Can we sue the bank for cashing altered checks?

UPDATED: Apr 24, 2009

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Can we sue the bank for cashing altered checks?

My nephew forged and altered checks from my mother. My mother wrote out two to a school he was attending. He drew a line through the name of the school then added his name and a branch of my mother’s bank cashed them with no questions asked.

Asked on April 24, 2009 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

The bank absolutely is responsible for making good on the checks.  If it does not you can sue for restitution plus damages.  According to you he drew a line through the name of the actual payee and then rather clumsily added in his own.  This is such an obvious alteration that I cannot believe the bank will even fight you on this.  But either way it is liable.  Note,  I am assuming the facts are such as you put forth.

Just know that this is also a criminal matter and that the bank will likely persue prosecution of the case.

If you still have any questions you can contact an attorney.  If you need help in finding one refer to

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