Generally, national banks are required to reimburse customers for forged checks. However, based on individual circumstances, the bank can investigate to determine if the customer is entitled to a reimbursement.
Whether the bank is responsible for the loss to the customer will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, a bank is responsible for accepting a check that has been forged, altered, or improperly endorsed. However, if the bank can prove that it accepted the check in good faith, and exercised ordinary care and diligence in handling the transaction it may not be responsible.
If your actions contributed to the making of the forgery, you may at least be partially responsible. This could be from the way the check or checkbook was handled, issued, completed or made payable. Generally, the bank will require you to complete an affidavit and may also require that you file a police report if you are claiming that the bank accepted forged checks.
Kristal M. Cowger, Attorney at Law
Blado Kiger Bolan, Tacoma, Wash.