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Whether you received a postdated check or you’re thinking of writing one, it’s important to know how they work — and that they often don’t work the way you might expect. People usually postdate checks when they want the recipient (the person or business receiving the payment, also known as the payee) to wait before depositing the check.

A postdated check is a check with a future date written on it. Two potential reasons for this include: No fraud allowed: There’s no law making postdated checks illegal.

Debt collectors and other businesses may be prohibited from processing a check before the date on the check, but most individuals are free to take postdated checks to the bank immediately.

That said, if you agreed to wait before cashing a check, it might be illegal to do otherwise.

Checks Stamped “Stop Payment” may be subject to criminal prosecution, but are typically legitimate means of dealing with a contractual dispute.

They are commonly resolved in a small claims court civil suit.

What is illegal (and I think it's a misdemeanor) is to give a check to a payee and it not be immediately negotiable (as in, funds in the bank at the time it is given).

Care to provide a few details of your particular situation? The paydate was changed due to the fact that 1/19 was not a banking day.

Checks stamped “Refer To Maker” or Uncollected Funds” may require additional investigation before being charged criminally.Unless you set things up correctly with your bank, the bank is free to pay funds out of your account before the date shown on your check.Ask first: What’s more, a postdated check might not be an acceptable form of payment.Likewise, some universities won’t accept those checks, so complications with enrollment (among other things) are a possibility.In most cases, you can deposit or cash a postdated check early.

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