How to Cash a Damaged, Ripped, or Torn Check?

How to Cash a Damaged, Ripped, or Torn Check?

Unlike the electronic payment system, making payment through checks always has a chance of physical damage. When a check is torn or ripped, you need to take extra care of it. 

Though most people use electronic payment systems these days, checks are still used for official purposes in many places. Check is a negotiable instrument through which you get the amount mentioned on it. All you have to do is deposit the check at your bank, and you will get it cashed within a few days. 

Is a Ripped Check Still Valid?

If you have recently received a ripped check, and don’t know whether it will be validated at a bank or not, you’ve come to the right place. In the following paragraphs, we’ll explain the nitty-gritty of ripped checks and what you should do if you have a ripped check. 

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While determining the validity of a torn check, you have to pay attention to the following details: 

Payer name

A payer is anyone who writes the check. A check should be either a personal check or a business check. If you suddenly receive a check, it can be a scam. It is better to check the payer’s name and confirm its veracity before any use. 

Payee name

The payee is the name of the person who will receive the amount mentioned on the check. Make sure the name on your check is clearly spelled as per the name mentioned on your driver’s license. If your name on the driver’s license and check don’t match, you won’t get the check encashed. 

If the name mentioned on the check is not spelled correctly, you can also ask for a replacement check. 

Date

The date mentioned on the check should be within the check clearing period. If you get a post-dated check, you have to wait for that date before you can submit the same to your bank. 

Similarly, if you received a check, which is six months old, you need to ask for a new check from the person who signed it. 

Amount

The amount on the check should be mentioned clearly in the space provided for it. You will see the amount mentioned in both the numerical and alphabetic front. 

Account and Routing Number

Every check will have an account number and the bank account’s routing number mentioned on it. You can find these numbers at the bottom of the check. 

Issuer

The issuer is the bank that issues a check. You can easily find the name of the bank clearly visible on the check. If the name of the bank sounds scammy or you can see a missing logo, don’t accept such a check.

Issuer

If all the above items are correct, you can feel secure that the check is genuine. 

Assess Check Damage

When you’ve understood that the check is valid, now you have to ensure whether it can be deposited to your bank or not. 

Some banks can accept a check, which is slightly damaged—other banks may simply get the same rejected.  

However, if the check is torn into multiple pieces, you have to cross-verify that all information is clearly visible. Make sure that the check is not damaged due to water or fire. 

Even if the check is slightly damaged or torn, make sure the following information is clearly visible: 

  • The Date
  • A signature or Authorized Signatories
  • Payer’s Name
  • Payee’s Name
  • The Amount (numerically and alphabetically) is clearly expressed.
  • Bank Account Number
  • Routing Number
  • Issuer

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Can You Cash A Ripped Check?

Your bank will eventually decide whether a ripped check can be encashed or not. It varies from bank to bank. If the routing numbers and printed details are not legible, the bank teller can’t process the instrument. 

Some banks don’t process a torn check even if you deposited the same using your smartphone. 

How to Fix a Ripped Check?

Getting a ripped check fixed is cumbersome. However, if the ripped check still has the signature, serial number, and other information intact, you have good luck in getting it processed through a bank. 

But in the case of a mutilated check, you need to seek its replacement. 

Best Ways To Cash A Ripped Check

We list out some possible ways to cash a ripped check

1. Mobile App

Many banks provide a mobile check deposit option through the bank’s mobile app. It’s a simple process. Let the scanned copy of the check use your smartphone camera and process the image through the app.

If the bank accepts your check, you won’t receive any telephone call from the bank. You will get the money deposited into your account.  

2. ATM

A torn check can’t be processed using an ATM machine. But a slightly damaged check can go through an ATM. You can check the bank’s website for more information on it. 

3. Teller

You can also personally visit a bank branch to get your check deposited. While visiting your bank, don’t forget to carry your identity card. 

You may have to furnish details regarding your debit card number or bank account details, if you are lucky the torn check will get cashed within a few days—and the amount from the same will get deposited directly to your bank account.   

If a bank representative doesn’t accept your check, you have to get it replaced. Sometimes, the bank may accept such a check. But you should wait for a few days. If the check is returned back or bounced, you have to make the processing fee to the bank.

4. Retailer

If your bank doesn’t have a nearby branch, you can get it cashed from a retailer. Walmart does offer to check cashing services but you should check all terms and conditions before using such a facility. It involves some transaction fees or operational charges. The checks should be within the cashing limits as prescribed by Walmart. 

5. Use a Prepaid Card

You can also use your prepaid card to deposit checks and withdraw money using ATM outlets. You have to pay some fees as operational charges for using such a facility. For example, if you have a payroll Visa-powered card, you can deposit your check and withdraw money from ATMs that acknowledge Visa debit cards. 

Using a prepaid card means you have to pay some additional charges for it.

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How To Avoid Damaged Checks?

All checks are made up of paper. When you issue a check to somebody, there is always a chance of getting it damaged because of misplacement, water, fire, ink stains, and others.  

All checks go from various hands to hands before getting the mentioned amount deposited in your bank account. 

Right now, when the banking process has gone digital, you should also try to make the best use of it. There are various other possible ways to electronically get your check cashed. 

1. Direct Deposit

All you have to do is use the bank’s app and enter the beneficiary’s details. Under the direct deposit option, you have to mention the beneficiary’s name, bank account number, Swift code (if required), and mobile number. 

Once all these details are automatically verified, you can go ahead and directly deposit the required amount in the beneficiary’s account. The process is fast and the beneficiary will receive the amount immediately. 

However, if the beneficiary is located outside the country, it may take a few days.  

2. P2P Payment

Using P2P facilitators such as PayPal, Payoneer, Skrill, GooglePay, and Zelle make the process work at a lightning-fast speed. 

The full form of P2P means Peer to Peer. Any money transacted through P2P will instantly reach from the payee’s account to the beneficiary’s account. 

3. Payroll Card

A payroll card is useful for people who don’t have a bank account. Mostly, your employer will issue you such a card. Using a Visa-powered payroll card, you can transact at selected ATM outlets. It works as another debit card and your employer will deposit the amount directly to your card-linked bank instead of issuing a check. 

In Conclusion

Ideally, you should always keep your check in a safe place. However, if you receive a mutilated or torn check by courier or post office, you must contact the sender and get the same replaced. Alternatively, when you receive a ripped check, you can follow the above-mentioned tips for help. Have you ever got a ripped check in life? Share your experience here.

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TheLiveCash is a team of experts in finance and banking. We are striving together to bring financial clarity to readers across the world. We write about savings, making and budgeting money, investing, taxes, loans, and all other financial topics.