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Can Bank Process Post-Dated Check Early?

I sent a post-dated check to pay a bill because I didn't want the check to be processed immediately. However my bank processed the check before the date I wrote on it which caused me to overdraft. Do they have the right to do this?

Yes, the bank may charge your account without regard to the date on the check. Banks don't check dates on most checks, unless the customer who writes a post-dated check contacts the bank and requests that a specific post-dated check not be paid until the date that appears on it.

If you tell a bank that you've issued a post-dated check that you don't want paid early, your request has the effect of a short-term stop payment, and the bank may impose its normal stop payment fee, but if you don't tell the bank about the date on the check, the bank can ignore the date and pay the check. That can cause other checks you may have written to create overdrafts and overdraft fees.

Published on 1/30/08