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  #1  
Old 02-27-2012, 09:47 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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Do I really need to write out the value on a check?

Say I'm writing a check and feeling lazy and don't want to write out the amount on the second line as I usually do, (for example):

"One thousand three hundred eighty seven dollars and 14/100-------------"

What if I just put

"1387.14----------------------------"

duplicating what's on the first line...would there be any problems?
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2012, 09:52 PM
DataX DataX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
Say I'm writing a check and feeling lazy and don't want to write out the amount on the second line as I usually do, (for example):

"One thousand three hundred eighty seven dollars and 14/100-------------"

What if I just put

"1387.14----------------------------"

duplicating what's on the first line...would there be any problems?

Yes - write me that check and I will put a tiny L on that first one and make it a 4.

When they differ - they are supposed to use the wrtten amount. Not sure if they would take it or not. My guess is if it was for 13.87 - they would let it slide, but for 1387 or 4387 - they would not.
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2012, 09:59 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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I do understand the written value is supposed to be for protection against that sort of fraud, and should have stipulated in my example that I'm giving the check to a trusted party (which is almost always the case when I do actually use written checks anymore).
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  #4  
Old 02-27-2012, 10:28 PM
DataX DataX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
I do understand the written value is supposed to be for protection against that sort of fraud, and should have stipulated in my example that I'm giving the check to a trusted party (which is almost always the case when I do actually use written checks anymore).
I think I was wrong anyway

Look up "cashiers check examples" on google image search (some are fake, but same principle applies) and you will see some where they use numbers in both. They usually used something like:

1,234 DOL 67 CENTS

I tried looking up in the UCC - and couldn't find anything on rules on the amounts in words (other than typewritten beats handwritten and words beat numbers), but I think if THEY can do it for cashiers checks - it must not be so important that you can't. Often the written part is (when they do it as numbers) bigger or with more flourish - so maybe you could pimp your check.
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  #5  
Old 02-27-2012, 10:32 PM
sitchensis sitchensis is offline
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Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
"One thousand three hundred eighty seven dollars and 14/100-------------"
Nitpick: The Dollars is already written on the check, you donít have to write it. That is why you write the cents and a fraction.

One thousand three hundred eighty seven and 14/100 ---------------- Dollars


Quote:
Originally Posted by DataX View Post
Yes - write me that check and I will put a tiny L on that first one and make it a 4.

When they differ - they are supposed to use the wrtten amount. Not sure if they would take it or not. My guess is if it was for 13.87 - they would let it slide, but for 1387 or 4387 - they would not.
Screw that, Iíd add a 1 in front and make it for eleven thousand.
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2012, 10:39 PM
Mangosteen Mangosteen is offline
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Originally Posted by sitchensis View Post
Nitpick: The Dollars is already written on the check, you donít have to write it. That is why you write the cents and a fraction.

One thousand three hundred eighty seven and 14/100 ---------------- Dollars




Screw that, Iíd add a 1 in front and make it for eleven thousand.
And you also just committed a felony.
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2012, 10:44 PM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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Cashier's checks are not the same as personal checks. A Cashier's check is guaranteed by the bank that issues it, because the funds are already secured. The check is also written/printed out in it's entirety by the issuing bank, not hand-written (usually - smaller banks may have written portions, but will still stamp the check to make it less forge-able/indicated to be guaranteed). A personal check is an IOU that has to be cleared later on by the writer's bank, and the hand-written portion is technically the legal amount that is to be taken out of the writer's account.

