Occasionally, I like to skim through Reddit’s personal finance section for any interesting money topics.
One recent, noteworthy topic had to do with post-dated checks and what happens to them when you attempt to deposit or cash the checks before the date written on them. If I were to post-date a check, it would probably be because I don’t yet have enough funds in my account to cover the check amount.
But, what if the check recipient doesn’t listen to my instruction and deposits the check before the written date?
A negotiable instrument can be made payable “on demand” or “at a definite time.” (UCC § 3-104.) A post-dated check is an order to pay the bearer at a definite time in the future.
Although it is legal to post-date a check, the bank to which the check is presented for payment may charge the payor’s account even before the date of the check and even if doing so creates an overdraft.
Although the UCC is not itself a law, it has been enacted in all 50 states (with limited modifications in certain states).
Under the UCC, a check is an order by the “payor” (you, the small business owner) to pay a fixed amount of money to the bearer (or payee -- the tech support contractor).
Now, I learn that he immediately tried to cash the check and it was refused by the bank! But, in general, it is not a crime to post-date a check.