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Sec. 229.52 - Substitute check warranties.


(a) Content and provision of substitute-check warranties. (1) A bank that transfers, presents, or returns a substitute check (or a paper or electronic representation of a substitute check) for which it receives consideration warrants to the parties listed in paragraph (b) of this section that—

(i) The substitute check meets the requirements for legal equivalence described in § 229.51(a)(1) and (2); and

(ii) No depositary bank, drawee, drawer, or indorser will receive presentment or return of, or otherwise be charged for, the substitute check, the original check, or a paper or electronic representation of the substitute check or original check such that that person will be asked to make a payment based on a check that it already has paid.

(2) A bank that rejects a check submitted for deposit and returns to its customer a substitute check (or a paper or electronic representation of a substitute check) makes the warranties in paragraph (a)(1) of this section regardless of whether the bank received consideration.

Official Interpretation

XXXI. Section 229.52 Substitute Check Warranties

A. 229.52(a) Warranty Content and Provision

1. The responsibility for providing the substitute-check warranties begins with the reconverting bank. In the case of a substitute check created by a bank, the reconverting bank starts the flow of warranties when it transfers, presents, or returns a substitute check for which it receives consideration or when it rejects a check submitted for deposit and returns to its customer a substitute check. A bank that receives a substitute check created by a nonbank starts the flow of warranties when it transfers, presents, or returns for consideration either the substitute check it received or an electronic or paper representation of that substitute check.

2. To ensure that warranty protections flow all the way through to the ultimate recipient of a substitute check or paper or electronic representation thereof, any subsequent bank that transfers, presents, or returns for consideration either the substitute check or a paper or electronic representation of the substitute check is responsible to subsequent transferees for the warranties. Any warranty recipient could bring a claim for a breach of a substitute-check warranty if it received either the actual substitute check or a paper or electronic representation of a substitute check.

3. The substitute-check warranties and indemnity are not given under sections 229.52 and 229.53 by a bank that truncates the original check and by agreement transfers an electronic check to a subsequent bank for consideration. However, the warranties in §229.34(a) would apply to the transfer of an electronic check, and those warranties may be varied by agreement between the parties. A bank that is a truncating bank under §229.2(eee)(2) because it accepts a deposit of a check electronically might be subject to a claim by another depositary bank that accepts the original check for deposit. (See §229.34(f) and commentary thereto).

Example. A bank that receives an electronic check and uses it to create substitute checks is the reconverting bank and, when it transfers, presents, or returns that substitute check, becomes the first warrantor with respect to the substitute check warranties. That bank, however, may have similar warranty claims with respect to the electronic check under §229.34(a) against the bank that transferred the electronic check.

4. A bank need not affirmatively make the warranties because they attach automatically when a bank transfers, presents, or returns the substitute check (or a representation thereof) for which it receives consideration. Because a substitute check transferred, presented, or returned for consideration is warranted to be the legal equivalent of the original check and thereby subject to existing laws as if it were the original check, all UCC and other Regulation CC warranties that apply to the original check also apply to the substitute check.

5. The legal-equivalence warranty by definition must be linked to a particular substitute check. When an original check is truncated, the check may move from electronic form to substitute-check form and then back again, such that there would be multiple substitute checks associated with one original check. When a check changes form multiple times in the collection or return process, the first reconverting bank and subsequent banks that transfer, present, or return the first substitute check (or a paper or electronic representation of the first substitute check) warrant the legal equivalence of only the first substitute check. If a bank receives an electronic representation of a substitute check and uses that representation to create a second substitute check, the second reconverting bank and subsequent transferees of the second substitute check (or a representation thereof) warrant the legal equivalence of both the first and second substitute checks. A reconverting bank would not be liable for a warranty breach under section 229.52 if the legal-equivalence defect is the fault of a subsequent bank that handled the substitute check, either as a substitute check or in other paper or electronic form.

