writing a check to yourself and depositing via ATM

United States
December 4, 2010 7:50pm CST
Has anyone done this? Here is the story: I'm not promoting check fraud, or anything illegal. I'm not suggesting you do this either. This is just a story to backup my question. Say for instance you need to pay your rent and you're $100 short in your checking account. You know for a fact that tomorrow you have an incoming money transfer that will cover that extra $100 that you need right now. The problem is your landlord wants to deposit your check today. You're freaking out not knowing what to do. If only he would wait an extra day. If he would wait until tomorrow you'd have more than enough for rent. So you come up with the bright (maybe not so bright) idea to write yourself a check for the $100 that you are short, and deposit that $100 check to yourself through the ATM. Chances are it will clear $100 in the account, but the check won't actually be processed until the ATM deposits are picked up. The check won't bounce because you know an incoming transfer is scheduled to be in your account tomorrow. Theoretically you're check to yourself won't bounce, and your landlord will be able to cash his check.
2 people like this
4 responses
@2004cqui (2824)
• United States
5 Dec 10
A word of warning! This is so very dangerous. The bank will catch that! The bank is required by law to report it because the bank won't prosecute, the state will! Any form of fraud on your record is for the rest of your life. Try to get a bank account after that.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Dec 10
Good response, and good to know. The story actually came from a discussion at work the other day that cam up at lunch. I suggested to the person who brought it up pretty much the same thing that it wouldn't be a good idea, and it would somehow turn out bad.
1 person likes this
@finlander60 (1776)
• United States
5 Dec 10
Many years ago this was called "Floating a check." That was many years ago, long before there was such a thing as an ATM. It was just as illegal then as it is now, you were just not as likely to get caught at it. If, however, the anticipated income did not get there in time, you got a notice called "NSF." NSF stands for Non Sufficient Funds. You got charged at least once, and sometimes twice for doing this. If the District Attorney got brought in to this you also got Court Costs AND A STEEP FINE TO GO ALONG WITH IT. It's just not worth it.
• United States
28 Dec 10
Also the loss of having a checking account anywhere either as most banks will report you and you will not be able to open an account beyond a savings account if that.
• United States
28 Dec 10
This senario could work in an emergency but you are right it is a form of check fraud. I personally would not do it! Many banks here will hold any deposit made into an ATM machine against your account for several days so the check your land lord has may not clear anyway. I would just be honest and say I get paid _______ (weekly on ....., or bi weekly, or semi monthly) and if you could hold off on cashing my payment for one more day you'd appreciate it. As you are not trying to get out of what you owe BUT you don't want to bounce a check with him and cause both of you any unecessary fees. I hope that would fly with your landlord. Honesty is the best policy...
@LittleMel (14061)
• Canada
16 Dec 10
I'd say it's risky, unless we know for sure the money is there I mean transfer can be late and these days you never know whether a transfer will come through without delays or problems money situation is bad for many, individuals or business most businesses though, won't tell you that they are in trouble, by the time they tell you it's usually very late so when it comes to transfer or delivery, just don't take chances