Liability for check forgery can be a complicated determination depending on how many parties were involved as well as fraudulent or innocent intentions. A skilled NJ banking law attorney can review the circumstances and explain the law as it relates to the alleged forgery.
Parties Potentially Involved in the Case of a Check Forgery
The drawer of the check is the person who initially wrote it. The drawee is the bank on whose account the check was drawn. The payee is the originally intended party to whom the check was written. In some cases, the payee might also be the forger. The depository bank is where the check was ultimately deposited.
Liability in a Check Forgery Case
The forger him or herself may bear legal responsibility to the drawer of the check for forging their signature. The drawer can also ratify the forged signature. Ratification is a type of authorization after the fact. If no ratification takes place, the forger remains liable. However, the drawee bank may also bear responsibility to the writer or drawer of the check. The bank has certain responsibilities to its account holders to ensure the validity of the checks drawn on the account. For example, if the signature on the check was not checked against what the bank had on file and this rises to the level of negligence of breach of fiduciary duty on the part of the bank, they may be liable to the drawer for the amount of the check.
Every case is different and determining which parties may be responsible and to what extent often requires a thorough legal analysis by a skilled attorney. If suit is filed, it’s critical that every potentially responsible party be made a part of the litigation.
To speak with an experienced NJ banking lawyer who understands the complexities involved in representing both the bank and the customer in forgery cases, contact the offices of Snelllings Law LLC. To schedule an appointment for an initial consultation, call our offices at 973.265.6100.