Even with automated payments and direct deposit options, there are times when we still must handle paper checks. Unfortunately, accidents can happen before you make it to the bank. If you have a damaged check, you may be wondering if your financial institution will accept it. The good news is that you may still be able to deposit a ripped check and get your money.
Evaluate the Condition of a Ripped Check
Before you can cash a damaged check, you have to be certain that no vital information was lost and that it is still valid. If you try to deposit the check at an ATM, the machine may not be able to process it. Most banks also refuse to accept them via mobile deposits as well.
However, some banks will deposit a ripped check so long as all the vital information is clearly visible. If the damage has not affected the account name and number, the check issuer’s name and signature, the date, or the total sum in numbers and words, they may cash it for you.
Remember, that invalid checks will not be approved. Check fraud is more common than you might think. Don’t try to tape or glue it yourself because you could make the situation worse. First, the ATM may not be able to read it. Furthermore, it could be flagged as suspicious or fraudulent.
Policies to Deposit a Damaged or Ripped Check
Whether or not you can deposit the check depends upon the specific bank’s policies. Some will process ripped checks for a fee. So, your first option is to call your bank or visit a teller. Explain what happened and see if they will take care of it for you. Personally, I would call the customer service line before heading to the bank. A few phone calls will save you time waiting in line.
Even if the first bank will not accept the ripped check, other banks may differ. Check with any financial institution where you have an account. Chances are that one of they will be able to process it for you.
Options If You Cannot Deposit a Ripped Check
If you have run out of luck with the banks, there is one last option available. You can also approach the company or individual to replace the damaged check. Rest assured that you are not the first personal to call about reissuing a check. Most companies have standardized policies for just this situation. The process is relatively simple in most cases, but they usually request that you return the ripped check for security reasons.
If it is a personal check, it is a much simpler situation. When you speak with the person who issued the check, explain what happened. Be apologetic for the inconvenience and ensure them that you will not cash the original one. Better yet, offer to return it so they can destroy it themselves. Even if you cannot deposit a ripped check, there may still be options to help you get your money.
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