Post dated check cashed early. WTF?!!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Howard Williams, Mar 30, 2002.

  1. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    I usually pay bills online via Microsoft Money. For my first payment to a new company, I usually send a regular check. I sent a company a post dated check that was dated for 3-30-02. I mailed it on the 21st or so. I checked my bank on the 27th and I was surprized to find that the check had cleared on the 25th. How can they do that? Luckily I had the money in the account so that wasn't a problem. I'm not in the habit of writting post dated checks and I'm sure most companies don't like them but still I'm a little confused. How could this happen? My hunch is that they just changed the date on the check. Can they do that? Should I be pissed? What can/should I do?

    Thanxxx in advance for any input.
     
  2. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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    Banks don't care about post dated checks these days. They cash them when they get them. Plus, some use automatic systems that cash checks w/o review from people.
     
  3. ace peterson

    ace peterson Second Unit

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    Leo's right, banks mostly don't give a darn. Most companies I know of around here don't hold post-dated checks either. They cash them right away or not at all.
     
  4. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    When checks clear I believe they have some flunky type the amount written in numbers onto the bottom of the check in those funny OCR fonts. So anything else on the check is probably ignored. Even if the amount written in numbers differs from the amount written in words it doesn't matter.
     
  5. Janna S

    Janna S Second Unit

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    Checks will clear with stale dates, post-dates, blatantly incorrect signatures, you name it. Someone who knows about banking procedures or commercial paper law might know the legal ramifications of all this. I know just enough to realize it's worth my time to keep an eye on my account activity, my blank checks, and my credit card statements, and to never write postdated checks.
     
  6. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    True, they never look at the dates anymore, but now I am wondering: if they cleared it early and it bounced, could you tell them what they can do with the bounced check charges?

    Glenn
     
  7. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    I thought writing a post-dated check was technically illegal.
     
  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    1) Post dating checks is illegal, at least in many states that I know of. I would magine, at this point, the date field is only useful for issues of "expired" checks- which I think personal checks are only good for 1 year after they were written. Any one is permitted to cash a check the moment you hand it to them.

    2) In many states, not only is post dating a check illegal-- writing a check with knowledge that you don't have funds to cover the check is illegal. In some states, if they can prove that you knowingly wrote a check which you did not have the funds to cover, this a FRAUD and is a felony.

    So, the bottom line is, I'd be glad that they didn't care about the date- since if they did, it's possible you could have gotten in trouble. I actually find it odd that you would bother post dating a check to a company to pay a bill-- I could see doing so with friends, even with person to person formal transactions-- but I have never seen someone do it with a real bill. Any time I have dealt with anyone who felt the need to post date checks to me, I found this terribly unprofessional, and have avoided doing any business with them since then.

    -Vince
     
  9. Scott Leopold

    Scott Leopold Supporting Actor

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    I used to always post date my checks that I sent out for my bills, simply because I'd date them for the day I was being paid, and send them two days earlier. I worked nights at the time, and I would drop them at the post office on the way in, so they'd be picked up with the 8pm pick up. I figured that there's no way any of my bills would arrive the next day, and even if they did, there was no way they'd be processed until after the funds were in my account the following morning. This worked out just fine until one day I received a call from my bank telling me that the check I had used to pay my mortgage had bounced! I was mortified. I have my mortgage through the same bank that I have my checking account, and at first I was furious that they would cash my check before the date written on it. They told me that it doesn't matter what date I put on the check, they'll still cash it. I was then furious that, somehow, my check had been received and processed in under 20 hours! I received the call just before 3pm. I explained that I had mailed it just before 7pm the night before. I asked if, considering the circumstances, they could hold my check until the next day at 8am, and cash it then. While the person from the banking division didn't think this was a problem, the "lady" from the mortgage division did. After about an hour of arguing back and forth between the three of us, not much had been decided. The lady from the mortgage division's solution was for her to overnight me the overdrawn check, then have me overnight it to the banking division with a separate check to cover the overdraft fees and another to cover the returned check and insufficient funds fees for the mortgage division; the banking lady would then overnight the original check, plus the second new check to the mortgage division, and I could wait until the following month to pay the late fee. We finally got her manager on the phone, and it was agreed that he would tear up the original check, and I would call the banking division the following morning after my paycheck had been deposited and do a balance transfer to pay my mortgage bill for the month, saving me a total of $105 ($25 overdraft, $30 returned check, $25 insufficient funds, $25 late fee). While I was glad it worked out, it taught me to pay real close attention to when I sent in the bills.
     
