How can a minor cash a check from a bank several states away?

i live in SC. i recently sold a CD on eBay to someone living in massachusetts. i asked for payment by money order, but they asked if i’d accept a check instead. after several weeks, i finally got the check. the only problem (other than the fact that they didn’t pay shipping like i asked) is their bank, TCF has no branches anywhere within five states of me. so, how do i go about cashing this thing? banks around here include Bank of America, BB&T, First Citizen’s Bank, Fist Federal, and Wachovia. i’m not sure if any of these could do anything or not.

Do you have a checking account? If so, deposit it and wait. If not, do you know someone with a checking account to whom you could endorse it?

The best way is to cash it through your bank or deposit it and wait. TCF is a tough bank to get money from if you don’t bank there. Where I live there are easily 10 TCF locations, none of which will even think about cashing one of thier own checks if you don’t bank with them. They direct you to a distant bank to take care of you. I’d tell you what I think of this practice, but thats better saved for the pit.

Futhermore, my fiance recently opened a checking account where they absolutely refuse to accept any two party checks. They would not accept for deposit over $3k in checks made out to me, and endorsed over to her. We had to add me to the account.

Is that even legal?

And if the check is drawn on a TCF bank account, and you walk into a TCF branch, don’t they have to cash it? (provided the funds are available)

Eleusis:
Based on discussions at www.bankersonline.com , NO, they don’t have to cash it. It is merely a convention that they cash it… and as you’re seeing, some banks are no longer adhering to that.
One local bank actually CHARGES $3 you to cash a check from their member if you’re a non-member. National City, actually.

Bastards.

Something else to keep in mind with checks: the person who wrote the check can (at least in some cases) stop payment on the check. So they could conceivably stop payment on that check once they get the CD.

This happened to a relative of a coworker: the top bidder on a fairly pricey item payed with a check. The seller deposited it, waited a reasonable amount of time, and sent the item. The ‘buyer’ then cancelled payment on the check.

Rule of thumb with e-bay checks: cash them, then wait until it has cleared their bank by a full one month cycle to ship. Unless their bank is run by idiots, they will generally NOT reverse the charges after one month (depending on when the check goes through, possibly over a month).

Explaining this as your policy will keep people from wanting to write a check rather than send a money order.

i already shipped the thing several weeks ago. it sold so long ago that i can’t report them because i can’t remember their username. but i was feeling kinda guilty for letting them pay so high for the CD because the CD sucks and they could’ve gotten it for half my price somewhere, either wal-mart, wal-mart.com, or best buy.

My instinct is that YES, a bank must honor a draft whether presented through banking channels or at a window (assuming that there are sufficient funds, it’s not a forgery, etc.). After all, a check is nothing more than an unconditional order to pay money to a third person.

I’m just guessing - to know for sure, you’d have to take a look at the UCC, bank regulations, etc.

To answer your question, gypsymoth, here are your options:

  1. Go to your bank and either deposit the check or cash it against your checking or savings account. If the check is returned for any reason (NSF, payment stopped, etc) it will be debited from your account and you will likely be charged a fee.

  2. Sign your check over to your parent or guardian (Gypsymoth signature, Pay to the Order of Gypsy Guardian), or other friend or relative with a bank account, and have them deposit or cash the check against their account. If the check is returned for any reason it will be debited, likely along with a fee, from the account deposited to/cashed against.

  3. Go to a check cashing business and pay a fee to cash the check. If the check is returned for any reason the check cashing company will charge a fee AND come find you!

  4. Open a bank account using the check as the initial deposit. If the check is returned for any reason it will be debited from your account, you will likely be charged a fee and your new account will probably be closed. Banks don’t like it when the initial deposit is bad.

Good luck!