Does the FDIC cover fraud?

I thought my rent check was absconded with a couple of weeks ago (thankfully it wasn’t) which got me to wondering. If someone steals checks from me (either blank ones and forges them or altering one I’ve written) and my bank cashes them, assuming that the bank refuses to make good on the fraud, can I file a claim with the FDIC (or its credit union equivalent since I bank at a credit union)?

If by “file a claim”, you are referring to a formal procedure that would adjudicate your dispute and award a recovery, the answer is no. The process for that is to file a suit against the bank (or credit union, etc.). It’s easy to lose your rights, though. There are fairly strict time limits imposed on bank customers to discover and report such claims in the UCC and (usually) in the customer agreement that you are subject to. See UCC 4-406. (That’s from memory - someone has apparently taken my copy of the UCC.)

Pressed submit too soon. While there is no formal claim/recovery procedure for this type of dispute at any regulatory agrency that I am familiar with, regulators will accept complaint letters and (sometimes) raise the issue with the financial institution. That can sometimes lead the institution to reconsider the denial. There are numerous agencies that regulate banks. Much depends on whether the bank is chartered at the state or federal level, but even state banks are subject to federal oversight. Figuring out which agency to complain to isn’t always obvious.

Otto, I know you don’t need the disclaimer, having seen it 87 times, but for those who haven’t: IAAL, but not your lawyer. I’m probably not licensed in your state. This is general information and not legal advice. See a lawyer licensed in your state for that.