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#1742295 - 09/19/12 07:28 PM Check issued to joint tenants
Anonymous
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We are reviewing our check cashing policy. Checks issued to joint tenants, can they be endorsed by either person, or is it generally a good idea to be endorsed by both? Thank you for your responses!

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#1742298 - 09/19/12 07:32 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
Anonymous
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I would think if the check says "person A and person B" then it would need to be endorsed by both parties, but if it says "person A or person B" then I think it could be endorsed by either one of them and be ok.

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#1742314 - 09/19/12 07:49 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
Anonymous
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I meant if it didn't specify an and or an or. Is it implied that is either or?

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#1742348 - 09/19/12 08:26 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
JacF Offline

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Check your state's version of the UCC. The model language contains this in section 3-110(d):

(d) If an instrument is payable to two or more persons alternatively, it is payable to any of them and may be negotiated, discharged, or enforced by any or all of them in possession of the instrument. If an instrument is payable to two or more persons not alternatively, it is payable to all of them and may be negotiated, discharged, or enforced only by all of them. If an instrument payable to two or more persons is ambiguous as to whether it is payable to the persons alternatively, the instrument is payable to the persons alternatively.

So if neither "and" nor "or" is printed on the check between two payee names, this clause allows for the assumption of "or".

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#1742424 - 09/20/12 12:29 AM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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If a check is payable to John Doe and Jane Doe "Joint Tennants" or JTWRSP, it is a reference to the underlying instrument; i.e. the certificate of deposit or stock certificate, not the check itself. Checks do not come with or without a right of survivorship. The wording is "surplusage" and has no effect on how many signatures are required.

As noted, how many signatures are required is generally determined by the conjunction used.

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#1742515 - 09/20/12 01:57 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants JacF
Anonymous
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Thank you, this was a big help!

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#1742516 - 09/20/12 01:59 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Elwood P. Dowd
Anonymous
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Thank you, I'm glad everyone understood my question. it is hard to put into words sometimes. I appreciate the help!

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#1742591 - 09/20/12 03:48 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
John Burnett Offline
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Summing up -- ignore the language about joint tenants. Look at the names of the payees. If they are connected with "AND" or "&" you need two signatures for an endorsement. If they are connected with "or," or if there is nothing between the names except space, you only need one signature, although your bank may have a policy to obtain both just to avoid the potential for a legal hassle later.
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#2159304 - 01/05/18 02:48 AM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
Anonymous
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What if it is payable like this? Person A, Person B and Person C Jt Ten

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#2229645 - 01/25/20 02:31 AM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
Anonymous
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The term Joint Tenant — does This mean it needs to be deposited into an specific account other than a regular joint checking or savings account?

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#2229646 - 01/25/20 03:58 AM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
BrianC Online
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No. This discussion is in reference to ownership of the underlying funds and who must endorse the check, not the type of account into which the check must be deposited.
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#2229667 - 01/27/20 03:56 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
John Burnett Offline
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Such a check might be issued "Brian Crow and John Burnett, JTWROS" and would be issued to multiple payees NOT in the alternative; i.e., it would need to be indorsed by both Brian and John to be negotiated.

Or it might be issued:
"Brian J. Crow
John S. Burnett
Joint Tenants
Address"

I would argue that because there is no "and" or "&" the check could be indorsed and negotiated by either Brian or John.
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#2251877 - 04/06/21 04:53 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
Anonymous
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My wife and I have drip stocks that send us checks for fractional shares and dividends, for amounts from 1.00 to less than 10.00, me & her JT Tens...the idea was either she or i could cash the check, so its rediculous to require two signatures , we were told by the stock jt tens either or....

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#2251888 - 04/06/21 06:06 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
John Burnett Offline
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Regardless of what you were told (or by whom), the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is the law on this issue, and when there is more than one payee listed on the check and those names are connected by the word "and" or the ampersand (&) symbol, both (or all) payees must indorsed the check to negotiate it.

I agree that is a nuisance given the piddling amount of the checks, but there's no "de minimis" exception from that provision of Article 3, section 3-110(d) if the Uniform Commercial Code.

If you and your wife have a joint deposit account, your bank or credit union could accept these little checks for deposit to the joint account without any indorsement under another provision of the UCC. Whether the bank or credit union will accept them without indorsement is, however, a policy decision for the bank or credit union.
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#2252482 - 04/16/21 04:19 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants John Burnett
Anonymous
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Mr. Burnett,

My sister has received a mortgage escrow refund check made out only to her (deceased) husband. She sold the house after he passed, but the mortgage company cut the check in his name only even though the loan clearly shows both of their names and JTWROS. Could she legally deposit the check signing it only with her name and adding JTWROS to indicate that she is the legal owner of those funds per the loan documents on file?

Thank you!

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#2252483 - 04/16/21 04:31 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
rlcarey Online
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She should contact the mortgage company and ask them to re-issue the check.
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#2252660 - 04/20/21 01:57 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
John Burnett Offline
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I second Randy's suggestion. Messing with the check as issued could come back to bite her up to three years later.
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#2252769 - 04/21/21 07:59 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
John Burnett Offline
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John Burnett
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
What if it is payable like this? Person A, Person B and Person C Jt Ten
You ignore "Jt Ten" and you are left with a check payable to Person A and Person B and Person C. All three payees must indorse.
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#2252879 - 04/23/21 05:47 PM Re: Check issued to joint tenants Anonymous
Anonymous
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Mr. Burnett,

My sister has received a mortgage escrow refund check made out only to her (deceased) husband. She sold the house after he passed, but the mortgage company cut the check in his name only even though the loan clearly shows both of their names and JTWROS. Could she legally deposit the check signing it only with her name and adding JTWROS to indicate that she is the legal owner of those funds per the loan documents on file?

Thank you!

Would this need to go to an Estate account, since husband is deceased? Good luck trying to get a check reissued in just her name; I doubt that will happen?

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