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Avoiding Losses on U.S. Treasury Payments

Recorded on December 01, 2010

Are your procedures for handling U.S. Treasury checks designed to minimize the risk of losses? Is your staff aware of its responsibilities when handling government ACH payments?

Did you know that guardians and other fiduciaries can only endorse certain types of Treasury checks on behalf of incompetent payees? That certain powers of attorney are only acceptable for six months for negotiating checks payable to incompetent payees?

Are you aware that Treasury expects your bank to know about and use the special security features built into Treasury checks, and that checking for these features can protect your bank from losses on counterfeit government checks?

The Treasury's Fiscal Service sets rules for indorsing, cashing and depositing Treasury checks in 31 CFR Part 240, its regulations on Endorsement and Payment of Checks Drawn on the United States Treasury. There are separate rules covering Treasury ACH payments in 31 CFR Part 210, Federal Government Participation in the Automated Clearing House. This webinar reviews the key portions of those regulations. We'll cover requirements for endorsing Treasury checks, and the methods used to recover losses when checks are lost or stolen and negotiated fraudulently. You will learn about the deadlines imposed on the government for making final payment on its checks, as well as those affecting collections when things go wrong. You'll also learn about some basic steps to protect your bank from counterfeit and altered Treasury checks, your bank's responsibilities on receiving Federal ACH payments for your customers' accounts, and steps to take when a customer receiving Federal ACH payments dies.

From this webinar, you'll take away:

  • Official Treasury information about security features of U. S. Treasury checks
  • Suggestions for documenting your verification of those security features
  • Copies of the forms of powers of attorney and resolutions suggested by Treasury to meet their requirements for negotiation of Treasury checks by agents under powers of attorney.
  • A description of five different types of powers of attorney accepted by Treasury and when each applies
  • Information about when payment of a Treasury check can be considered final
  • Information about how Treasury attempts to collect on government check fraud and losses
  • Knowledge about who can endorse certain Treasury checks payable to minors and what documentation you should require from them
  • Information on when and how to accept Treasury checks payable to deceased individuals.
  • An understanding of the requirement that ACH recipient names agree with account ownership.
  • Steps to take when a customer or beneficiary receiving federal ACH credits dies.
  • An understanding of the "30-day" rule applicable to closing accounts receiving federal benefits ACH payments.
  • Information on Treasury's Green Book for ACH payments and Gold Book check reclamation guide.

In spite of efforts to convert its payments to ACH, Treasury still issues millions of paper checks each year. It's time to review your bank's government check procedures to control losses in this area. As more payments are moved to ACH, you also need to ensure your procedures for handling those payments are correct and complete.


Tellers, branch and operations managers, customer service managers, new accounts personnel, security officers.

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