I'm talking technically here, as a former teller who had to decide whether to accept or reject checks every day for three years back in the 90's. I'm fairly certain the rules haven't changed. Individual tellers can still accept or reject a check at their window, and even if they accept it, the check can still be rejected by the bank it's written on and the funds withheld. That doesn't happen very often, many times a check will still go through without the written portion, I've seen them clear without a signature (!), but that doesn't mean either bank won't hold the check up if the amount is large enough for them to consider fraud.
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2012, 10:45 PM
obfusciatrist obfusciatrist is offline
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It's not a law that you have to write out the amount or anything, and most of the time it'll deposit without issue. But you're setting up the recipient to have to deal with a hassle those times someone decides to care.
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2012, 12:21 AM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Originally Posted by DataX View Post
When they differ - they are supposed to use the wrtten amount. Not sure if they would take it or not.
I've had 3 occasions (at 2 different banks) where I've been depositing a check where the amounts differ. The banks have always told me that they will cash it for the smaller amount only. Nothing about words or numbers, just the smaller amount. Which seems to make sense.
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2012, 12:45 AM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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Originally Posted by Mangosteen View Post
And you also just committed a felony.
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2012, 12:57 AM
DataX DataX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-bonham@scc.net View Post
I've had 3 occasions (at 2 different banks) where I've been depositing a check where the amounts differ. The banks have always told me that they will cash it for the smaller amount only. Nothing about words or numbers, just the smaller amount. Which seems to make sense.
Yes there is a logic to it, but this specific situation is in the UCC and I am pretty sure the bank is wrong unless there is a state statute that say different - or they don't use the UCC.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/3/3-114.html

Here is a test for bankers - using that code and that exact situation.

http://www.bankersonline.com/operati...cquiz0409.html
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2012, 03:04 AM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Originally Posted by sitchensis View Post
Nitpick: The Dollars is already written on the check, you donít have to write it.
Surely this depends on what the bank has chosen to preprint on the cheque; I've seen some templates where the currency (dollars or otherwise) wasn't preprinted. Strictly speaking you could write a cheque on a blank piece of paper, since all a cheque is is a letter to your bank asking them to pay a third party on your behalf. Of course, individual banks or bank accounts may impose conditions on the format of cheques that they accept; for the last dollar chequing account I had the bank said that there would be a hefty charge for processing a cheque written on anything other than their preprinted stationery. This is understandable since the preprinted ones contain computer-readable routing information; if you handwrite your cheques on blank paper the bank needs to spend considerable effort manually processing them.
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2012, 07:39 AM
Hail Ants Hail Ants is offline
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I learned how to write out checks from my dad, and he was rather meticulous and would always write out: & oo/1oo when it was an even dollar amount (i.e. no cents.) I was probably almost thirty before I realized you didn't have to write the zero fraction part down at all when there were no pennies...
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2012, 08:07 AM
Alka Seltzer Alka Seltzer is offline
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Originally Posted by DataX View Post
Yes - write me that check and I will put a tiny L on that first one and make it a 4.
A pitiful lack of ambition. I'm adding an exponent.
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2012, 08:21 AM
chrisk chrisk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
I do understand the written value is supposed to be for protection against that sort of fraud, and should have stipulated in my example that I'm giving the check to a trusted party (which is almost always the case when I do actually use written checks anymore).
Possibly this is self-evident, but: The bank doesn't know if you trust this other person or if you're an idiot. (Not sure if they care.)
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  #16  
Old 02-28-2012, 08:29 AM
DCnDC DCnDC is online now
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Originally Posted by Hail Ants View Post
I learned how to write out checks from my dad, and he was rather meticulous and would always write out: & oo/1oo when it was an even dollar amount (i.e. no cents.) I was probably almost thirty before I realized you didn't have to write the zero fraction part down at all when there were no pennies...
I know I don't have to, but I write 0 cents in as "& xx/1oo" just for consistency.
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  #17  
Old 02-28-2012, 08:33 AM
ratatoskK ratatoskK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
I'm giving the check to a trusted party
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  #18  
Old 02-28-2012, 08:45 AM
Orionizer Orionizer is offline
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Originally Posted by Hail Ants View Post
I learned how to write out checks from my dad, and he was rather meticulous and would always write out: & oo/1oo when it was an even dollar amount (i.e. no cents.) I was probably almost thirty before I realized you didn't have to write the zero fraction part down at all when there were no pennies...
I still do this - I think we were shown to do this in middle school when we learned how to write checks in class.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:46 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hail Ants View Post
I learned how to write out checks from my dad, and he was rather meticulous and would always write out: & oo/1oo when it was an even dollar amount (i.e. no cents.) I was probably almost thirty before I realized you didn't have to write the zero fraction part down at all when there were no pennies...
I've seen some people who write "exactly" or "only" after an even dollar amount.
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  #20  
Old 02-28-2012, 08:53 AM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
I ... should have stipulated in my example that I'm giving the check to a trusted party
The Bull Moose Party?
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  #21  
Old 02-28-2012, 09:30 AM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Originally Posted by DataX View Post
Yes - write me that check and I will put a tiny L on that first one and make it a 4.

