Why You Should Never Rely on Postdating a Check

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Why You Should Never Rely on Postdating a Check

When you know you don’t have enough money in your checking account, you might think that postdating your check—writing a future date—will keep the recipient from cashing it. Unfortunately, that date that you write on your checks has very little power.

According to U.S. law and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, most banks and credit unions consider your check legal tender as soon as you sign it. As Ashlee Kieler at Consumerist explains, however, there are still some actions you can take to buy yourself some time:

In some states, if a consumer gives the financial institution reasonably timed written notice about a postdated check before the check is received, then the notice is valid for up to six months. That means the bank must wait to cash the payment until the date stated on the paper or until six months is up, whichever comes first. But if the consumer gives oral notice to the bank, the institution must only wait 14 days before processing the note – even if that happens to be before the date on the check.

Make sure you check your financial institution to see what options you have. Otherwise, your best bet is to let everyone involved in the check transaction know what’s going on in advance. As a general rule of thumb for avoiding overdraft fees and bounced checks, think of the date you write on your check as a reference for your records and not the actual date it’s cleared to be cashed.

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Does Postdating a Check Prevent Anyone from Depositing It Early? | Consumerist

Photo by jridgewayphotography.

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