Banking/check question

I just wrote out a check and signed my name on it, except I accidentally used my SO’s check. D’oh. I am named on the account, but only his name is on these checks. I would normally simply trash that check and write out a new one, but I already made an envelope, put it in, sealed it and stuck a stamp on it. So what would happen if I mailed the check? So it’s like:

John Doe
xxxxxxxxaccount info
123 Elm
Town, State zip

Pay to the order. blah blah____$100.00
One hundred dollars
x__Jane Smith
Where Jane Smith is co owner of the account, but doesn’t have her name on the checks? I’ts no big deal, but I’m curious.

If you’re authorized to sign checks on the account, the check should go through.

It would go through - in real life, nobody looks at a check for less than xxx THOUSANDS of dollars (and, depending on the account, those go uninspected)

checks are processed by machine (IBM 3800 check sorters, last time I looked). They are programmed to look for:

Transit Routing Number (bank ID)
Check number
(the above are the funny-looking MICR numbers at the bottom of your checks.

amount (number)
amount (written) *
signature *

    • only to verify that the line is filled in.

you could sign your checks ‘bugs bunny’ for all the machines care - as long as the amount is not ‘excessive’ for your account, it will be paid.

yes, you could sue the bank for recognizing the check, but then you’d be looking at bank fraud charges.

I work at a small store, we take in probably around 40 or so checks a day. Every once in a while (like once or twice a year) we get a check without a singnature at all. We usually just “don’t notice it.” We just endorse it and let the bank deal with it. If they send it back to us, we’ll call the person, but they never have. So what do you think the bank does with it, do they not notice it either?

You’re dealing with a bank (or check processing company) which has disabled the signature check part of the scan - scarey? not if it is a personal check, and the amount is within ‘normal’

the bank will pay the check and ding the account - if somebody screams, they have people to handle it - again, the account holder better have REAL good evidence that THEY were not responsible for the attempted fraud - place a ‘stop pay - lost/stolen’ on a book of checks - see what happens :smiley:

what we’re nibbling around here is a form of bank fraud - an old one - the banks know the tricks.

Right. I gave my son a check and forgot to sign it. So I told him to sign my name and I would tell my bank it was OK. When I went to the bank they said that as long as has a date and and amount (not of unusual size for my account) and all those funny magnetic numbers on it, it didn’t make any difference who signed it.

You are the only protection you have against forgers. Unless you complain, a forged check will go through with no problem.

The world is round,
It’s not fair,
It’s just damn round.

On the other hand, you have places like Sam’s Club which, in my experience, won’t let you buy something if the name on your check doesn’t match the name on your card, for crying out loud!

Sam’s Club can have any policy it wants, but there is no legal need for checks to be personalized and they weren’t usually in the old days (say 50 years ago). And if it is a joint account and it has only one name on it, the other signer is fully able–legally–to sign it and can repudiate under the same conditions as if her name were on it. Actually, I just wrote a blank check a couple weeks ago; it was to close an old account that I rarely used and I had only some old blank checks. Of course, I was presenting that to the bank itself.