When they differ - they are supposed to use the wrtten amount. Not sure if they would take it or not. My guess is if it was for 13.87 - they would let it slide, but for 1387 or 4387 - they would not.

Teacher: That '9' there looks like a '7'.
Student: That's a '1'.



Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
I do understand the written value is supposed to be for protection against that sort of fraud, and should have stipulated in my example that I'm giving the check to a trusted party (which is almost always the case when I do actually use written checks anymore).
This trusted party - does his bookie cash cheques?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hail Ants View Post
I learned how to write out checks from my dad, and he was rather meticulous and would always write out: & oo/1oo when it was an even dollar amount (i.e. no cents.) I was probably almost thirty before I realized you didn't have to write the zero fraction part down at all when there were no pennies...
You mean you don't have to? I've been wasting time writing xx/100 for 40 years???
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  #22  
Old 02-28-2012, 09:48 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
You mean you don't have to? I've been wasting time writing xx/100 for 40 years???
You don't have to do half the stuff you do on a check. The point of writing it in is to make it harder for someone to insert more words on the line. Some people write "only" at the end of the amount, whatever it is.

My mother writes "XX dollars and XX cents" and then crosses out the "dollars" that's preprinted at the end of the line. I don't know why.
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  #23  
Old 02-28-2012, 10:53 AM
Daylate Daylate is offline
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Another little known fact about checks that I found out inadvertently. If you forget to sign the check, and if the bank teller depositing the check neglects to notice this and accepts the check, it will sail thru the rest of the system with no problem. Proved this more than once.
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  #24  
Old 02-28-2012, 11:40 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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I've had cases where, even though I wrote the check for rent for say, $500, I got $600 taken from my account.

I complained to the bank and pointed out that I had indeed written "five hundred" in the line below, and would they please credit me back my $100. My guess is that the automatic scanner decided my 5 looked like a 6, and of course the person from the rental company who deposited the money didn't care for an extra $100 in their favor.

So that's why I keep writing the whole series out.
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  #25  
Old 02-28-2012, 11:59 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DataX View Post
Yes - write me that check and I will put a tiny L on that first one and make it a 4.

When they differ - they are supposed to use the wrtten amount. Not sure if they would take it or not. My guess is if it was for 13.87 - they would let it slide, but for 1387 or 4387 - they would not.
I worked in payment processing for a while, and our policy was to reject cheques where the amounts didn't match. People processing your cheques aren't supposed to guess what amount you want taken out of your account.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
I do understand the written value is supposed to be for protection against that sort of fraud, and should have stipulated in my example that I'm giving the check to a trusted party (which is almost always the case when I do actually use written checks anymore).
And after your trusted party cashes the cheque, there are any number of peons who process it, and all of them have to be trusted as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGrenze View Post
I've had cases where, even though I wrote the check for rent for say, $500, I got $600 taken from my account.

I complained to the bank and pointed out that I had indeed written "five hundred" in the line below, and would they please credit me back my $100. My guess is that the automatic scanner decided my 5 looked like a 6, and of course the person from the rental company who deposited the money didn't care for an extra $100 in their favor.

So that's why I keep writing the whole series out.
Exactly - a cheque is a legal document, and the less ambiguity, the better.
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  #26  
Old 02-28-2012, 12:51 PM
isaiahrobinson isaiahrobinson is offline
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Originally Posted by sitchensis View Post
Screw that, Iíd add a 1 in front and make it for eleven thousand.
I'd add a 9 and make it for $91,387.14...
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  #27  
Old 02-28-2012, 01:12 PM
sitchensis sitchensis is offline
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Well, that's just being greedy
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  #28  
Old 02-28-2012, 01:42 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGrenze View Post
I've had cases where, even though I wrote the check for rent for say, $500, I got $600 taken from my account.

I complained to the bank and pointed out that I had indeed written "five hundred" in the line below, and would they please credit me back my $100. My guess is that the automatic scanner decided my 5 looked like a 6, and of course the person from the rental company who deposited the money didn't care for an extra $100 in their favor.

