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UCC Check Presentment-Written/Numeric Amounts

If we have a check presented for payment and the written/numeric amounts on the check differ, are we allowed to write what we took it for above the numeric amount? At a previous institution that I worked for, we wrote it in red ink, so the proof person would know instantly what we read it as.

by John Burnett:

First, let's remember that when the dollar amount in figures is not the same as the dollar amount in words on a check that states the amount twice (checks do not HAVE to include the dollar amount both in figures and words), the amount in words controls. UCC §3-114, Contradictory Terms of Instrument.

Adding an annotation to show that you have taken the amount in words instead of the amount in figures is permitted, since it does not alter the original terms of the check.


by Brian Crow:

Legally, John’s answer is correct. Operationally, technology has changed over the years. Depending on any check imaging software that your institution utilizes, it may only detect blue or black ink and those whom you want to see the notation may not be able to read it.

First published on 08/11/2019

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