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  1. #1

    Default Trying to Cancel or Block a Blank Check

    My question involves personal finance in the State of: Wisconsin

    I partially filled out a personal check with the payee (an auto garage) and then signed the check. The date and amount were intentionally left blank. The check was given to a (now ex) girlfriend with the intention of her getting some maintenance done and she was to fill out the date and the amount appropriately. Other than being a bad idea, I have found no resources that suggest the act of doing this is illegal, but if there are legal implications in regards to someone else filling out one of my personal checks I would be interested to know them. My main question is related to my intention to prevent this check from being used, as I no longer want to pay for the maintenance.

    I am going to outline my plan of action and would like any feedback regarding whether or not I would be running afoul of any criminal or civil laws. First, I plan to contact the bank and inform of my intention to not have the check honored, whether it be with a stop pay or some other process. Then, I will contact the auto garage and explain the situation and request that they not accept payment from the customer if it comes in the form of a check in my name. Hopefully, the check won't be valid by that point if all goes well with the bank and I'm sure the auto garage would prefer to be paid without a hassle.

    I did ask the ex to not use the check, and to either allow me to come get it or send photographic proof of void+destruction. She said she wouldn't use it, but declined to offer the proof, so I am guessing that she will likely try and get me to pay. Also, I would not be too surprised if she tried to run up the bill beyond what I originally agreed to pay when we were on better terms.

    My goal is to not have to pay for the repairs, not incur any fees that I would need to compensate (although I am aware a stop pay generally has a fee, which I am willing to pay), and to not end up getting charged with fraud, passing bad checks, or anything else that my legally ignorant self might overlook. So is my plan of action a good way to accomplish my goal? And if not, any suggestions for modifications to the plan would be appreciated. If this is relevant, there is plenty of funds in the checking account and I have overdraft protection such that NSF is unlikely even if the bill gets inflated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,833

    Default Re: Trying to Cancel or Block a Blank Check

    This is the kind of thing for which the stop payment process was invented. Alerting the shop to the fact that the check won't be honored isn't a bad idea, either. It helps to further reduce the chance that anyone would claim any fraud or passing of bad checks since the merchant would know in advance not to take it.

    It would be fraud if you gave the check to the shop with the intention of not paying it, i.e. already having put in the stop payment order or intending to immediately do that after giving the merchant the check because in that circumstance you are inducing the shop to give you something on the false promise of payment. That's not what is happening here. You told the ex not to use it and you're not passing the check yourself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,780

    Default Re: Trying to Cancel or Block a Blank Check

    Quote Quoting Aquarius9217
    View Post

    I partially filled out a personal check with the payee (an auto garage) and then signed the check. The date and amount were intentionally left blank. The check was given to a (now ex) girlfriend
    Your Darwin Award is on the way.

    Quote Quoting Aquarius9217
    View Post


    So is my plan of action a good way to accomplish my goal? And if not, any suggestions for modifications to the plan would be appreciated.

    What are you waiting for? Call the bank and get it handled.

    I suggest you put in in writing to your ex and the shop that the check is no good. Deliver the letter personally and by mail.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Trying to Cancel or Block a Blank Check

    Thanks for the helpful and reassuring answer, Taxing Matters.

    And adjusterjack, it's always fun to read your responses. I don't think I have a good chance of winning, but go ahead and nominate me for the award. It would look good in my participation trophy room.

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