So that's why I keep writing the whole series out.
Happened to me once, with a check I wrote to pay my monthly credit card bill. I wrote the check for $150.00, but their scanners read it as $15.00. Had to write them a nastygram with a copy of the check (which showed that their machines had printed the incorrect amount at the bottom) to clear that up.

Regarding the OP: every state has adopted some form of the Uniform Commercial Code, the law governing transactions. In the section about checks and written instruments, it states that typewritten terms prevail over printed terms, handwritten terms prevail over both, and words prevail over numbers. That's why you want to spell it out, in case there's any question. Oh, and when I write a check for a round dollar amount, I close the words with, "and no/100".
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  #29  
Old 02-28-2012, 03:19 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Originally Posted by Daylate View Post
Another little known fact about checks that I found out inadvertently. If you forget to sign the check, and if the bank teller depositing the check neglects to notice this and accepts the check, it will sail thru the rest of the system with no problem. Proved this more than once.
Many businesses have a rubber stamp, or as part of their endorsement stamp, with wording like Absence of signature guaranteed, meaning that they guarantee to the bank that if the check issuer objects to the bank cashing the check without a signature, the business will cover the amount.

This used to be one of the 'tricks' people (or businesses) used when they had cash flow problems -- 'forgetting' to sign the check, 'accidentally' putting the check to the electric company in the water company return envelope & vice versa, 'forgetting' the leading digit (paying the $1,234.50 bill with a check for $234.50), etc. All designed to keep the creditor happy while giving you a few more days to gather the cash to cover that bill.

Businesses have evolved procedures to deal with these tricks.
Like the "Absence of signature guaranteed" stamp. Like return envelopes with no pre-printed address, just a window that shows the address on the return part of the bill.

Just part of the ongoing battle between creditors and debtors.

Last edited by t-bonham@scc.net; 02-28-2012 at 03:20 PM..
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  #30  
Old 02-28-2012, 05:21 PM
Lasciel Lasciel is offline
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@Acsenray - I do that also. I remember learning it that way in class, something about it being less ambiguous when it's all written out.

I also learned to always put a dollar sign directly in front of my first numeral, so people couldn't alter the amount that way.

I also strikethrough the remainder of the Payee line when it's to a short-named entity.

Apparently I write weird checks.

IOW:
Quote:
Pay to: ACME Co.-------------------------------------
Amount: three dollars and zero cents ------------- Dollars $3.00
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  #31  
Old 02-28-2012, 08:12 PM
Hail Ants Hail Ants is offline
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It must have been Jerry Seinfeld who did a bit about when a friend gives you a check and they still insist on drawing that line after the amount words so that you can't scribble in "and a jillion dollars"...
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  #32  
Old 02-29-2012, 12:19 AM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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I recently got a new booklet of Terms and Disclosures for my checking account at XXXXX Bank (one of the major U. S. nationwide banks that's been so much in the news lately about how badly they fuckup everyone they touch) -- It lists umpteen ways they could theoretically f- up your check transactions, disclaiming responsibility and liability for every imaginable case.

For example, they state that they may honor a check for either the numerical amount or the written amount, if they differ.

They may honor post-dated checkes, or stale-dated checks, or not, as they choose.

Basically, they simply disavow any responsibility for paying attention to what they are doing when they process checks.

They do, however, state a plausible rational for this, in this modern age: They note that the vast majority of checks these days are processed completely automatically, never being seen or touched by human hands anywhere within the banking system. So whatever the scanners ring up is what you get. This suggests to me, perhaps, that the numerical amount on the check, not the written-in-words amount, is most likely what the scanner can read.

Last edited by Senegoid; 02-29-2012 at 12:19 AM..
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  #33  
Old 02-29-2012, 01:21 AM
Becky2844 Becky2844 is offline
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I don't remember what the dispute was with the bank, but one time I jotted down the wrong amount numerically. But because I had written out the right amount "value", I was found in favor.
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  #34  
Old 02-29-2012, 01:42 AM
Bearflag70 Bearflag70 is offline
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From my bank teller training in the 90s:

Elements of a Check:
1. Date
2. Payee
3. Amount
4. Signature
5. Drawee Bank

When numerical and written amounts differ, the written amount is controlling.

