Do you deposit post-dated checks earlier than the check date?

Sometimes creditors will receive post-dated checks that are generally between 10- 90 days beyond the date received. Whether a check can be deposited prior to the actual check date written depends on the:

  • Amount – smaller amounts get deposited sooner
  • Drawer – the company that issues the check
  • Drawee – the bank on which the check is drawn
  • Payee – the beneficiary to whom the amount is to be paid
  • Payee’s bank – the beneficiary’s bank
  • Relationship – good commercial customers will often obtain more flexible and preferential services

For example, the drawee may pay a check prior to the post-dated check date as long as there are sufficient funds in the account, basically treating the check as any other check. 

Or the drawee (especially if it’s a smaller community bank where they know all their customers) may have a policy that they will pay the check only upon first receiving permission from their customer. The responses to submitting a check prior to the check date are wide and various. 

It should be noted that depositing a check prior to the post-dated date may disrupt the balance in the account affecting the cash flow the customer was planning on having. Regardless, if you are aware that a customer/debtor is heading into a financially very difficult situation then depositing the check before the check date may be a prudent move. However, keep in mind that payments made within a 90-day period prior to a formal bankruptcy could end up being paid back as part of the reclamation process. 

Nancy Seiverd, President, CMI Credit Mediators, Inc.

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