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March 2018



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"Being Poor" tax

I get my disability check on the 3rd of the month. My rent is due by the 5th (with late charges after that). Because of my agoraphobia, social anxiety, and physical disability it is sometimes difficult for me to get out of the house and pay my rent in a timely manner. (see also that it is the 3rd of the month and I have not yet gone out for groceries for similar reasons)

I've lived here for over 12 years and they have never charged me a late fee (even though I have sometimes been a day late). Last month my landlord sent out a notice saying they were going to start cracking down on late payments, so I went in on Monday (the 1st) and gave them my rent check (post dated for the 3rd). I pointed out the post dated check when I gave it to them and they said it wouldn't be a problem. I just checked my account and saw that the check went through yesterday and I got dinged with a $35 NSF charge. I checked the image of the check and it is clearly dated for the 3rd so I called them to have the NSF charge removed. They said "too bad" the date on the check means nothing. They told me to get the $35 from my landlord (like that is going to happen).

So, in an effort to avoid a late fee I have essentially been charged an early fee which I can not afford. This is the sort of surcharge on the poor that people with money just don't understand.



I am shocked to learn that post-dating checks has no legal standing! That's something I have assumed as long as I have been writing checks!

I am disappointed at your landlord for not carrying out your wishes. You'd think that post-dating your check, pointing out that the check is post-dated, and being told that they understood that you post-dated the check would be enough for the office drones to NOT cash your check early.

And finally I am sorry you are out $35 and hope you can manage until your next payment.

Re: Frustrating

Thank you.

In the landlord's defense they thought the check would not be processed til the next day.
I think your bank is dead wrong and you should talk to a supervisor. You should also write a letter to your landlord explaining the situation and how in the future they should bloody well listen. From what I've learned working at JP Morgan Chase, if a check is dated X, then it CANNOT BE CASHED PRIOR TO THAT DATE. After that date is fine. The bank should not have honored the check, it should have been returned to the landlord.

Seriously. Call the bank again and demand a supervisor.
I made several calls back and forth to my Landlord and the bank.

I finally did ask to speak to a manager and explained that my landlord and I had both acted in good faith and would not make the same mistakes again. She refunded the overdraft fee.

But your wrong about the law. Dates on checks have no legal standing if the bank receives a check they have the right to process it regardless of the date.

Fascinating. JP Morgan Chase was adamant about dates being correct on the checks because they were going to the state. If a check was post dated, us data entrys had to send it up the pipe to supervisors to deal with. I thought it was a legal thing, I guess it was just a company thing.
I hate to tell you this happens all the time. Banks just do not look at the checks most of the time except to make sure everything is filled out. Since you pointed out the date to them it is your landlords fault you got charged. If you had not you'd be in a grey area, but they should pay it for you.
That is one way of looking at it. But legally I had no standing. And the landlord had no motivation for giving me $35. If they pay the late fee they lose $35 and gain nothing. If I pay the late fee I lose $35 and gain nothing. The fee was conjured out of nothing by the bank. The bank is the only one who would not suffer a material loss by refunding it.

The bank imposes these fees to discourage people from behaving irresponsibly in a way that would eventually cost the bank money. They can't afford to be giving out interest free loans to people. But since both my landlord and I acted in good faith I'm glad the bank gave me a refund.