loan application by claiming to have insurance on a key asset (such as a house) when in fact, s/he doesn't.

Case A: The loan officer catches the omission before the loan closes. Can the person "cure" the omission or "true" the facts by buying the insurance and then close on the loan?

Case B: The loan closes and later the bank finds out about the missing insurance. Can this misrepresentation be cured?

I am interested in the law in any state of the United States, but particularly in New York state.

1 Answer 1


No time

Once a crime has been committed a crime has been committed. If a person decides to rectify the "wrong" of that crime that may influence law enforcement's decision to prosecute and/or the severity of the sentence received upon conviction but it doesn't undo the crime.

The matters you name are unlikely to be the subject of criminal justice

Technically, knowingly making a false representation is a crime but the specific matters you raise are unlikely to be prosecuted because:

  • police aren't interested
  • a conviction is extremely unlikely - proving beyond reasonable doubt that a person knew they would have insufficient funds for a check or hadn't just "forgotten" the insurance is nigh on impossible.

Civil consequences

These are far more likely to be dealt with by the "wronged" party in a commercial/civil law matter and the answer then becomes:

If these were a breach of contract or an actionable tort then the amount of time given to rectify (not undo) the wrong is whatever the parties agree or a court imposes.

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