BY JAY AND ARTHUR WINSTON, WINSTON & WINSTON, P.C.
A check that is unsigned may be deposited by the recipient by endorsing on the reverse side of the check the payee’s signature and guaranteeing to the bank the signature of the maker of the check. When the check is presented to the maker’s bank, the bank accepts the check and transfers the funds. The maker who receives the debit on the bank statement will not contact the bank since he or she believed the check was signed. The maker who did not sign the check deliberately will contact the bank which, in turn, will contact the depositor’s bank and assert no signature. The bank will charge the depositor’s account and the depositor will be in no worse or better position than if the check was returned to the maker for signature. The only expense incurred is the charge of the bank for returning the check.
If the unsigned check is returned by mail to the debtor for signature, the debtor may never sign the check and send it back to the creditor. Sometimes the debtor does not sign the check intentionally as a ploy to stall for time. For this reason, we recommend guaranteeing the signature and depositing the check, as described above.
Copyright © 2000, 2001 Winston & Winston P.C. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 29, 2003