  10. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    This is why I NEVER use checks -- they're the most cumbersome, annoying, and unnecessary form of payment ever invented. Plus, they always take too long at the register. Once, I wrote a check to a certain DVD retailer. They took TWO WEEKS to cash the check (and it was cashed when I didn't have enough funds to cover the check -- I didn't keep track, which was stupid on my part).
    Say no to checks! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    A few years ago I lost a check made payable to me by a friend. I asked the friend if it cleared he said yes. A copy of the back of the check showed that it had not even been endorsed and not even forged. The bank the friend drew the check on just reimbursed him and he me. For the bank it is not worth their while to worry about endorsements, dates, etc. Easier to eat the loss than to spend the extra man/woman hours making sure all the details are correct. Unless you postdate a check. Shame on you.
     
  12. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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  13. CameronJ

    CameronJ Stunt Coordinator

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    I wouldn't necessarily say that a post-dated check is "illegal", if you mean that there is an actual law against it that could result in criminal penalties. Sorry, pet peeve, but I hate it when people confuse "illegal" with "not allowed."

    However, a post-dated check is technically invalid. The date on a check is not there to indicate the first date that a check is valid, rather it is there to indicate when the check was first written for stale dating purposes.

    All that being said, the reality of the situation is that in today's banking world, only one actual human being ever sees your check (assuming you've mailed it in to pay a bill). That person is not at your bank, but at the company you mail the check to. That person looks at the check only to do two things. First, they look for your account identifying information (acct number w/ them, name, ss#, etc.) so they can post the payment to the correct account. Secondly, they encode the amount of the check in magnetic ink (MICR) on the bottom right hand corner. Every time that check passes through a bank from here out that MICR encoding is read by computer proof machines (along with your bank's routing number, your account number, and the check number).

    That's why it's extremely important to verify that your checks clear for the correct amount. If the first person mis-encodes the amount (an extra zero, etc.), no one is going to catch it except you. Granted this doesn't happen very often, I've only had it happen twice in 15 years.
     
  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Silly.
    Post-dating checks is asking for trouble. Do you really think that a company that processes thousands of checks per day has a "hold" box where they wait for post-dated checks to come to term? [​IMG] Sending a check in the mail when you don't have the funds to cover it is ill-advised at best.
    Why not just write the check and send it off when you've got the funds?
    And reconcile your account every month.
    Is it really that complicated? [​IMG]
     
  15. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    Well, since some of you think the whole idea is silly or hint that balancing a check book is complicated, let me clarify a few things.

    Like I said, I very rarely deal with checks, especially for paying bills. I can think of at least one good scenario for post dating a check that makes sense to me at least. Assume the following scenario:

    You have automatic payroll deposit.

    Your checks are deposited on the 15th and the last day of each month.

    You are a saleried employee and therefore you are paid the same amount for each deposit

    It's March 21st and you have $200 in your account

    Your automatic deposit will put $1000 in your account on March 31st.

    You write a $500 check for a bill that is due on the April 2.

    You never know exactly how many days it will take for your check to get there because of the US Mail system complexity.

    You have to make sure the check is in their hands by April 2 but you won't have the money in the account until March 31st.

    If post dating a check did what it was meant to do (not allow the payee to deposit/withdraw until the day written on the check) it would make sense to do so. I "now" understand that this is not what the date slot is for. I did not understand that before, which is why I asked. I bet I'm not the only one that has the wrong idea about it and post dating checks.
     
  16. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    But you are assuming the date on the check is the date the check becomes valid. It is not. It is only the date from which time is counted until the uncashed check is no longer valid.

    So by postdating the check, all you are doing is giving the bank a few extra days in a year's time to process the check.
     
  17. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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  18. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Howard, can't you just write the date you mail it on the check, and then express mail the check? Yes, it will cost you extra ($12) I believe, but since this shouldn't happen more than once or twice a year, it would seem like the cheapest and best solution (it certainly beats bouncing a check and/or getting late fees). That's what we did, at least.
     
  19. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    This thread irritates me to no end. [​IMG]
    Mr. Howard Williams was politely asking what the circumstances were regarding post-dating checks and whether or not companies honor such said dates. Most people are very unaware that the practice of post-dating checks is either legally wrong or completely ignored by the person who receives the check.
    I expect the people of HTF to be a little more polite and understanding towards its own members. All you folks had to do was simply explain to Howard Williams that post-dating checks is simply a bad practice. Instead you folks (you know who you are) say things like
     
  20. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Ok, if I have this right then... If I write a post-dated check for the purpose of (hopefully) having the payee hold it until the date on the check, and they cash it early and it bounces and the banks decide to prosecute me for fraud, wouldn't the fact that the date is only used for the one-year (stale-dating period) make a suit like this invalid?

    And note that it wouldn't be that hard to say that I just looked at the wrong date on the calendar when I wrote it out.

    Glenn
     

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