Deposit Someone Else's Check In Your Account - Can it be done?
In a word - yes! In the United States, this process is referred to as a third-party check, and essentially requires the friend in question to endorse the check made out to them - usually with a signature on the back - as now being yours.
However, whether your bank will allow you to do so or not is up to them, as there is no legal requirement for them to do so. The decision they make is dependent on a variety of factors - they could just reject you outright and refuse to process it.
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Will The Bank Accept My Endorsed Check?
Certain banks might only take an endorsed check if the original recipient comes down to the bank in person to deposit it with you, bringing an official form of ID so that their identity can be verified.
Likewise, it may also be the case that banks only endorse checks that have been sent to two people at once, say a couple, with one endorsing it to another in order to deposit it into a separate savings account.
If a cheque has the account payee only crossing or reads “non-negotiable” then it cannot be transferred - if the account number of the payee is printed on the check, then it is prohibited to cash it into a different one, so you won’t be able to.
It’s worth checking your bank’s official policy on depositing checks before you head down there, in order to avoid disappointment - it’s not the innocent teller or clerk’s fault that someone who works above them made this decision!
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How Do You Deposit Someone Else’s Check?
There are several steps that must be followed in order to successfully deposit a check that was originally made out to someone else. Remember, you might not be able to do so successfully - it’s all about context.
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Designate The Recipient
It could be an individual, a group, or even a business - just figure out who it is you want to sign your check over to. It’s occasionally difficult to do, so make sure you set aside plenty of time before the money is needed in order to do it.
Double Check The Recipient Will Accept It
Don’t just assume that whoever you want to cash a check for you will do it! Ask them if they will accept it for you, as both parties must be in complete agreement about the process in order to follow it through.
Determine If The Recipient’s Bank Accept Third-Party Checks
Ascertain whether or not the bank that the receiving party belongs to will accept an endorsed check, as they aren’t bound by law to do so. Be sure to confirm before you attempt to cash it, as you may find yourself in hot water for fraudulent behavior.
Correctly Sign The Check
If a check can be endorsed, there will normally be a box on its reverse labeled “Endorse Check Here” or something to that effect. In order to correctly endorse a check, you must sign your name as it is given on the check itself.
It is also important that you write “Pay To The Order Of” followed by the name of the recipient, making sure this is well within the endorsement area and comes directly beneath your signature. This is clearly indicative of ownership transfer.
Go To The Bank Together To Cash It
Although it might not actually be necessary, it is recommended that you go with the check’s recipient to cash it, as they may wish to see some proof of ID before they will fulfill the process for you.
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How long does a third-party check take to clear?
That depends - by law, any bank is permitted to hold funds for a “reasonable” period of time, typically up to two business days, but this figure can be increased to over a week in certain circumstances, as additional procedures must be carried out.
The bank you have an account with might want to wait until they actually receive the funds from wherever the check is coming from before they will release them to you.
Can I deposit someone else’s stimulus check?
Nope! The majority of government-issued checks cannot be endorsed, and won’t have the optional space on the back of them which needs to be signed for the check to be handed over to someone else.
As a result, you won’t be able to deposit a stimulus check into any account other than the one that is owned by the individual to whom it is addressed. However, your friend may be eligible to cash their stimulus check via a third-party service, like Paypal, after which they can transfer the cash over to you - you might want them to do this in your presence though if they aren’t trustworthy!
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for a check to be available after deposit?
It usually takes about two business days for a deposited check to clear, but it can take a little longer (about five business days) for the bank to receive the funds. How long it takes a check to clear depends on the amount of the check, your relationship with the bank, and the standing of the payer's account.
How do banks verify check deposits?
Instead of calling the Treasury department, verify the check with the tax preparer (where possible) AND with the bank issuing the RAL check. Most banks have an automated system for verifying these checks. Do NOT call the number printed on the check without first verifying that number.
Why is there a hold on my check deposit?
Banks place holds on checks to make sure that the check payer has the bank funds necessary to clear it. In addition to protecting your bank, a hold can protect you from spending funds from a check that is later returned unpaid. That's important because it could help you avoid accidental overdrafts and related fees.
What happens if there is an issue with the deposit?
Once you've made your deposit, you'll get an email confirmation that we've received your deposit and are processing it. If there is any problem with the transaction, like insufficient funds or potential fraud, you'll receive a letter in the mail asking you to bring the check to a financial center to resolve the issue.
What are the monthly check deposit limits?
There is a monthly limit for Mobile Check Deposits and it's displayed when you select your deposit account. Once you've hit that limit, you can't deposit another check with the app until the limit is reset at the beginning of the next month.
In order for it to be available the next day, what time do I need to deposit my check?
The cutoff time for Mobile Check Deposits is based on the time zone in which the account was opened. Checks received by the following cutoff times on a business day are considered deposited on that day, and will usually be available the following business day.