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How to sign a check over to someone else

how to sign a check over to someone else

Here, you will learn everything you need to know about how to sign checks over to someone else, how to spot check cashing scams, and other financial essentials regarding checks that everyone should know. 

Are you looking to sign a check over to someone else? When someone signs a check over to someone else, it becomes what is known as a third-party check. While signing over a check to someone else is perfectly legal, not all banks accept third-party checks. With the popularity of check cashing scams—the second most common type of bank fraud—banks need to be more careful than ever about what kind of checks they accept.

The best types of checks to use are certified checks. A certified check is issued directly by a bank or credit union and ensures the check’s legitimacy. 

Checklist for How to Endorse a Check to Someone Else 

Before you sign over a check to someone else, make sure the check is filled out completely. When writing a check, the person offering funding needs to indicate how much money they intend to send in numerical and written form—make sure to educate yourself on writing out the numbers in a check correctly. Additionally, the check should have the creditor‘s signature and the date they wrote the check.

Want to know how to sign a check over to someone else? Follow the simple checklist below!

StepDescription
Step One: Confirm Recipient– Ensure the recipient is willing to accept the check
– Inform the receiving bank and check recipient about the check
Step Two: Check Recipient’s Bank– Verify if the recipient’s bank accepts signed over checks
– Contact the recipient’s bank branch to confirm acceptance
Step Three: Endorse the Check– Turn the check over and locate the endorsement area on the back
– Use blue or black ink to endorse the check
– Write the recipient’s name after “pay to the order of” or have them sign below your signature
– Follow the specific requirements of the recipient’s bank
Step Four: Give Recipient the Check– Hand over the signed over check to the recipient
– Ensure the check is in good standing and not a bad check
– Be aware that the original owner is responsible for the funds if the check bounces

Below are more details on the process:

Step One: Confirm Recipient 

You will want first to confirm that the person you are planning on signing your check over to is willing to accept it. Both the receiving bank and the check recipient should be aware of incoming third-party checks. 

Step Two: Make Sure the Recipient’s Bank Will Accept Third-Party Checks 

Next, check the bank’s rules and confirm that they accept signed-over checks. It would be a shame to sign a check over to a recipient who banked at an institution that did not accept third-party checks. To avoid potential setbacks and frustration, you may want to contact the specific branch of the bank the recipient plans on depositing the check with to ensure they will be able to do so. 

Step Three: Endorse the Check and Sign It Over 

To endorse a check, turn it over where you should find a specific place to sign on the back of the check—the endorsement area. It’s recommended to use blue or black ink. After endorsing, you may then either write the recipient’s name after the phrase “pay to the order of” or simply have the recipient sign under your signature. Some banks require the specific phrasing “pay to the order of” present on a third-party check, while others just need a signature. 

Step Four: Give Recipient The Signed Over Check 

The last step is to give the signed over check to the recipient. From there, they can go through the steps of depositing the check themselves. Before providing the recipient with the check, make sure it is in good standing and not a bad check. If a third-party check bounces, the original owner is responsible for the funds.

Can You Deposit Someone Else’s Check In Their Account?

There are a few reasons why a person may want to deposit a check on someone else’s behalf. Perhaps you are a parent or guardian wanting to deposit a check into a minor’s bank account. Or, maybe you are looking to deposit a check for a loved one who is disabled or elderly and has asked you to deposit their check as a last resort. 

When it comes to the bank account of a minor, there is usually another person with custodial abilities listed on their bank account. This individual partially controls the account until the minor is old enough to assume full responsibility, meaning the custodian is the only person able to deposit a check on behalf of the minor. 

In other circumstances, it is typically best for people to only deposit checks into their own accounts. But, in the case of a disabled or elderly person, you may consider utilizing online finance methods. With most online banks, people can make withdrawals, transfers, and even deposits without ever having to leave their homes. 

Beware of Check Cashing Scams

To protect your own finances, you should never try to cash a check for a stranger or someone you do not know well; it could be a scam. Common check cashing scams involve someone requesting that you deposit a check into your bank account and then send a portion of the payment to a different account. In doing this, you put your own bank account information at risk. These may be positioned as a check-cashing loan

Unfortunately, since the turnaround time on depositing a check is so streamlined, many check cashing scams are successful. By the time the bank or financial institution realizes the check is a scam, the funds have often already been made available to the schemers. 

Where Can I Cash a Check?

You have a few options when you want to deposit a signed over check. Below are the most popular places people go when they need a check cashing service. 

Bank or Credit Union 

If you want to work with an actual person when you deposit a check, you can go to many banks or credit unions. This may be the best option if you are looking to deposit third-party checks because you can talk with a bank teller and notify them that someone has signed over a check that you’re cashing. 

