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UCC & Ambiguously Named Payees

Question: We attended your Workshop in Philadelphia, where the attorney talked about ambiguously named payees - where there is no "and" or "or," the new UCC says in that case it's "or." Our case went to court (in New Hampshire) in a civil suit, and the judge ruled the check with ambiguously named payees needed both endorsements. We lost $37,000. Who is right?

Answer: Here's the sad part. You were. But you still lost. Unfortunately, there are many attorneys and judges who are not conversant with the revised Uniform Commercial Code. And some of the older ones may be familiar with the old UCC, before it was revised, but not the "new" UCC. This particular section is one of the major changes in the "new" UCC. The judge obviously made his/her decision using the old version. New Hampshire, by the way, adopted the revised UCC years ago. If you're brave enough, made a copy of the training page on page 4 of the last issue and give it to the judge!

Copyright © 2003 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 13, No. 6, 8/03

First published on 08/01/2003

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