By Amy Feldman

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Can a bank cash a check if you have postdated it for after payday?

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If your holiday bills are coming due and you don’t yet have enough money to cover them, some collection agencies will tell you just to postdate the check until after pay day. Don’t do it.

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Many people are under the misconception that a bank can’t cash a check until after the date for which it’s dated. But under the Uniform Commercial Code, the guidelines that govern business transactions, banks can pay a postdated check immediately unless the customer specifically alerts the bank that he wants to delay processing of the check and gives specific information about the check such as check number and amount. Otherwise, most checks these days are processed electronically automatically. If a bank does catch the fact that a check has been postdated, the bank has the option to pay it or not.

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Bottom line: don’t give a postdated check to someone unless you call your bank first or really trust the person to whom you’re giving it.