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Cashing a Check while being Overdrawn

If I have a check to cash, payroll or otherwise, can my bank force me to deposit any of it into my overdrawn account rather than walk away with the money? The bank told my wife that since she gave them the check and her account was negative, they were required by FDIC law to deposit the check into the account with a negative balance.

There is no FDIC law that requires the bank to take a check you have for cashing, and require that it be deposited instead. The bank however, does want to collect monies it is owed. The overdrawn balance is a debt you owe them.

In this situation you should talk with someone at the bank and tell them of your plans to pay the overdraft. That may be in whole or in part with this check, or with some other deposit you are expecting. If you don't have any plans to pay this, the bank may refuse to cash the check, depending on where it is drawn, and the amount.

Published on 3/06/07