The majority of people might know how the traditional Bank works. Even the children remember going to the Bank every time their mother or father had to deposit a check.
When many of the daily operations are shifted online, few operations still require a person to be physically present in one of the multiple branches of the check.
One of these operations that seems quite a hassle to people is depositing a check.
However, what to do if you cannot visit a bank yourself to deposit a check written to you?
You can encounter many situations where you might need someone else to deposit checks into your bank account.
Maybe you are out of the country, on bed rest, or occupied running your small business. Whatever the reason is, it is still essential to know whether it can be done or not.
Whether you have a savings or current account, you can sign over a check to someone else or have someone else deposit a check for you.
Yes, you heard it right. It is possible to avoid the hassle of depositing the check yourself when you don’t feel like visiting a bank.
However, it is still a risky process. Are you wondering how to endorse and deposit someone else’s check? Read on to learn more about it!
Is it Legal to Deposit a Check on Someone’s Behalf?
At some point, you might encounter a situation where a close friend, colleague, or family member asks you to deposit their check because they are sick, out of the country, or busy with their hectic work life.
However, this could lead you to ask yourself a question – is it even legal to deposit someone else’s check?
Yes, it is absolutely legal. Usually, many banks allow it, but still, it is better to make a call to the particular Bank and confirm it before initiating the process.
However, this convenience does come with a few conditions. The Bank will only allow you to deposit someone else’s check under the following conditions:
A check endorsed to you to deposit in your account
The process where a check is endorsed to you so you can deposit it in your bank account varies from Bank to Bank.
However, in general, a person must write a third party’s properly spelled name on the back and put their valid signature on it.
Again, to ensure you are following a process correctly, you must confirm it from your Bank.
A check endorsed to you to deposit in their account
Depositing a check on someone’s behalf into their bank account is quite a straightforward process involving fewer complications and technicalities than the other one (mentioned above).
To make sure the process goes smoothly, you must ask for a deposit slip from a friend, colleague, or family member who asked you to deposit a check into their bank account.
They will write in their account information and sign the back of the check.
However, if you cannot get your hands on the deposit slip, you can have the person write “For deposit only” at the back of their check along with their account number and valid signature.
How to Endorse a Check to Third Party?
One of your options to have someone else deposit the check for you is endorsing a check.
Currently, the check is payable to you.
Therefore, you will make sure that the Bank knows that the person you sent for depositing a check is trustworthy by signing the back of the check.
Not sure how to endorse a check? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to endorse a check to a third party:
Plan Before Endorsing a Check
Endorsing a check is not as simple as it sounds. The Bank will not accept the check if anything goes wrong.
Therefore, before endorsing a check, you need to find someone trustworthy to whom you can sign the check over.
The process of depositing a third-party check can be challenging. Therefore, make sure to take out some time and carefully plan the transaction.
Confirm the person to endorse a check
Everyone has busy work life. Therefore, when you are planning to endorse a check, you must select at least three trustworthy persons to whom you can give that responsibility.
Make sure to contact the person before endorsing the check to confirm whether they are willing or available to deposit the check for you or not. Both parties must agree before moving to the next steps.
Ensure that the Bank will Accept the Check
In general, the majority of banks allow endorsed checks. However, it is still important to be extra careful and confirm with your Bank before endorsing a check.
Also, if you plan to endorse a check to someone else to deposit it in their bank account, you must ensure that their Bank also allows endorsed checks.
By doing so, you will be able to avoid getting confused and putting multiple signatures on the check.
Sign the back of the check
Every check has an area “Endorse check here” at the back. Therefore, if you want to endorse the check to someone else, you must put your valid signature in that particular area.
Put third-party details below your signature
Besides your signature, you will also need to provide the details of the person you are endorsing the check.
You will have to write the name of that particular person under your signature. It will convey to the Bank that you are endorsing the transfer of ownership for that particular check.
Hand over the check to a third party for depositing
After putting in your signature and third-party details, your check is now ready to be deposited by a third party.
Risks Associated with Endorsing & Depositing Someone Else’s Check
With convenience, there always comes a price to pay. While having someone else deposit your checks for you might prove convenient in many situations, it also has led people to many bad experiences.
Anything that involves money has risks associated with it. Similar is the case with endorsing or depositing someone else’s checks. There are a few risks associated with depositing the check on someone’s behalf:
Check Cashing Scams
If someone asks you to deposit a check for them, think carefully before you do so. You might think that it will be just a small favor and will not cause any damage to you, but that’s not what happens when you unknowingly deposit a fake check.
If the check bounces for any reason, the Bank will ask you to replace the funds even if they know that check was endorsed to you by someone else.
Funds would be taken from your balance if you deposited a bad check at the Bank. You may try to get the funds back from the friend or colleague who endorsed the check, but it is often difficult and involves many complications.
Also, the Bank can take further action against you by blocking or freezing your account.
Therefore, the best approach is to do this favor only if the person endorsing the check is a close family member or friend.
In the past, many people have fall victim to notorious scams. In these kinds of scams, a neighbor, friend, or a stranger approaches you asking you to deposit a check on their behalf.
Also, they offer you a good amount of money for causing trouble. For example, they ask you to deposit a check worth $2000 and offer to keep $100 to $200 for yourself.
You might think of it as small favor and an opportunity to make a good amount of money. However, it is often a trap set by scammers.
Later the check gets bounced, and $2000 will be deducted from your bank account, or the Bank will send you a legal notice.
If you do not pay the withdrawn amount back to the Bank, they will put you in jail for many years.
Therefore, think wisely before depositing a check on someone’s behalf. A small favor can put you behind bars.
Common Issues with Endorsing a Check
Even if the process of endorsing a check seems straightforward, there are still a few things that can go wrong, such as:
One of the biggest issues with endorsed checks is misspelled names. If the person endorsing a check to you has misspelled your name, your Bank will refuse it.
Therefore, make sure to check the endorsed check thoroughly to avoid wasting your time.
Sometimes a check involves multiple payees. It often happens with checks handed over to newlywed couples as a wedding gift.
For example, a check made to “John and Jane” will create confusion as the Bank will require both parties to endorse this check and should be deposited into a joint account.
If you have a check like this, you must consult your Bank to know their policies regarding it before endorsing a check to someone else.