General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

I wrote on the back of my last check. Can I still use it?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) July 18th, 2016

I thought I wouldn’t need the check so I used the back to add a few numbers. I used the portion of the check below where the signature is needed.

I need to use the check now because new checks have not arrived. It will be used at a small local grocery that doesn’t run checks electronically, if that makes a difference.

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11 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Well… technically they have the right to refuse it if there is anything written on the back of the check except the endorsement, and that’s the top inch or so on the left side. There’s usually a line there.

Will they? I doubt they will be that petty. It’s all machine stuff anyway. But the merchant, the bank, and the clearing house have the legal right to refuse it.

Buttonstc's avatar

Back in olden days (before machine processing) You could legally write a check on toilet paper if necessary :)

Nowadays rules have tightened up. But I’m pretty sure that since the check has all the correct info (routing numbrr , your acct number, etc ) You can use it as long as the other numbers previously written are crossed out to avoid confusion.

It’s certainly worth a try and the grocery store should honor it seeing that you are likely a longtime customer known to them.

If you were new to them or from out of state, I could see them being more picky.

If a machine at the bank has a problem it will likely get kicked to a human who can instantly assess what happened.

If it were me, in your situation, I’d certainly use it.

BTW: For the future, you should check with your bank about getting a debit card based on your checking account. Most banks issue them nowadays and as long as you specify when setting it up that you don’t want overdraft coverage, you don’t incur any extra fees and it’s impossible to go over what’s in your account.

Just keep it for emergency situations like this where you would normally be using a check.

johnpowell's avatar

Give the store a call and tell them what you told us. That way you don’t wast any gas/time.

Pachy's avatar

I’m inclined to think they will take it. They may ask you to cross out the numbers and initial them.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Try lodge it into your back account with an ATM machine and see if it works.

ibstubro's avatar

There should be no problem.

JLeslie's avatar

I think you won’t have any problem with the bank, but there is the possibility the store will worry about it and not take if they bother to look at the back.

I’m sure this is obvious, but I’ll say it anyway. You can always get the cash out of the bank and pay with cash.

Aethelwine's avatar

Desperate times call for desperate measures @JLeslie. I will be check kiting, but the money will be in the bank once the check gets to my bank. I have $5 to feed five people until Thursday.

JLeslie's avatar

Got it. I call that floating the money. I always did it with credit cards though, not checks.

Aethelwine's avatar

They accepted the check and now our refrigerator isn’t bare. Thanks everyone!

tedibear's avatar

With electronic processing, there shouldn’t be any issue with it going through. I will keep my paws crossed that it doesn’t get to your bank for processing before your deposit. It’s all so speedy now!

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