As long as you have an account and the financial institution accepts third-party checks, you can usually go to any branch of a bank or credit union to deposit a check. 

ATM 

While you may cash or deposit a check at an ATM, this may not be an ideal solution when signing over a check. Since the ATM process is highly automated, it isn’t easy to distinguish between a standard check and a signed-over check. Also, if the ATM happens to pick up on something out of the ordinary about your check, it may get automatically rejected. To avoid potential hassle and frustration, you should only attempt to deposit a check at an ATM if the check is made out to you. 

Currency Exchange 

If you do not have a bank account and are willing to pay a small fee, you may consider cashing a check at a currency exchange. A currency exchange is kind of like a cash checking store where people without bank accounts can perform basic financial actions like cashing quick payday loans or checks. But, if you decide to go with this option, be sure you have confirmed with the currency exchange location that they accept signed-over checks. 

Alternative Ways for Signing Over a Check to Someone Else When You Have a Bank Account 

Since not every bank accepts third-party checks, you may want to just cut out the potential risk and find another way to send someone money. Thankfully, if you have a bank account, there are plenty of options available when you want to send money without signing over a check. 

To start, you can simply deposit the check into your own account and then withdraw the funds. This process is referred to as cashing a check. 

Suppose you want to deposit a check at home. In that case, many banks offer mobile deposit services where they deposit a check using a picture you took using your computer or smartphone. After making a mobile check deposit, you can then use online banking to virtually send funds to a recipient’s bank or checking account

You may still be able to take advantage of a mobile check deposit if you have an alternative online wallet. Services like Google Pay, Paypal, or Chime allow people to utilize online financing and perform actions like cashing and depositing checks without needing a traditional bank account. 

Alternatives To Signing Over a Check to Someone Else When You Do Not Have a Checking Account 

If you do not have a bank account, you could go to a currency exchange to cash a check. Since currency exchanges don’t keep individual account information, users are only able to cash checks, not deposit them. 

But what if you have a large sum and don’t want to burden someone with the responsibility of keeping track of a stack of cash? In this case, you may consider putting the funds on a prepaid debit card. However, before you do this, keep in mind that some prepaid debit cards come with monthly fees. Unless the recipient intends to use most of the funds quickly, a prepaid debit card may end up eating away at their funds. 

FAQS on How to Sign a Check Over to Someone Else

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions if you are trying to endorse a check to someone:

How do I properly sign over a check to someone to ensure it gets accepted by the bank?

To properly sign over a check to someone else, first, ensure the check is completely filled out, then on the endorsement line at the back of the check, write “Pay to the order of [Recipient’s Name],” sign your name below this line using blue or black ink.

What is a blank endorsement, and how does it differ from a restrictive endorsement when I sign a check?

A blank endorsement occurs when you simply sign your name on the endorsement line of the check. This makes the check payable to anyone who holds it. A restrictive endorsement, on the other hand, includes additional instructions such as “For Deposit Only”, followed by your signature and bank account number, limiting the actions that can be taken with the check. Handing a blank check over to someone may be risky!

What information should I include on a deposit slip when depositing a check that has been signed over to me?

When depositing a check that has been signed over to you, fill out a deposit slip with your name, bank account number, and the amount of the check. It’s also advisable to keep a record of the individual who signed over the check to you in case of any discrepancies.

Can I deposit a check that’s been signed over to me via a mobile banking app?

While it’s possible to deposit regular checks via a mobile app, depositing a check that’s been signed over to you might have additional verification requirements, or you may have to transfer money after depositing it into your account. It’s advisable to contact your bank to understand their policies regarding third-party check deposits through an app. Keep in mind emailing a check is possible and not the same as using a banking app. 

What is the difference between banks and credit unions in terms of accepting checks that have been signed over to someone else?

Banks and credit unions may have differing policies when it comes to accepting third-party checks. Credit unions, being member-owned, might have more lenient or flexible policies compared to many banks. It’s advisable to check with both types of institutions beforehand to understand their specific rules and regulations regarding accepting checks that have been signed over to someone else.

Key Takeaways From CreditNinja

Navigating the intricacies of signing a check over to someone else can be an initially daunting task, laden with a few technicalities. However, with a step-by-step approach, as outlined in this article, the process can be accomplished seamlessly. Services like mobile check deposits and online money transfers have made it possible to forgo the traditional check endorsement route, especially for those with a bank account.

Want more free financial information? You can find more info about checks, organizing your finances, bad credit loans, quick cash loans, and more on the helpful CreditNinja blog! 

References:

  1. ABA Report: Banks Stopped Nearly $17 Billion in Fraud Attempts in 2016 | ABA Journal
  2. Instructions and Problems With Signing a Check Over | The Balance

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