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I think I've really screwed myself over here. I was dating someone and I bought a car with them. It was all my money used to buy the car. I put the title under both of our names because I wanted it to be "our car". Little did I know this would cause a massive issue when I was issued a title with "AND" even though I wanted "OR".

Anyway. We break up. I sell the car. They come along to help sell the car. We are given a check with "AND" on it. I have my ex sign the check, and then I move out of state a few days later. I'm trying to deposit the check now and the only option I can find is to open a joint bank account. Here's the catch: my ex doesn't want to open a joint account with me. Straight up refuses.

Do I have any options here? We found out before I left that I could've deposited the check with Wells Fargo if I had an account with them, but they couldn't schedule me an appointment to open an account before I had to move out of town.

So my ex wants me to fly back to LA from Portland and that's the only way they are willing to help. The check is for $8,500. I already tried depositing it with my primary bank (Atmos) and they said both names have to be on the account. Do I have any other options?

tl;dr: I have a check made out to my "AND" my ex. It has both of our signatures. My ex does not want to open a joint account with me. We live 1,000 miles apart. How can I deposit this check?

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  • Have you tried endorsing it? money.usnews.com/banking/articles/… Check with your bank first if they'd accept a third-party endorsement. Check with local check cashing businesses as well, though they may charge a hefty fee
    – littleadv
    Jan 25, 2023 at 6:44
  • Hi. Both of us have signed our names on the back of the check. My primary bank still won't deposit it, saying they need both names on the account.
    – florabtw
    Jan 25, 2023 at 6:45
  • Check cashing places? They may charge a fee, but it may still be cheaper than flying back to portland...
    – littleadv
    Jan 25, 2023 at 6:46
  • I haven't tried. There are only two in my area and one of them doesn't accept checks over $5k. I can try the other one tomorrow.
    – florabtw
    Jan 25, 2023 at 6:53
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    "We found out before I left that I could've deposited the check with Wells Fargo if I had an account with them" can you open an account with WF where you live now?
    – 0xFEE1DEAD
    Jan 25, 2023 at 9:14

1 Answer 1

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If you bought the car from a dealer, their policy is probably that they have to write the check to match the ownership records. Your bank is similarly using the presence of the "and" term to guide the acceptance criteria. Both companies have solid reasons for doing so.

The dealer may be able to write a replacement check if the other person can complete a form they will accept that documents their surrendering their claim to ownership. This would have been easier before the sale because many states have a way to do this. Unfortunately because you no longer own the car there may not be an easy way to do this.

Maybe you can convince them to issue two checks that total the amount of the original check.

My next call would be to the finance office of the dealership.

If you sold it to a private party it might be tough to get them to send a 2nd check.

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  • Mailing back the first check, or telling them to deduct the cost of putting a stop order in the first check when writing the second, ought to make a private party more receptive to the idea of writing a new check . But I suggest just putting it in terms of not having a joint account to deposit it in and needing the cash; if you tell them about the separation they may be afraid of getting drawn into a court battle over how much of that money should have gone to each party.
    – keshlam
    Jan 25, 2023 at 15:41
  • I sold to CarMax so it's possible that this is a route. I'll call them.
    – florabtw
    Jan 25, 2023 at 16:48
  • Just called CarMax and they can't deviate from policy no matter what. They can only do a joint bank draft or joint live check.
    – florabtw
    Jan 25, 2023 at 18:56
  • In that case a journey of a thousand dollars behind with a single step..
    – keshlam
    Jan 26, 2023 at 2:15

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