If someone is in a predicament like hospital or jail where they can't cash their own checks but have money in the bank and receives more checks, is it legal for someone else to sign and deposit it with the owner's verbal permission?
Also, it it legal to write out more checks on that account with the owner's permission?
And, what legal ground does the person who was asked to sign these checks have, if the person who was jailed comes back with a lie and states, "I never gave you permission"...when really she/he did - verbally.
Thanks much -
08-30-06, 04:07 PM
I've just experienced that situation. The only way you can deposit a check into someone's account is if they go ahead and endorse it and put their account number on it. Then you can take it and deposit it but you cannot draw money out on it. The only way you can cash another person's check is if they sign it over to you. You cannot write checks on another person's account unless it is either a joint account with your name on it...or if they have added you as someone who can write checks on that account for a limited period of time. Some banks do this for situations which might involve you being out of commission for a set period of time. They will make a co-signer sign a signature card and set a specific amount of time that they can access your account.
These are standard bank rules to prevent the last scenario you mentioned from happening. If it does happen, the signer of the checks could probably be charged with forgery and/or identity theft. I don't see how that person could be protected legally at all.
08-30-06, 04:47 PM
Georgia I think this subject will be covered by ether the "Power of Attorney" rule or "Legal Guardian" status if you look them up both a bit long worded. I had this done by my sister when I was in Hospital under "Power of Attorney" Have to have basically some form of Good ID from both parties to I think get a certificate saying you are responsible for this other persons financial affairs or whatever? I wonder if FredPuli knows how the rules go on this? Am answering this from the UK perspective
Here are some Power of Attorney forms to print out without going to a Lawyer www.ilrg.com/forms/powatrny.html but these are all for different purposes $Power of Attorney (Durable, General, Special) 50 States $Power of Attorney (Health Care) Power of Attorney Power of Attorney - Special Power of Attorney - Specific On this Site which has legal forms for almost everything under the Sun www.formsguru.com (Has 11k of these forms) Note the "$" indicates they want payment for these otherwise they are free
But do wait for what anybody may have to say here first May help the process go smoothly This message has been edited. Last edited by: bedstor,
08-31-06, 02:24 AM
Simplest is to add a signatory (described below: scroll down if you're rushed) as a nominated signatory You should be able to do that : it's a necessity of business life and there's no reason , other than some banks being awkward for no logical reason as only some banks can, for it not to be done with a private acount.
FredPuli can only say, Bedstor, that banking practice in Britain is different ! To pay a cheque into someone else's account does not require it to be endorsed.If the money's going into their account how can it matter who is paying it in at the bank (unless the credit involves money- laundering )?
(Endorsing a cheque ? How nostalgic )French banks still require you to do this even when you are standing in front of the cashier, trying to cash your own cheque and possessed of driving licence, passport or, of course, if French, the compulsory i.d. card which every citizen must carry.
What's more, in Britain you can't have the account holder sign over a cheque payable to themselves so you can cash it. That's because no cheques here nowadays are 'open'. They are closed, 'account payee only',cheques and so can only be paid into that account and only the account holder in person can draw cash on them.The days of 'Pay bearer' or 'Pay cash to bearer' are likewise gone: we used to be able to do what the government does on banknotes, which, like cheques, are a form of bill of exchange, i.e. write 'pay the bearer on demand the sum of ' on them.
1) Nominated signatory: ask whether the bank allows a 'nominated signatory' to be added to the account and add the new person's signature. British banks allow someone to be added to the signatories without difficulty. This, of course, usually involves companies when there is a change of staff or directors who've been authorised, but it can be done with single signature, one person, private accounts, too. The signatory can be authorised only to draw up to a certain sum on any cheque (say £100 ) or you can have it so the two signatures are always required or a combination of both (e.g up to £100 one signature; above that both signatures )Then if the new person's signature is on the cheque, whether singly or with the account holder's, the cash can be drawn by them. What's more this second signatory can endorse any cheque being paid into the account if that's what American banks require.
or 2) open a joint account. This is unnecessarily complicated. You don't, yourself, expect to be paying into it and a joint account means that there is no limit on what either party can draw (so your friend has to be very trusting ). You may, conceivably, find a bank that can limit the amount one party can draw without the signatures of both but it seems unlikely because that runs contrary to the very principle of joint and several liability which is fundamental to such accounts. Any bank will have the account set so it requires both signatures for anything at all !
