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How To Make Out A Check

Checks are the most satisfactory and most convenient method of paying a
debt or making any ordinary remittance. The stub of your check book will
furnish a permanent memorandum, and when the check is canceled and
returned to you by the bank, it is an indisputable evidence that the
debt has been paid, or that the remittance has been made. The making of
a check is a simple matter, but even the best business men make mistakes
sometimes which are as difficult to remedy as they are easy to avoid.
The hints here given and the facsimiles of checks printed in
illustration will repay careful study.

The first facsimile shows a check properly made. It will be seen, in the
first place, that this check is written very plainly, and that there is
no room for the insertion of extra figures or words. The writing of the
amount commences as nearly as possible to the extreme left of the check.
The figures are written close together and there is no space between the
first figure and the dollar mark.

All erasures in checks should be avoided. If you have made a mistake,
tear a blank check from the back of your check book and use that in
place of the one spoiled.

Some business men allow their clerks to fill out checks on the
typewriter. This is ill-advised for two reasons: First, it is much
easier to alter a typewritten check than one filled in with a pen; in
the second place, a teller, in passing on the genuineness of a check,
takes into consideration the character of the handwriting in the body of
the check as well as in the signature. The typewritten characters offer
no clue to individuality.

Never mail a check drawn to Bearer. Remember that if your check is
made payable to Bearer or to John Smith or Bearer it may be cashed
by anybody who happens to have it. Unless it is for a large amount the
paying teller of your bank will look only to see whether your signature
is correct, and, that being right, the bank cannot be held responsible
if the check should have come into the wrong hands.

A check drawn to order can be cashed only when the person to whose order
it has been drawn has indorsed it by writing his or her name on the back
and the bank will be responsible for the correctness of the indorsement.

If you make your check payable say, to William Armstrong or order,
nobody but William Armstrong, or some one to whom he indorses the check,
can collect the amount, and if through fraud or otherwise some one not
entitled to it gets the money which the check calls for, the
responsibility is not yours, but the bank's. It is for that reason that
bankers and business men use such great care in accepting checks.

For the same reason you should never accept a check from anybody whom
you do not know as responsible, and you should not be surprised or
angered if some one else should hesitate to take a check from you.

Checks or drafts received by you should be deposited as soon as
possible. Should you receive a check for a considerable amount and have
no convenient bank account, you should go to the bank on which the check
is drawn and have the cashier certify it by stamping Accepted or
Certified across the face over his signature. That formality makes the
paper as good as money so long as the bank accepting it is solvent.

It sometimes happens that a check drawn in good faith by a responsible
party is withheld so long by the person receiving it that there is no
money to the account when the check is finally presented.

Next: Paying Notes And Acceptances

Previous: How To Avoid Mistakes

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