I just received my account statement and noticed there were forged checks. When I notified the bank, it claimed the forgeries were due to my negligence. What can I do?
Banks are generally 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 liable for the customer's loss depends on the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, a bank is liable for accepting a check that has been forged, altered, or improperly endorsed. However, if the bank can prove two things—that it accepted the check in good faith and exercised ordinary care and diligence in handling the transaction—it may not be liable.
If your actions—the way the check or checkbook was handled, issued, completed, or made payable—contributed to the making of the forgery, you may be at least partially liable. Generally, the bank will require you to complete an affidavit. It may also request that you file a police report.