or 3) Power of Attorney (This has nothing to with 'attorney' as in lawyer: any adult can be an 'attorney' under a power of attorney) Possible if limited enough but far too potentially troublesome. The Power would have to be drawn very narrowly to restrict the attorney. (Under a general power of attorney the attorney has power to deal with all of the donor's property, without having any specific instructions from the donor, as the attorney thinks fit and in accordance with the due administration of the donor's affairs. So your attorney under power of attorney could sell your house or do anything else that you yourself could do!) So such Powers are usually limited in some way and they require care in drafting
08-31-06, 12:14 PM
I recall this topic being argued here. Seems not everyone sees this the same way.
08-31-06, 12:40 PM
Well I agree with your point of view Clare.
08-31-06, 01:07 PM
"Well I agree with your point of view Clare." - Georgia
And I will stick with what the law says.
Under Georgia law, forgery is defined as "knowingly and with the intent to defraud, making, altering, or possessing any writing that purports to be made by another person, at another time, with different provisions, or by authority of one who did not give such authority and utters and delivers such writing". In these cases the intent of the person accused of forging the writing is often at issue. Forgery is a felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison. - Conaway & Strickler, PC, Georgia Forgery, Fraud & Bad Checks Attorneys -------- FORGERY IN GA
Two Types of Forgery There are two types of forgery; forgery in the first degree and forgery in the second degree. Both types are felonies.
Forgery in the Second Degree
Forgery in the Second Degree occurs when you intend to defraud another by making, altering, or possessing any writing:
1. in a fictitious name or 2. in a way that the writing purports to have been made: a) by another b) at another time c) with different provisions; or 3. by authority of one who did not give the authority.
Penalty for Conviction of Second Degree Forgery Conviction for forgery in the second degree can result in a prison sentence of 1-5 years.
Forgery in the First Degree
Forgery in the First Degree contains all the elements listed above in Second Degree Forgery. However, there is an additional requirement. The writing must be uttered or delivered, i.e. actually presented.
Penalty for Conviction of First Degree Forgery Conviction for forgery in the first degree can result in a prison sentence of 1-10 years.
(a) A person commits the offense of forgery in the first degree when with intent to defraud he knowingly makes, alters, or possesses any writing in a fictitious name or in such manner that the writing as made or altered purports to have been made by another person, at another time, with different provisions, or by authority of one who did not give such authority and utters or delivers such writing.
(b) A person convicted of the offense of forgery in the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.
(a) A person commits the offense of forgery in the second degree when with the intent to defraud he knowingly makes, alters, or possesses any writing in a fictitious name or in such manner that the writing as made or altered purports to have been made by another person, at another time, with different provisions, or by authority of one who did not give such authority.
(b) A person convicted of the offense of forgery in the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
Whatever you decide to do with the check cashing... (as for me, I'd sign the thing and deposit it via an automatic teller). I would most definitely get a receipt for the money by either making the person sign a receipt or I'd hold onto the deposit slip and make them sign that.
The best thing to do is to mail him the check, have him endorse it to you, deposit it in your bank account and get a receipt from him for the money. You then have the postmarked envelope and the signed receipt. Done.
It's very important to follow forgery laws but depositing money into an account is a far cry from why the laws were brought into being. I think you'd find it quite a strange day that someone would prosecute.
You definitely can NOT write checks on his account though. You'd get into pretty deep do-do for that. You'd have to make it a joint account for that to work.
08-31-06, 01:40 PM
Well, I'll give you this. Signing someone else's name on a check is not necessarily forgery until there is intent. Now, if the intent is not to defraud then the penalty can still fall under a class A misdemeanor. This could land you one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. This could happen if the bank decides to persue it.
That you can take to the bank!This message has been edited. Last edited by: clarebear,
08-31-06, 01:57 PM
In what state is signing another's check without intent to defraud a misdemeanor?
I just called Lasalle Bank and that is what the service representative told me. If you don't believe me- call yourself. (866) 732-6555
Actually, I just called back and asked another representative and they told me it was fraud. Seems as no matter how you want to look at it, its illegal to sign someone elses check.
