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Depositing Double Endorsed Checks

While depositing checks into your bank account is generally a straightforward process, when it comes to double endorsed checks, many banks approach with caution.

A check in the name of one person, yet cashed or deposited into the account of another, double endorsed checks can be used for various fraudulent schemes that generally don't end well for either the bank or the holder of the original checking account. So if you need to deposit a double endorsed check, it's important to keep in mind that banks may not immediately accept or process the check. Here are some steps you can take to make successful deposit more likely.

The Basics

You have to have an account with the bank where you want to deposit double endorsed checks. Also, be sure to go over your bank's policy regarding double endorsed checks before going forward. Each bank typically has its own set of guidelines on whether or not it processes these transactions, and if it does take them, under what circumstances. It's possible that your bank doesn't take double endorsed checks at all, or if it does, it could require that you bring in additional identification. Wells Fargo, for instance, has stopped taking third party checks but will generally make an exception if you go to a bank branch in person and bring the owner of the check with you. Chase, however, will take third party checks for deposit, even over its mobile phone applications, but needs to also see the owner of the check with you, in person, if you intend to cash it. TD Bank, on the other hand, generally won't allow double endorsed checks deposits unless it is being deposited into a joint account naming both parties. So, to sum it all up, banking practices can vary widely. Either way, for many banks, depositing a double endorsed check requires an identity check. So when you bring your check to the bank, also be sure to bring a form of identification, such as your driving license, or a credit card with your picture on it. A few banks might even require a fingerprint scan for further verification. If the bank requires the presence of the person who signed their check to you, that person should also bring identification, so that the bank can be sure that your payer is who he or she says.

Filling out the check

In order to deposit or cash one of these checks, you need to fulfill the requirements of endorsement: That is, the check must be endorsed to you. Generally, the payer notes "payable to" or "pay to the order of" and your name on the back of the check. After that, you have to sign underneath his or her signature to deposit it in your bank account. You could also take a second route: in lieu of writing your name, if the check payer writes 'bearer' on the back of the check, the check becomes what is known as a 'bearer paper'. After that, whoever has legal possession of it can either deposit or cash the check. This process is called 'indorsement', under Section 3-204 of the Uniform Commercial Code in the United States.

Don't use ATMs

While ATMs are easy and in many cases far more efficient when it comes to making deposits, dthey aren't helpful in the case of third party checks. Because depositing double endorsed checks generally require extra identification, and because the ATM process is automated, your transaction isn't likely going to be processed if you feed it into an ATM as a deposit. Go to a bank branch in person instead, so that you can talk to a live person and show any identification required.

Fraud issues

So why do banks approach the matter of double endorsed checks with caution? The largest concern banks have is over forgery. Regardless of whether the bank believes the depositor is trustworthy, it can be difficult to verify the truth about the first endorsement. And if it's in fact a forgery, that makes the depository bank liable on their warranty that the previous endorsement was geniune -- and that warranty will exist for one year to three years, according to the Uniform Commerical Code. In fact, some law enforcement organizations srongly discourage banks from accepting third party checks in general. In the event the drawee bank is notified by its customer of an endorsement forgery, the drawee bank has the right to make a 'without entry' claim against the bank for breach of its warranty.


Some banks tightened down the security measures on third party checks after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, as many bankers were concerned about the possibitity that terrorists might try to obtain funds through forging checks. As a result, banks have become even more stringent about enforcing their particular policy regarding third-party and double-endorsed checks.

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