Wednesday, April 10, 2013

As negotiable instrument, laws set limitations on checks

Dear PAO,
My daughter authorized me to claim her last salary from the company she used to work with. The company issued a check under my daughter’s name. When I tried to encash it, the bank refused even if I have already presented to them the authorization from my daughter as well as a valid ID. I requested from the company to issue a check in my favor, but until now they have not acted upon my request. What is my recourse? My daughter is currently in UAE.

Dear EA23,
Private companies more often than not require the personal appearance of the employee who desires to claim his or her last salary. In some instances, companies allow an authorized representative of the employee concerned to collect such salary, subject to certain restrictions which is for the protection of both the employee concerned as well as the company.

In the situation that you have presented before us, it is only expected that the check was issued under your daughter’s name considering that she is the former employee of the company and that the same was issued to answer for her last salary. You cannot impose on the company to issue you another check under your name because you are not the employee who is entitled thereto. Moreover, your authority is limited because you were merely authorized to claim your daughter’s last salary. Thus, you may not exceed such limitation and the company has the right to validly refuse your request.

It is likewise understandable that the bank with which you presented the said check refused to allow you to encash the same because it was issued particularly under your daughter’s name. Only your daughter is entitled to encash the said check. While a check is considered as a negotiable instrument and works as a substitute for money, there are limitations set under our laws. While a negotiable instrument, such as a check, may be negotiated in favor of another person, such may only be done by delivery, if the same is made payable to bearer, or by indorsement and delivery, if it is payable to the order of a specified person (Section 30, Negotiable Instruments Law). Considering that the check was issued by the company under the name of your daughter, the same may only be validly negotiated if your daughter indorses the same in your favor.

Since your daughter is presently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you may opt to send her the check so that she can indorse the same to you. Be advised that the indorsement must be written in the check itself or upon a paper attached thereto. But her signature, without additional words, may be considered as a sufficient indorsement (Section 31, id). On the other hand, you may consider depositing the check in the bank account under your daughter’s name. This way, your daughter may be able to receive the cash value thereof after the same has been cleared by the issuing bank as well as her bank of account. Furthermore, depositing the check in your daughter’s account will lessen the risk of having a stale check.

source:  Manila Times' Column by

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