Using Banks and Bank Accounts/Cashing a torn check


Dear George,

We are a 501(c)3 dog rescue located in Round Lake Beach, Illinois.  We did a fundraiser with coffee cakes before Christmas and determined after writing a check to the provider of the cakes, that she had overcharged us for the fundraiser.  We called her and she agreed to rip up the check in the amount of $572.85 and we would pay her the $443.00 she was owed.  

Granted, we were late in providing payment to her, but sent her a PayPal payment to cover the amount.  In checking our bank account balances, we learned the provider had put the check through, and in e-mail has admitted that she taped the torn check together and cashed it.  We, of course, cancelled the PayPal payment.

We have no problem in paying her what she really is owed, but she now holds $129.85 of our money and has been less than ethical in her dealings.  Do we have any recourse?  Isn't a torn check ripped in four separate pieces considered a voided check?  Should our credit union have cashed this check?

Many thanks,

Darlene Agena-Hombaker
Executive Director
True Hearts of Rottweiler Rescue

Hi Darlene,

Unfortunately there isn't a straight answer I can give you regarding the ripped check policy.

Depends on the relationship the person has w/ the bank that they made their deposit in, and in general even how nice the teller is at the station.

Usually banks will not take a check if it is altered with but when ripped up and taped together one can say It was ripped by opening an envelope.

Next time I would advise you to put in a stop pmt on the check just to not take a risk.

Using Banks and Bank Accounts

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