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Is it legal to write a post dated check?

Is it legal to write a post dated check? If the bank cashes it early when there are no funds, can the bank charge a fine?
Wanda asked this question 1 year ago
  • banksmart

    Two years of personal and small business banking/lending.

    It is absolutely legal to write a post dated check. However once that check is given to a person or business they do have the right to cash/deposit it immediately even if it is before the date listed. The date listed as long as it is not more then six months old is not a binding item on the check. Similar fees would apply just as with any check if the funds are not available to cover the check.

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  • sur

    From past 8.5 years, servicing Bank of America clients through Customer Services, Chat Texts options related...

    Answer to your 1st question..
    There is no law preventing you from writing a check for a future payment as long as you have no illegal intent in writing the check. One example of illegal intent may be giving a person a check that is postdated only to give yourself time to cancel the check with your bank to prevent payment. You can write a postdated check and give it to the payee without any penalty, although it is good to advise the person that the check is postdated. If he is not aware of it, he may get frustrated and apply penalties for lack of prompt payment if the check is not cashed on demand. That being said, make sure the bank is aware of the postdated check as well.

    Answer to your 2nd question...
    The bank is not responsible for ensuring that the check is cashed when you want it to be. If the payee brings it in prior to the date on the check, it could very well be cashed. If money is not in the account, you may be assessed penalties and fees for bouncing a check. You may have no recourse for these penalties if you did not give the bank reasonable notice that you were postdating a check.
    It is important to note that if you are receiving a postdated check, most states do not provide coverage for these instruments under bad check laws. The reason is that these are not considered payable on demand, a condition of normal checks and covered under bad check law.

    Also note this point :
    If you have written a postdated check that was cashed by a bank after giving the bank notice, you may be able to reclaim some of the damage, if any from the check being prematurely cashed. This isn't a "cut and dried" scenario and requires a consultation with an attorney. Before you run to an attorney, however, visit your bank and ask the branch manager if she can waive the fees once you provide your documentation.

    If you have received a check that was postdated and were not able to claim your money, you may check with a lawyer to see if your state has a remedy under bad check laws to provide you some remuneration. If you feel the check was issued fraudulently, file a police report with all pertinent information.

    1 comment
  • Bankbuster

    Nix on investments but everything else is fair game!

    Wanda, the actual legality of writing a post-dated check is a topic of continuous debate among merchants, bankers and consumers. The legal point is that the act of writing and handing over a check that is not backed by the funds to make it a "good" check is, indeed, illegal; it is technically considered fraud. Merchants, despite being aware that banks are required to pay items upon presentation, not according to the date written on the item, do sometimes promise customers to hold their checks and encourage them to post-date the check. Whether they present the check for payment to the bank intentionally or unintentionally before that date doesn't matter; banks must process checks when they are presented.
    If the payee on a check deposits the check into an account, it will be returned as an NSF item; their account will most likely be charged by their bank and the writer of the check will definitely be charged the Insufficient Funds charge. If they take it into a bank to cash with a teller, they may or may not receive the funds but the maker's account will most certainly be charged the NSF fee as the check is being processed.
    There have been many changes in banking over the past decade or two -- third-party checks and post-dated checks seem to be the two changes that most often negatively impact customers. The only thing I can advise is don't do either of these two and the odds are not in your favor of the act slipping past. Hope this helps.

  • Superme

    I am superme, and I work at BoA. I know the bank inside and out.

    Yes, the bank will charge you a fee for writing a bad check. It is the same price of being overdrawn. A bounce check will cost $35 and if you have overdraft protection, it will cost $15

    The bank will NOT cash it when there is not enough funds in the account. For instance, the person you give the check to deposits in their account that is non-bank of america, in 2 days, his or her bank will try to collect funds but are unable to if your account doesnt have the money. The person will not receive the original check back but instead a copy.

    The bank WILL NEVER overdraw your account because of checks, it will overdraw due to pending payments and reoccurring electronic charges.

    Altering a check is ILLEGAL.
    I have seen a lot of people get checks without a 'written amount' but only a numerical amount. It is absolutely illegal to write in the written amount even if its empty. At banks, it is absolutely okay to turn away an alter check. This happens mostly with immigrants that can't spell the written amount.

    Postdating is NOT. I have seen people make the funniest mistakes at a banking center. I have seen someone wrote the year 92 on a check and we had to turn them away.

    Instead of the person or you writing a new check, you can have the check's owner initial the date and rewrite it. It is again illegal for the recipient to alter the date so he or she can cash it.