My son (Dutch nationality) studied at MIT in LA (1994-1997) when he was robbed and molested in his apartment. The criminal has been sentenced to 2 life sentences (because of murder cases as well) and has been fined for $60.000. My son immediately moved back to the Netherlands after this trauma and since 20 years the LA Government is sending him checks: about 6 times a year with amounts between $6,50 and $16,-.

The problem is that he can't cash the checks:

  • As parents traveling the US we can't cash the checks with a signed authorization from our son.
  • Family or friends living in the US can't cash the checks in the US with signed authorization.
  • All foreign banks in Europe have problems with depositing a foreign check. Only one bank in the Netherlands is able to help us out, but the fee is 4 or 5 times higher than the amount on the check!
  • 3
    Isn't MIT in Cambridge, MA?
    – Flux
    Sep 21, 2020 at 13:34
  • 2
    Does "LA" refer to Los Angeles in California, USA?
    – Flux
    Sep 21, 2020 at 13:37
  • 1
    To be clear, the amounts are between six dollars and fifty cents, and sixteen dollars, right? We don't write $6,50 in the United States; six dollars and fifty cents is written as $6.50, and $6,50 looks like a typo for $6,500 (six thousand five hundred dollars). Sep 21, 2020 at 13:48
  • What is the issuing agency of the checks? A US state government or a US county government? I ask because maybe the issuer would do direct deposit to a US account.
    – Freiheit
    Sep 21, 2020 at 13:55
  • 1
    @TannerSwett I assume it's the European format, so six dollars and fifty cents. If the fee is 4 or 5 times higher than the value of a six thousand dollar cheque then they are definitely using the wrong bank. Sep 21, 2020 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


You have a number of options:

  1. Open an account with a US bank. You can deposit the checks there, by mail if necessary, or get the check issuer to make deposits direct to the account. Use the account whenever you visit the US, or make transfers when it makes sense to do so.
  2. Open a US$ account with a European bank.
  3. Ask whoever issues the checks to do so annually, so there are fewer checks and so fewer charges to be made for deposit. This could be done as well as or instead of the above. They would probably be happy to do this as it costs them less too.

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