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Must the original check be provided to collect on a forged endorsement claim?

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One of our customers issued a check to a noncustomer who was robbed. The check issued was cashed using a forged endorsement. I understand that I have to refund my customers money and return the item to the depositing institution to get my money back. If I understand the UCC it is then the depositing institutions responsibility to go after the forger. My problem, my customer took the original check to the DA and the DA will not give us the original item to return. Can we submit a certified copy to the depositing bank, or do I need to explain to the DA that it is the depositing bank's job to prosecute, not our customer/him?

You can certainly TRY to return a certified copy, front and back, to the negotiating bank along with the affidavit of forgery. But in order for them to prosecute, they're going to need the original check if it is available, and they may give you an argument. Unless the local DA is going to do the prosecuting, there is no need for him/her to have the original check. See if you can "borrow" it and leave a certified copy with the DA, with the understanding that once the negotiating bank has reviewed it, they may return it for prosecution.

First published on 8/05/02

First published on 08/05/2002

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