General Question

erichw1504's avatar

What happens if a post-dated check is accepted and processed to my account before the due date?

Asked by erichw1504 (26309 points ) September 15th, 2010

I post-dated a check for today, but it was processed yesterday. I definitely did not want this to happen as it has caused an insufficient funds fee.

Can I call my bank and easily have them remove the fee? Or is this not disputable being only one day earlier? Is this the bank’s fault or mine?

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13 Answers

RareDenver's avatar

I would have thought so. Give them a call and see how it goes.

cazzie's avatar

It’s actually illegal to post date a check. The fault is all yours.

robmandu's avatar

Apparently, the bank has no responsibility to honor the date on the check on their own.

Instead, you’re supposed to notify the bank yourself in advance that a post-dated check is on the way.

Sorry, but I think you’re stuck with the overdraft fees. :-\

erichw1504's avatar

@robmandu Thanks for that article!

@cazzie The article rob mentioned states that it is not illegal unless you cancel the check after giving it to someone.

marinelife's avatar

You are probably out of luck. A post-dated check is supposed to be held by the party that you gave it to, but you are depending on their honor.

You will likely be responsible for any fees.

chyna's avatar

This happened to me and I got several bank fees as it was a large check for a car repair. I had to eat all fees. The bank told me I should not be post dating checks. I’ll never do that again, nor trust someone when they say they will hold a check.

cazzie's avatar

@erichw1504 Where is this law? Does it depend on what state you’re in or is this a US Federal law? In England and most other places in the Commonwealth, it’s illegal (but hardly ever prosecuted). You can’t pay for goods with a post dated check. It’s like taking the goods, but promising to pay for them tomorrow. The retailer is under NO obligation to keep the check until the date falls due and if the bank gets it, it will be processed and the check account holder has no recourse. It’s like playing Russian Roulette with your bank account.

crazyivan's avatar

A post-dated check is meaningless. I also found this out the hard way. You can write “I’m a pony! I’m a pony!” on the date line. As long as the amounts are filled in properly and the signature is there, it can be cashed.

That being said, if you are under 20 yrs old or new with the bank you might be able to talk them out of the overdraft charge (or at least get them to reduce it). Banks are mad understanding about stuff like this and since it doesn’t actually cost them anything when you bounce a (small) check, it is more important to keep you happy.

Austinlad's avatar

In pre-digital days, you could write a check for which you temporarily had no funds and get away with it because there was usually a “float” period of several days. But nowadays that doesn’t work because one, technology eliminates most float, and two, banks want their money fast. That’s one reason it’s illegal to write a post-dated check and why check bounce fees are so high. It won’t do any harm to talk to your bank and try to save yourself that fee, but unless you have a very close relationship with a banker there, chances are you’re on the hook for the fee.

perspicacious's avatar

No. When the check presents to the bank it will be processed. Post-dating has no real effect.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with everyone above, basically there is no such thing as a post dated check even if you post dated it. Basically all contracts, even checks should be dated the day you actually sign the document. I take liberty to date checks on the birthday of the recipient, when sending birthday checks, cause it looks nice, that is probably the only time i bother doing it.

What post dating can do, if you trust the person you wrote the check to, is be a reminder to them when you will have the funds in the account, and it is ok to cash.

josie's avatar

Ditto the above regarding post dating and the obsolete practice of playing the float (something I did frequently in my college days). You are SOL. sorry about that

wundayatta's avatar

It’s a hard way to learn a lesson. Don’t write a check if you can’t cover it right now. Dates don’t matter. If the check appears, it will be processed. In fact, these days, it’ll probably be processed no matter what is on the signature line—even if nothing is there.

If you need to hold off on payment, you have to negotiate with the party you are paying. Although, they will probably suffer, too. The check will bounce, and their bank will charge them for that. They’ll attempt to get you to reimbursement for their trouble. You’ll also have to pay for whatever it was you bought, perhaps in cash. It does no good for your credit rating, either.

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