Can you find a reference which states that it is ok to sign someone else's check without a written power of attorney or permission? I'd like to see that.
08-31-06, 02:09 PM
I have committed forgery multiple times in my life with my parents full permission. In school it was a routine for me to sign my own paperwork and even this past year I had to sign something on my father's behalf.
There will never be any problem from me signing my parents names because I have no intent to do any harm by these acts except expedite paperwork and save gas money.
08-31-06, 03:25 PM
Ami, you didn't commit forgery unless there was an intent to defraud someone. Other than what 3 bank empolyees has stated, there has no evidence presented that signing another's name is illegal in itself; so far, all the legal evidence in this and another thread has shown that the intent to defraud must be present. I've quoted from the penal codes of 4 different states and several legal online services.
Clare, unless the bank got that information from a lawyer or from the Michigan codes, I believe they are in error. Bankers are not lawyers. I looked online at Michigan misdemeanors and all I found regarding signing another's name referred to absentee ballots; however, I did not read the entire code.
I am so far unable to show that signing another's name is legal, but, unless something is illegal, it is unlikely to be mentioned in penal codes. It would be difficult, I think, to show that eating a fried fish sandwich with mustard and tomato is legal, but I feel confident that it is. ---- I called the bank. They were unable to tell me what law would be violated by signing another's name, but kept repeating that it would be forgery, which, according to Michigan's penal codes, is untrue. When I told the woman that the bank has been cashing checks signed by others in the past, she at first denied it, and then said, "Well, we won't anymore." She didn't say how they would know.
I have a call in to a civil attorney in Detroit. I'll report back when I get an answer. -------- Definition of Fraud
At common law the prosecution would have to prove dishonest intent. However that's not to say that local laws won't prohibit the signing of a cheque in someone else's name: it would end any arguments before they began.That's why you should arrange with the bank first.
Mind you, some professionals do it. My late father's accountant, a man of the utmost probity, amazed me by saying that he regularly signed cheques and signed tax returns by forging my father's signature simply because the old man couldn't be bothered with such 'trifles' as he was way too busy out making more money
09-11-06, 02:42 PM
I finally got a response from my bank. It is not meant to rile up DG or cause another debate - it's merely an answer for mariposa2269:
"In short, the only person that may endorse a check (for cash or deposit) is the person for whom the check is made payable. If the check is made payable to multiple persons that share an account (such as a joint account), all persons must endorse the item. If the check is a third-party check, all payees must visit any Wachovia Financial Center with valid picture identification in order to cash or deposit the item.
Only the account owner or designated Power of Attorney (POA) may access and/or authorize transactions on a Wachovia account. If any person other than the account owner or designated POA authorizes a transaction on an account (such as, but not limited to, signing or endorsing a check), it is considered fraudulent activity.
If the account owner wishes to give another person authorization to access his/her account, even for a limited time, that individual must be listed as an account owner or POA of the account. POA forms may be located at your local courthouse.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact us via e-mail or call 800-WACHOVIA (922-4684). Representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
09-11-06, 03:07 PM
It doesn't rile me up, Georgia. I actually find it humorous that people go to banks for legal advice rather than accept quoted state laws and legal opinions from lawyers in the same state. I don't think I want to know where you would go should you need surgery.
Originally posted by DorianGreyed: I actually find it humorous that people go to banks for legal advice rather than accept quoted state laws and legal opinions from lawyers in the same state. I don't think I want to know where you would go should you need surgery.
A blood bank?
09-11-06, 06:49 PM
In this day and age most bank deposits are made by electronic funds transfers. signed by nobody. Why would anyone question the identity of the endorser of a personal check ? And in most instances where the name written on the back matches the one on the front, what else could the teller compare it to? Anyone wanting to deposit funds into my account is more than welcome to do so. Be my guest; I'll never prosecute or complain.
12-01-06, 07:13 AM
If you want to deposit a check, any check, use an ATM (as previously stated). No check endorsement necessary. If you want the cash, wait 24 hours and withdraw the funds. The bank could care less until a complaint is filed.
This is not legal or banking advice and I will not be held responsible for any liability arising from this information. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.