Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

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AndroAsc
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Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by AndroAsc » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:17 pm

I deposit my checks electronically (scan and upload). I do remember reading somewhere that the most important stuff that only matters on a check is the routing number, so that the bank knows where to pull the money on.

Do banks check the name written on the Check and ensure that it tallies with my name (especially for electronic deposit)? Recently, I've had several high value rebate checks posted to me and they don't come in an envelope. What's from stopping the USPS guy from stealing my checks and cashing it into his account?

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mickeyd
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by mickeyd » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:29 pm

Hey AnrdoAsc,

I tend to agree with your premise that banks do not check more than the routing numbers. The same goes for the signature on the check. They can no longer afford the expense.

I have been banking since I was about 10 YO, but admit that I don't know that much about the inner workings of banks at all. The depositing of a check starts a paper trail that is the most important action.
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rob
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by rob » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:54 pm

I think this is one of those don't look under that rock... I think the real answer is almost certainly no one looks unless there is some dispute - and then they would look at a scanned image as I imagine the paper is long destroyed (or "archived" in iron mountain which is better then destroyed :-) ).
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jebmke
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by jebmke » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:56 pm

This is a good question. The last time I went in to a physical branch I took a treasury refund check made out to me and spouse. The teller checked the back and noticed that I was the only one endorsing the check (for deposit to our joint account) and refused to take it. I had to get it endorsed by my spouse. This was a couple of years ago -- they may not check anymore.

More recently, after changing banks, I scanned one to deposit at USAA and it seems to have gone through with only one signature.
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dbc47
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by dbc47 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:10 pm

My wife recently wrote a $200 check and forgot to sign it. The bank (B of A) let it go through anyway.

asset_chaos
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by asset_chaos » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:13 pm

Several years ago I lived across the street from a bank branch manager. He said that checks under $10,000 are not routinely scrutinized. There're just too many of them.
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AndroAsc
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by AndroAsc » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:29 pm

asset_chaos wrote:Several years ago I lived across the street from a bank branch manager. He said that checks under $10,000 are not routinely scrutinized. There're just too many of them.
I can just imagine the situation for electronic check deposits. At least in physical banks there is a teller, who may at least glance at the name to make sure it matches the customer's name.

What about the situation where somebody fraudulently cashes in a check that is addressed to me? If I report it, will the person who issued that check gets his money back?

sport
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by sport » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:35 pm

There is no telling what may happen in any particular case. In one instance, my bank bounced the direct deposit of my pay check. This was after the same pay checks had been deposited successfully for 3 years.

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Tom_T
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by Tom_T » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:58 pm

Probably depends on the bank. My sister once wrote me a check with the year 2060, and the bank sent it back.
Last edited by Tom_T on Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

hq38sq43
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by hq38sq43 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:48 pm

Several years ago, my wife's wallet was filched from her desk in the "secure" office of one of the largest law firms in DC. A few hours later her wallet check made out to cash for $2,800 was presented at a branch of our bank.
The signature had no resemblance to hers and we had never in more than thirty years cashed a check for cash in such an amount. The teller forked over the cash.

When I questioned our neighborhood branch manager about the incident, he shrugged it off, saying the teller had "followed procedure." I didn't ask for details of the procedure.

The Bank, PNC (or perhaps Riggs before it was swallowed by PNC), covered the loss after a bit of paperwork.
Harry at Bradenton

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mas
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by mas » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:53 pm

Several years ago my father sent a birthday check to my son (who was 1 or 2 at the time). We mailed it in for deposit in our account, and it was sent back because it was made out to the wrong name. This is the reason that he now has an account in his name.

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wander
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by wander » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:12 pm

Some banks do and some don't. Once, a friend of mine signed in the back of the check (pay to him) and asked me to deposit into my checking account to cash money for him. My bank refused because the "pay to the order of" name in front of the check wasn't me.

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nisiprius
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:16 pm

I'm pretty sure they don't check it until after the fact, and only if there's a problem. In person, a teller accepting a check over the counter may give it a quick once-over. They do seem to notice and reject checks if the signature is actually missing.
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gkaplan
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by gkaplan » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:51 pm

This was years ago (1972 through 1981), but I worked as a bank teller when I was putting myself through school. I always checked the signature against our signature card file if I didn't recognize the customer. I did the same thing when I filed checks at the end of the day.

I have noticed that when I cash a check at my credit union, which I do not do that often, since I do most of my banking through my ATM, the teller does not check my signature. Perhaps the signature card is digitized, and the teller is checking against that.
Gordon

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Driver
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by Driver » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:07 pm

I don't work at a bank, but do work at a Credit Union. The tellers definately do check names on checks. Checks that are scanned in via the internet are checked as well. There are a lot of fraudulent checks and money orders floating around so we check the names, endorsement, dollar amount, etc. We don't like taking a loss on the checks. We have insurance for this type of fraud, but we also have a deductible that needs to be met before we would start to get re-imbursed as far as I know.

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Taylor Larimore
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Vanguard checks

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:21 pm

Hi Andro:

My wife and I have a Vanguard joint money market account. Until about a year ago, Vanguard supplied checks that had two signature lines for each of us to sign. I believe both our signatures were required.

Our last Vanguard checks had only one signature line. I called Vanguard and they said only one of us need to sign for the check to be valid.

For what it's worth.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Mrs.Feeley
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by Mrs.Feeley » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:50 pm

Many years ago while I was writing out checks for the monthly bills I accidentally put the check for the local electric company into the phone co's envelope, and the phone co's check into the envelope for the power company. They each cashed each other's checks. I didn't realize the mix-up had occurred until I received my statements the next month and noticed strange amounts credited to my accounts at the power and phone company. When I looked at the backs of the cancelled checks I found the power co's endorsement stamp on the phone co's check and the phone co's endorsement on the electric co's check.

I've heard that checks deposited via ATMs are usually not checked. Thieves who steal checks from the mail know this and will deposit them to their bank account via an ATM without even altering the name. Even though banks have the check thief's deposit number and personal info they don't always bother to prosecute as it is a costly procedure. They leave it to the stolen-check victim to straighten out the mess.

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petercooperjr
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Re: Do Banks really check the name on a Check?

Post by petercooperjr » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:00 pm

Just like with credit cards, if there's a dispute, they'll look at the records after the fact. If not, they don't see much point to it. The fraud that happens is within their expected budget, and trying to do more to prevent the existing level of fraud would just cost more than covering it.

Just a few weeks ago, I successfully deposited, in person with a real human teller, a check made out to me that the payer forgot to sign. He caught me adding up the numbers wrong on the deposit slip, but didn't give the check more than a glance to see the amount. Anything else on the check besides routing number, account number, and amount just doesn't matter unless there's a dispute. If a human teller looks at it and they happen to see something odd, they'd probably question it, but anything with an ATM or scanned or phone-camera-ed probably wouldn't matter as long as the key parts are there.

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