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Course description

Here's a shocking secret:  Many of the check-related losses suffered by financial institutions are not due to decisions made by a teller, but are instead traceable to directives from management or a loan officer.  Problems also arise when someone in the bank who hasn't had a recent fresher on the law of checks makes a legally unsupportable statement or decision.    The law on checks should be well understood by every banker so that statements made to customers and actions taken are appropriate.  In this fast-paced program, Mary Beth Guard lays out the complex rights, responsibilities, and proper courses of action for all parties to check transactions.

In this program, we will cover -

  • Why you never want to stop payment on a cashier's check
  • 5 dangerous deposit moves
  • The minimum requirements of a check
  • How to determine the amount for which a check is properly payable
  • Who needs to endorse various types of checks and how they should do it
  • Tips for spotting alterations and counterfeits
  • When a change to a check is not an alteration
  • What the different forms of endorsement are (blank, special, restrictive, anomalous), what they mean, and which should be used when
  • How to identify the proper payee of a check
  • How to tell if a check with multiple payees is payable jointly, or payable alternativel
  • The real scoop on old checks and how to talk to customers about them
  • What customers don't understand about stop payments
  • How a postdated check should be handled
  • How stop payments work
  • What the options are when something happens to a cashier's check or teller's check
  • Why special precautions should be taken when cashing checks for noncustomer payees
  • Deposits to closed accounts - No,No,No
  • Who is a "fiduciary," when you would be on notice of a breach of fiduciary duty, and why it matters.
  • What to watch out for in a split deposit transaction
  • Things to watch out for with powers of attorney, including special rules for U.S. Treasury checks
  • Special handling suggestions for official bank checks
  • When it's appropriate for checks to be payable to your institution, and when it's not
  • Whether it's ever a good idea to cash checks payable to businesses
  • The challenges involved in accepting third-party checks
  • How to identify foreign checks and what to do about them


Mary Beth Guard

Mary Beth Guard currently serves as Executive Editor of, CEO of Glia Group, Inc. and Executive Editor of Since graduating from law school in 1980, Mary Beth has focused her work almost exclusively on the banking industry. Previously, Mary Beth served as EVP/General Counsel and COO for the Oklahoma Bankers Association, EVP of Specialized Services for Thomson Financial Publishing, and General Counsel for the Oklahoma State Banking Department. Mary Beth is on the advisory board for Bankers' Hotline. She has presented training programs for virtually every major national financial industry association, as well as more than a dozen state bankers associations and a host of other organizations. In addition, Mary Beth has written more than a thousand banking-related articles and is a BOL Guru.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • A Banker’s Guide to Important Check Issues

  • 2


    • Materials

    • Slides

    • Webinar Q & A Document