Pre dating checks legal

While it's best to avoid postdating checks so you don't run the risk of getting hit with bounced check fees, you can contact the bank with a written or verbal request to hold the check until the future date.

Since it requires the bank to take similar steps to a stop-payment on a check, the bank might charge you a fee for requesting that it ensures postdated checks are held until the right date.

Your request should include the recipient's name, your account and check numbers, and the check's amount.

Check recipients can either decide to accept or not accept a post-dated check.

In situations in which the tenant can be trusted, the landlord has known the tenant to be an honest, on-time payer or the landlord otherwise believes that the money will be in the tenant's account on the date the check posts, accepting a postdated check can be beneficial.

However, if the tenant writes the check with the intent to have funds in the account on the date that the check is postdated for, there is no intent to commit fraud or pass a worthless check and therefore no illegal activity has technically taken place.

Accepting a check that is postdated may provide the tenant with a legal defense that negates criminal intent even if the check doesn't clear.

A recipient can also check with her bank to see if it will cash it before the check's date, which the bank should not do if the writer has requested it doesn't. In West Virginia, for example, the law prohibits someone from requesting or accepting a postdated check if he intends to deposit or cash it before the check's date.

If he does cash it early, he can be made to pay fees and costs as well as potential civil penalties.

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It's not illegal to postdate a check, unless you're attempting to commit fraud.

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