17

My parents are visiting the US from abroad and during their trip, their luggage was damaged beyond repair. We contacted the airline who has agreed to settle and will send a check to my address in the US. Now I'm worried if the check will be in the passenger's (my father's) name as the claim was filled by him. If this is the case, can he walk up to any bank, show his passport as proof of identity and collect the negotiated amount in cash? Or would his only option to be depositing the check at his bank back home?

  • 18
    With the benefit of hindsight, this is an example of why paying by credit card is a good idea. If you father had done that, the airline would simply refund the money to the credit card company to settle the claim. But for some reason I don't understand, retail banking in the USA seems to prefer the 19th-century technology of sending pieces of paper through the mail to electronic funds transfers. – alephzero Oct 4 '16 at 20:33
  • 1
    @alephzero Even without credit cards, one might imagine a world where an international airline is able to deposit money into a foreign bank account. – gerrit Oct 5 '16 at 10:12
  • 2
    The tickets were purchased by credit card itself. The problem here is that the airline has outsourced their baggage claim process to some obscure third party company in Texas. Once the airline approved our claim, they forwarded it to the third party who have taken over the process and disbursement of funds. – user60155 Oct 5 '16 at 14:20
  • 1
    In Florida, a nice, young, topless lady will cash his check for him, in return for 5% of face value (they closed the topless Dunkin Donuts back in the late 80's, though :-( – Mawg Oct 5 '16 at 17:03
  • 1
    @Mawg - priceless... – Daniel Anderson Oct 5 '16 at 18:31
19

Generally the bank indicated on the check will cash it after some sort of identity verification. The check from the airline will be drawn from some bank, Bank of America, US Bank, Wells Fargo, Chase, whatever. Just go to a branch of whatever bank is indicated on the check.

This is how I would deal with the pay checks from my first job before I had a bank account, and this is still how I deal with checks I don't completely trust.

  • 1
    Did you have an US-issued ID of some kind (even just a staff ID card) when you did your transactions? Things can be a lot different for visitors with foreign passports. – Dilip Sarwate Oct 4 '16 at 17:20
  • 1
    @DilipSarwate I had US identification, I would still start at the bank the check is drawn on. The individual probably has their passport and local foreign IDs, and this check likely isn't for a terribly large amount of money. – quid Oct 4 '16 at 17:30
  • 3
    @DilipSarwate: I cannot comment explicitly about the US, but I have cashed cheques with a foreign passport in Canada, Spain, Brazil, Italy, and Sweden. – Martin Argerami Oct 4 '16 at 23:15
8

Seeing as this most likely isn't a personal check, it's very likely that he would be able to find a bank willing to cash the amount.

If you run into trouble, the check can also be endorsed to you personally and cashed against your bank account if that is an option. This should only be done if both of you are present and only at your bank.

A final option, most Wal-Marts will cash non-personal checks, again, assuming this is a non personal check. They usually charge a very small fee of a couple dollars.

  • Careful with using endorsements; Endorsing a check for payment to a third party makes a fairly straightforward second-party business check (which you're right, most banks would probably cash possibly for a fee) into a third-party check, which many banks won't touch because the potential for fraud is sky-high. – KeithS Oct 4 '16 at 17:36
  • 1
    @KeithS I don't see that being an issue. He goes into his bank with his dad, explains what happens, they both show ID and his dad signs the check over to him. In my experience, most banks wouldn't have a problem with this. – Kevin Oct 5 '16 at 14:17
  • 1
    the check can also be endorsed to you personally and cashed against your bank account if that is an option This is 3rd party check. If OP does this, do it in person at a brick and mortar bank where OP has an account in good standing, and only do it after they agree to cash the check. Speak to the manager if the teller says they can't do it. If the manager won't do it, and OPs account balance is > than the amount of the check, then OP should consider ceasing business with the bank. Expect the amount of the check to be unavailable until the check clears. – Xalorous Oct 5 '16 at 15:10
  • I edited that both members should be present at a trusted bank into the answer. – Ranma344 Oct 5 '16 at 16:23
1

If your father is going to be in the US for a good bit of time he can deposit the check into an account of yours. Once the bank has the money in your account you can then withdraw that money and give to your parents.

  • 1
    But if the check is in his name, can he simply endorse it for deposit into my account? – user60155 Oct 5 '16 at 14:18
  • @user60155 It's a third party deposit. They may allow it. Expect stricter policy for availability of the funds for deposit though. – Xalorous Oct 5 '16 at 15:12
  • @user60155 your father can fully deposit into your account. The catch to this is having to wait for the transfer of funds to actually take place. Your father has a check with his name on it. Your bank may put a hold or a wait on the check while they make sure that there is money to be had from the check. A deposit into an account is safer for the bank than just trying to cash a check that they, the bank, may not know is fraudulent. – Keith Bux Oct 5 '16 at 17:47
1

The only bank that is required to honor the check is the one on whom the check is drawn. Some banks will allow third party check cashing, or at least deposits. Gather your father and the check and visit your bank. Your check may allow the deposit, but put a hold on the funds until the check clears. If you have enough in your account to cover the check, you can withdraw cash to give to your father. Keep in mind that those funds will not appear in your account until the check clears, and that you will be responsible for any overdrafts, as usual.

0

It is unlikely that any bank will let a stranger walk in with a check payable to him and waltz out with cash. It is within the realm of possibility that your bank will let your father do so but only if you accompany him and, in effect, guarantee the transaction. It will be a lot simpler if you hand your father the cash in return for his endorsement of the check in your favor and you deposit the check in your own account. Depending on the independence or the bull-headedness of the elderly, it might be necessary to take the endorsed check with you in the morning and bring back the cash in the evening (from an ATM, say, because the bank will not credit your account for a few days yet).

  • 1
    Like I said in the comment to the other answer, I cannot vouch for the US, but I have done what you say is "unlikely", in Canada, Spain, Brazil, Italy, and Sweden. – Martin Argerami Oct 4 '16 at 23:16
  • The bank used to issue the check will honor it (as in must). The not crediting the account part is due to non-availability of funds until the check clears. Each bank has its own policies on the availability of funds. What on earth does independence of bullheadedness of the elderly have to do with this situation? – Xalorous Oct 5 '16 at 15:19
0

They will be typically able to deposit the check in their account at home.

The clearance might take several days, but I have often deposited US checks into (my) German and French bank accounts (by dropping the paper check off in that bank). That might not be very efficient, and there are currency conversions involved, but it should work.

  • It would probably be a good idea to confirm this with bank at home before returning. If the home bank does NOT offer this service, OP's parents should resolve this before travel. – Xalorous Oct 5 '16 at 15:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.