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Myself and some old roommates have a security deposit check made out to all five of us.

Do all five of us have to actually be present to cash the check, or can one or more people in the party simply sign the check in advance, and avoid the trip to the bank?

  • What country is it? Is there a restriction on the check? In many places checks can only be paid to people the check is given to. – littleadv Oct 31 '14 at 5:28
  • united states here. not sure if there is a restriction – fernando pessoa Oct 31 '14 at 6:33
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When I was in school many years ago, I was told that as long as everyone the check is made out to signs on the back, the check is as good as cash. But I can't say what the policy of a particular bank would be.

The easy solution would be to deposit it through an ATM if that's available to you. The machine won't know or care who's physically present, and when a human being eventually reviews the transaction, as long as all the signatures are there you should be good.

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    How can the human being who eventually reviews the transaction know whether the signatures are indeed the signatures of the four other room-mates? The OP could well have gotten four other people to sign "John Doe", "Richard Roe", "Joe Blow" and "Jack Frost" (assuming those are the other four names on the check). – Dilip Sarwate Oct 31 '14 at 13:37
  • Yeah, if you deposit it at an ATM I'd think there'd be a good chance the bank will just kick it back to you because they have no way to verify the other endorsements. They might charge you a fee as well. – Nate Eldredge Oct 31 '14 at 14:38
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    @DilipSarwate How would the bank know that any signature on a check is really that person's signature and not a forgery? In real life, my experience has been that they don't worry much unless the check is large. The only time I ever knew the bank to question a signature on a check I was depositing was when it was for $9,000. – Jay Oct 31 '14 at 21:04
  • @NateEldredge Not sure if you're being serious or exaggerating. If you're serious, you're being seriously paranoid. If your bank charges you a fee because they rejected a transaction that was, in fact, completely legitimate, just based on a suspicion on their part that it MIGHT be invalid, at the very least I would find another bank. You probably would have grounds for a lawsuit if you wanted to push it. Otherwise the bank could charge you a fee for every transaction, say, "Oh well, it was POSSIBLE that the signature was forged" or "Someone MIGHT have altered the amount of the check", and ... – Jay Oct 31 '14 at 21:07
  • ... make a bundle of off such fees. – Jay Oct 31 '14 at 21:08

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