When making payments with a check, it is important to always make sure you specify the amount using numerals as well as words.
It’s very possible for a simple mistake to happen. Sometimes the amounts written on a check do not match. If you are unsure about the amount written, compare the numerals to the words.
Words Vs. Numbers
When the amount of a check is unclear, the written words will prevail over numbers. Written in the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), Article 3, Section 1-114, explains how any confusion should be handled,
“If an instrument contains contradictory terms, typewritten terms prevail over printed terms, handwritten terms prevail over both, and words prevail over numbers”.
The box that you write numeric digits in is referred to as the “courtesy box” and line that you write the words on is called the “legal line”.
What To Do
Whenever you write a check with different amounts stated, it would be best for you to void the check and write a new one. Otherwise, you will risk dealing with unnecessary disputes and delays.
If the bank takes less than your payment, you may have to pay a late payment fee, and your credit may suffer if it looks like you’re not making your payments. If the bank takes more than you wanted, you may not have enough money in your account.
However, if you receive a check with contradicting numbers, it may be difficult to get another check, but it’s definitely worth a try. If a check is processed for more than intended, the person who wrote the check will not be happy. If a check is processed for less than you expected, there’s not much you can do unless you find a way to get the rest of the money.
Alternatives to Cashing the Check
Your bank still may refuse to cash your check, despite your best efforts. The UCC does not require that they cash the check; it only establishes rules for doing so. Your bank’s written policy will govern, if it is consistently applied. So if your bank refuses to cash the check, you can return it to the sender and request a new check, cash or a money order.
To write a check, simply all you have to do is you have to do is fill in the blanks. However, it is very possible for a little mistake to appear, especially when writing the amount in numerical form and written out in words.
If you end up receiving or delivering a check with mismatched numbers, check out What To Do When Check Amounts Do Not Match. If you find posts like this interesting, be sure to check out other banking posts on HMB! Also be sure to check out our posts on Best Bank Bonuses, Best Savings Rates, and Best Credit Card Bonuses