I was issued a check which I never received. Later it was discovered that the check had been forged and cashed by Bank of America. Who was the the check stolen from?

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I was issued a check which I never received. Later it was discovered that the check had been forged and cashed by Bank of America. Who was the the check stolen from?

The bank is conducting a fraud investigation but if the money in not returned to the check issuer from B of A can I pursue remedy from the check issuer in that I never received the check? The check was sent in the mail or so I’m told. I was sent a photo of the check and the forged endorsement on the back of the check. In that this is not my account I am unable to get information about the investigation other than from the issuer. Who was the money stolen from – the issuer, the bank or me?

Asked on August 28, 2017 under Business Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You indicate that the check was fraudulently endorsed. If it was taken from the issuer before they sent it out, it is their loss, and they must issue you a new check. If they sent it out, such as mailing it to you, and it was intercepted and stolen after they sent it, then it is your loss, not theirs--they did what they were obligated to, and the check being stolen after they mailed it is no different from you getting it, cashing it, and then being pick-pocketed: from the issuers point of view, as long as they sent you the check by a reasonable mechanism (e.g. U.S. Mail), that ended their responsibilities. In no event is the bank liable, unless you can show that they did exercise reasonable care in cashing, etc. the check--i.e. the name on the endorsement does not even match yours.


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