A large international car company owes me (person) ~$10-15k and mailed me a check to settle the amount, but they put the wrong name on it and now my bank won't take it. After a month of trying to get them to send me a new check, I'm considering just using their numbers to create an e-check with the correct information. Its been 5 months so far.

Is there a problem with doing this? I could imagine could look like check-fraud but I'm not stealing or defrauding them.

  • 2
    I don't have an answer, because maybe it's not, but as my dad used to tell me as a kid "If you have to ask, you're probably going to get in trouble for it." It's not a hard and fast rule, but it's worth keeping in the back of your head.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 19:19
  • If the mistake was intentional, then it could be fraud because they never intended to pay you.
    – TTT
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 21:58
  • Yeah considering how bad they got my name wrong and how they take months to respond to my calls or emails, they are definitely trying to stall for as much time as possible. Also, thanks @corsiKa, you are right. Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 23:52

1 Answer 1


IANAL, and I will gladly yield to a lawyer on this one, but what you are proposing sounds to me like pretty much the definition of forging a check. I really doubt that "but they owe me the money" will hold up in court. Frankly I think the judge would put that in the same category as someone who robs a store and says "but I was just getting back what they stole from me when they overcharged me last month".

I was taught in school many years ago that if a check is made out to you with an incorrect name -- a mis-spelling or a nickname or a maiden name or whatever -- to endorse it with the incorrect name, and then endorse it with the correct name. I've only done this once that I recall. The check was made out to me with my correct last name but using a nickname rather than my real first name. The cashier questioned it and took it to the manager, but the manager then approved it. The check was for $9,000, and the cashier told me that if it hadn't been so large it would have been a non-issue. Ah, here, this web page says the same thing: https://pocketsense.com/can-cash-check-name-spelled-wrong-8970.html (The text of the article mentions issues beyond a simple mis-spelling.)

If your bank refuses to accept such a check, you have two choices: Get the originator to send you a corrected check (which apparently you have tried to do and have been unsuccessful), or get another bank. I don't know what else you could do. You could dig out the relevant laws and show them that this is legal, but I don't think there's any law REQUIRING a bank to accept any check. Even if there is, you'd likely get bogged down arguing legal technicalities with the bank manager.


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