Legal Question in Banking Law in Nevada

Counterfeit Cashiers Check

a person recently sent us a cahiers check to purchase our truck. the check was for 24000 dollars which was 6000 dollars more than the purchase price. when we took the check to our bank they told us they would release 5000 dollars immediately and that the remainder of the check they would have to hold until the funds were verified. we sent the 5000 dollars to the buyer immediately via moneygram so that he could arrange for the shipping of the vehicle. nine days later the bank informed us that the check was counterfeit and that we had a negative 5000 dollars in our account. we never heard from the guy again. my question is this; is the bank responsible in any way for funds released from a cashiers check before they have verified that it is good.

Asked on 12/17/04, 6:36 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Paul Malikowski Malikowski Law Offices, Ltd.

Re: Counterfeit Cashiers Check

This scam takes advantage of a little-known loophole in the U.S. banking system. Many people don't realize that when a bank says funds have cleared, it doesn't mean the check is good, according to Carol McKay, director of communications for the National Consumers League.

Under federal law, depending on the type of checks deposited, banks must give consumers access to the money within one to five days. Longer holds can be placed on deposits over $5,000, but banks are reluctant to inconvenience their customers.

Unfortunately, it can take weeks for fake checks to be detected in the banking system. And consumers are then left holding the bag for the money they've withdrawn. That's because it's the depositor, not the bank, who is responsible if a check turns out to be bad.

If you found this site seeking legal advice, you probably could have found any of the hundreds of Internet sites describing this scam and providing warnings. A stranger entrusting you with $6,000 more than an agreed price for an item would seem too good to be true. And, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Read more
Answered on 12/18/04, 2:36 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Banking Law questions and answers in Nevada