6. The warranty in §229.52(a)(1)(ii), which addresses multiple payment requests for the same check, is not linked to a particular substitute check but rather is given by each bank handling the substitute check, an electronic representation of a substitute check, or a subsequent substitute check created from an electronic representation of a substitute check. All banks that transfer, present, or return a substitute check (or a paper or electronic representation thereof) therefore provide the warranty regardless of whether the ultimate demand for double payment is based on the original check, the substitute check, or some other electronic or paper representation of the substitute or original check, and regardless of the order in which the duplicative payment requests occur. This warranty is given by the banks that transfer, present, or return a substitute check even if the demand for duplicative payment results from a fraudulent substitute check about which the warranting bank had no knowledge. (See also §229.34(a)(1)(ii)).

Example. A nonbank depositor truncates a check and in lieu of the check sends an electronic check to both Bank A and Bank B. Bank A and Bank B each use the check information that it received electronically to create a substitute check, which it presents to Bank C for payment. Bank A and Bank B are both reconverting banks and each made the substitute-check warranties when it presented a substitute check to and received payment from Bank C. Bank C could pursue a warranty claim for the loss it suffered as a result of the duplicative payment against either Bank A or Bank B.

7. A bank that rejects a check submitted for deposit and, instead of the original check, provides its customer with a substitute check makes the warranties in §229.52(a)(1). As noted in the commentary to §229.2(ccc), the Check 21 Act contemplates that nonbank persons that receive substitute checks (or representations thereof) from a bank will receive warranties and indemnities with respect to the checks. A reconverting bank that provides a substitute check to its depositor after it has rejected the check submitted for deposit may not have received consideration for the substitute check. In order to prevent banks from being able to transfer a check the bank truncated and then reconverted without providing substitute check warranties, the regulation provides that a bank that rejects a check submitted for deposit but provides its customer with a substitute check (or a paper or electronic representation of a substitute check) makes the warranties set forth in §229.52(a)(1) regardless of whether the bank received consideration.

Example. A bank's customer submits a check for deposit at an ATM that captures an image of the check and sends the image electronically to the bank. After reviewing the item, the bank rejects the item submitted for deposit. Instead of providing the original check to its customer, the bank provides a substitute check to its customer. This bank is the reconverting bank with respect to the substitute check and makes the warranties described in §229.52(a)(1) regardless of whether the bank previously extended credit to its customer. (See commentary to §229.2(ccc)).

(b) Warranty recipients. A bank makes the warranties described in paragraph (a) of this section to the person to which the bank transfers, presents, or returns the substitute check or a paper or electronic representation of such substitute check and to any subsequent recipient, which could include a collecting or returning bank, the depositary bank, the drawer, the drawee, the payee, the depositor, and any indorser. These parties receive the warranties regardless of whether they received the substitute check or a paper or electronic representation of a substitute check.

Official Interpretation

B. 229.52(b) Warranty Recipients

1. A reconverting bank makes the warranties to the person to which it transfers, presents, or returns the substitute check for consideration and to any subsequent recipient that receives either the substitute check or a paper or electronic representation derived from the substitute check. These subsequent recipients could include a subsequent collecting or returning bank, the depositary bank, the drawer, the drawee, the payee, the depositor, and any indorser. The paying bank would be included as a warranty recipient, for example because it would be the drawee of a check or a transferee of a check that is payable through it.

2. The warranties flow with the substitute check to persons that receive a substitute check or a paper or electronic representation of a substitute check. The warranties do not flow to a person that receives only the original check or a representation of an original check that was not derived from a substitute check. However, a person that initially handled only the original check could become a warranty recipient if that person later receives a returned substitute check or a paper or electronic representation of a substitute check that was derived from that original check. (See §229.34(f) regarding claims by a depositary bank that accepts deposit of an original check).

3. A reconverting bank also makes the warranties to a person to whom the bank transfers a substitute check that the bank has rejected for deposit regardless of whether the bank received consideration.

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