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Post-dating Checks, Illegal?

Is it illegal to post date a check?

There is no law that prohibits the issuance of a post-dated check; however, there are laws against issuing checks when you know that you don't have funds to cover them. Whether a particular state's bad-check law would make an allowance for the fact that a check was postdated is something you need to check in your own state.

Delivering postdated checks is not wise, however. That's because it's legal for your bank to pay a check even when it's postdated, unless you've taken the extra step to contact the bank and put it on notice about the postdated check, and requested the bank not to pay it until its date. From an operational point of view, this creates almost exactly the same work for the bank as a true stop payment order. For that reason, you may find that your bank will charge a fee -- often the same as its fee for a stop payment -- for handling a watch for a postdated check.

Published on 2/22/07