The bank processing center only checks a certain percentage of checks for endorsements, so some get through without.

A bank may accept a stale dated check.

There is no need to write "Two and 00/100"-------- [Dollars]. Just write "Two"-------- [Dollars].

We would not accept checks missing the "sum certain" (handwritten amount). However, we would accept checks bearing a sum certain but lacking a numerical value.

Last edited by Bearflag70; 02-29-2012 at 01:47 AM..
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  #35  
Old 02-29-2012, 05:34 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
They do, however, state a plausible rational for this, in this modern age: They note that the vast majority of checks these days are processed completely automatically, never being seen or touched by human hands anywhere within the banking system. So whatever the scanners ring up is what you get. This suggests to me, perhaps, that the numerical amount on the check, not the written-in-words amount, is most likely what the scanner can read.
Yes, which is what happened to me when the scanner screwed up the amount. Had they not corrected this, I'd have gone to my landlord and seek other ways to get my money back.

The above is a good example on why one should check their online accounts with some frequency and check for odd charges.
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  #36  
Old 02-29-2012, 12:46 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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Originally Posted by Hail Ants View Post
It must have been Jerry Seinfeld who did a bit about when a friend gives you a check and they still insist on drawing that line after the amount words so that you can't scribble in "and a jillion dollars"...
Not picking on you in particular, but...

The problem with all of the comments about giving the check to a trusted person is that you don't really know where the check will end up. The trusted person might endorse the check over to someone... who could sign it over to someone else and so on. Or the person signs the check at home only to have the wind blow it down the street before they deposit it. An endorsed check can be cashed by anyone.
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  #37  
Old 03-02-2012, 03:36 PM
Terra1041 Terra1041 is offline
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What I want to know is why the "cents" part of the check is almost always still written in numerals. I always wrote everything in words in the appropriate blank (e.g., "fifty dollars and thirty-eight cents") but usually I see stuff like 38/100. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of spelling it out in the first place?

Last edited by Terra1041; 03-02-2012 at 03:37 PM..
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  #38  
Old 03-02-2012, 04:40 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I write "fifty and thirty-eight/100"
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  #39  
Old 03-02-2012, 05:00 PM
Fear the Turtle Fear the Turtle is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra1041 View Post
What I want to know is why the "cents" part of the check is almost always still written in numerals. I always wrote everything in words in the appropriate blank (e.g., "fifty dollars and thirty-eight cents") but usually I see stuff like 38/100. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of spelling it out in the first place?
If some master artisan could make my 00/100 look like 99/100 I'd gladly give him the 99 cents for the entertainment value. In other words, not spelling out the cents couldn't cost you much to fraud.
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  #40  
Old 03-02-2012, 05:39 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra1041 View Post
What I want to know is why the "cents" part of the check is almost always still written in numerals. I always wrote everything in words in the appropriate blank (e.g., "fifty dollars and thirty-eight cents") but usually I see stuff like 38/100. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of spelling it out in the first place?
There's often not enough space to write out the whole amount, including the cents.

And as Fear the Turtle said, the most that you could lose to fraud or mis-reading of the amount is 99Ę -- not much to worry about.

Last edited by t-bonham@scc.net; 03-02-2012 at 05:39 PM..
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  #41  
Old 03-02-2012, 09:47 PM
obfusciatrist obfusciatrist is offline
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Not true, I'm going to change it from 14/100 to 14000000000000/100. I'll be rich!

Back in college for one year the parking/bus pass was $121 a year and I had to mail in a check. The first quarter instead of writing out the amount I wrote "eleven squared" (my rebellion threshold was low back then). It cleared without issue so I did it the next two quarters.
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  #42  
Old 03-03-2012, 07:16 AM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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Originally Posted by Hail Ants View Post
It must have been Jerry Seinfeld who did a bit about when a friend gives you a check and they still insist on drawing that line after the amount words so that you can't scribble in "and a jillion dollars"...
That line is notionally called a "negamegalinium".
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  #43  
Old 03-03-2012, 10:48 AM
Lochdale Lochdale is offline
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As has been noted, under UCC 3 the written amount will be dispositive in the event of a dispute.
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