Can’t Cash His Check

(WSVN) - A check was made out to two people. Both signed it, but the bank refused to cash it unless both men were in the bank. Problem is one of them had moved to England, so is the check un-cashable? It’s why they called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

When Darwin moved to Florida, he knew exactly where he wanted to be.

Darwin Sanchez, cannot cash check: “This is the place to be. South Beach is where everybody wants to be on vacation.”

Darwin started traffic entertainment, taking people in a limo to the popular clubs, helping them avoid the long lines waiting to get in.

Darwin Sanchez: “We pretty much take care of them, VIP service. It’s a different style. Remember, it’s a limousine.”

He can help them check out the fun spots … it’s a check that has stopped him in his tracks.

Darwin Sanchez: “Just crazy. Totally absurd.”

After a sewage pipe burst, Darwin and his roommate’s apartment was a stinking mess.

Darwin Sanchez: “The furniture, a lot of personal items, electronics, drone.”

The insurance company wrote a check to the two men for $6,466. Darwin went to the bank…

Darwin Sanchez: “I tried to deposit it and it didn’t work out.”

Since the check was made out to Darwin and his roommate Richard, the bank needed both signatures.

But Darwin’s roommate had moved to England by that time.

Darwin Sanchez: “The only way I would be able to cash it is me fly to England.”

Instead, Darwin sent his old roommate the check. He signed it and sent it back with an affidavit saying, “I am releasing the funds from the insurance payment to Darwin Sanchez in full.”

Darwin headed back to the bank, but again, no luck.

Darwin Sanchez: “And they told me the only way was for my friend and me to be in person.”

With his roommate’s permission, Darwin tried to get the insurance company to issue a new check in just his name. Once again, no luck.

Darwin Sanchez: “They told me it’s their policy. They can’t help me out.”

Darwin’s old roommate doesn’t want to spend the money to fly back to South Florida, meaning they can’t cash this check to get the money to replace their property.

Darwin Sanchez: “It’s crazy.”

Well Howard, can a bank refuse to cash a check issued and signed by both recipients?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “The bank can demand both parties be present, or the bank can cash the check signed by both parties if one of them is not there. It’s up to the bank to be as helpful or difficult as they choose. The best solution? Go back to the insurance company to issue a check in one name.”

We contacted Citibank. They still would not allow Darwin to deposit or cash the check without his former roommate being there in person. We then went to the insurance company, and bingo.

They communicated with Darwin and his old roommate Richard, and both agreed the check could be made out to just Darwin.

Darwin Sanchez: “And they wired the money to my bank.”

Darwin now has his insurance money, while he ensures people have a great time, and maybe he can tell them what a call to Help Me Howard can do.

Darwin Sanchez: “Yeah, 100 percent, man. Without you guys, I would be traveling to England for sure.”

Why would a bank refuse to take a check from one person if two names are on it? Because the person not there could argue, ‘That’s not my signature,’ and the bank may have to give them the money as well.

Now if a check is made out to two people who share an account, like a married couple, that’s not a problem. A bank will cash that with just one person present.

Someone deposited a problem with you? Ready to withdraw it from your life? Check with us. And bank on us to help you cash in.

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
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