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A written order instructing a bank to pay upon its presentation to the person designated in it, or to the person possessing it, a certain sum of money from the account of the person who draws it.
A check must contain the phrase "pay to the order of." A check differs from a draft in that a check is always drawn on a bank, while a draft is an order for payment drawn on anyone, including a bank, a person, or a trading account with a company.
A blank check is one that the drawer signs but omits filling in the space for the name of the payee, the person in whose favor a check is drawn, or neglects to fill in the space for the amount to be paid.
A cashier's check is one that the bank draws on itself and is signed by an authorized bank official. The bank lends its credit to the purchaser of the check in order to facilitate its immediate use in commercial transactions. It is a direct obligation of the bank.
A personal check is one that the individual draws on his or her own account.
A postdated check is one that bears a date after its date of issuance, and is payable on the stated date.
A traveler's check is one purchased from a bank, express company, or other financial institution in various denominations, and is signed immediately by the purchaser in order to establish the form of his or her signature. The check cannot be treated as cash because of this first signature, but it is treated as cash upon the purchaser's second signature when he or she uses it. The genuineness of the second signature is established by comparing it to the initial signature. A traveler's check is similar to a cashier's check of the issuer.
n. a draft upon a particular account in a bank, in which the drawer or maker (the person who has the account and signs the check) directs the bank to pay a certain amount to the payee (which may include the drawer, "cash," or someone else.) Other checks include cashier's checks issued by the bank for a sum paid to the bank, and certified checks in which the bank sets aside an amount from the maker's bank account and then guarantees the check can be cashed immediately. (See: cashier's check, certified check, negotiable instrument)
CHECK, contracts. A written order or request, addressed to a bank or persons
carrying on the banking business, and drawn upon them by a party having
money in their hands, requesting them to pay on presentment to a person
therein named or to bearer, a named sum of money.
2. It is said that checks are uniformly payable to bearer Chit. on Bills, 411; but that is not so in practice in the United States. they are generally payable to bearer, but sometimes they are payable to order.
3. Cheeks are negotiable instruments, as bills of exchange; though, strictly speaking, they are due before payment has been demanded, i$n which respect they differ from promissory notes and bills of exchange payable on a particular day. 7 T. R. 430.
4. The differences between a common check and a bill of exchange, are, First, that a check may be taken after it is overdue, and still the holder is not subject to the equities which may exist between the drawer and the party 'from whom he receives it; in the case of bills of exchange, the holder is subject to such equity. 3 John. Cas. 5, 9; 9 B. & Cr. 388. Secondly, the drawer of a bill of exchange is liable only on the condition that it be presented in due time, and, if it be dishonored, that he has had notice; but such is not the case with a check, no delay will excuse the drawer of it, unless he has suffered some loss or injury on that account, and then only pro tanto. 3 Kent, Com. 104 n. 5th ed.; 8 John. Cas. 2; Story, Prom. Notes, Sec. 492.
5. There is a kind of check known by the name of memorandum cheeks; these are given in general with an understanding that they are not to be presented at the bank on which they are drawn for payment; and, as between the parties, they have no other effect than an IOU, or common due bill; but third persons who become the holders of them, for a valuable consideration, without notice, have all the rights which the holders of ordinary cheeks can lawfully claim. Story, Prom. Notes, Sec. 499.
6. Giving a creditor a cheek on a bank does not constitute payment of a debt. 1 Hall, 56, 78; 7 S. & R. 116; 2 Pick. 204; 4 John. 296. See 3 Rand. 481. But a tender was held good when made by a check contained in a letter, requesting a receipt in return, which the plaintiff sent back, demanding a larger sum, without objecting to the nature of the tender. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2436.
7. A cheek delivered by a testator in his lifetime to a person as a gift, and not presented till after his death, was considered as a part of his will, and allowed to be proved as such. 3 Curt. Ecc. R. 650. Vide, generally,4 John. R. 304; 7 John. R. 26; 2 Ves. jr. 111; Yelv. 4, b, note; 7 Serg. & Rawle, 116; 3 John. Cas. 5, 259; 6 Wend. R. 445; 2 N. & M. 251; 1 Blackf. R. 104; 1 Litt. R. 194; 2 Litt. R. 299; 6 Cowen, R. 484; 4 Har. & J. 276; 13 Wend. R. 133; 10 Wend. R. 304; 7 Har. & J. 381; 1 Hall, R. 78; 15 Mass. R. 74; 4 Yerg. R. 210; 9 S. & R. 125; 2 Story, R. 502; 4 Whart. R. 252.