Happy Friday, y’all.
I’m sure many of you have post-dated checks — that is, written checks with a date at some point in the future.
To make sure I don’t miss the due date, I’ll sometimes give my landlord my rent check a bit early and write a later date on the check.
You might think this is to prevent my landlord from cashing the check before that date. However, as far as the law in concerned, all I’m really doing is asking my landlord for the favor of not cashing it.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “banks and credit unions generally don’t have to wait until the date you put on a check to cash it.”
The U.S. Code goes into even more detail by saying that your bank can charge your account for a deposited, post-dated check as long as everything else about the check is in accordance with the contracts you’ve signed with them.
But of course there are exceptions. The same section of the U.S. code explicitly states that they cannot charge your account for the post-dated check if you’ve given your bank notice describing the check with reasonable certainty.
The U.S. Code explicitly singles out payday lenders and other businesses for which handing over a post-dated check is just a normal part of their business. Those businesses can’t cash a check before the written date when they know you won’t have sufficient funds available. Furthermore, there are certain consumer protections outlined for dealings with debt collectors.
Also, your state may have stricter laws for banks in your state, so look those up.
Finally, just because your banks can deposit your checks before the written date, it doesn’t mean they will. Most of the big banks I spoke with say they look at each situation on a case-by-case basis, so ask if you want to be certain:
@mariobonifacio Each deposit is decisioned individually. Checks with a valid date may be cashed or deposited, even future dated ones. ^BD
— Chase Support (@ChaseSupport) September 12, 2014
And that’s that! Have a great weekend, y’all!