What is a Post-Dated Cheque?

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

Article

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A post-dated cheque is a cheque written by the drawer (payer) for a date in the future. In other words, the date mentioned on the cheque is a date that comes after the date on which the cheque was actually written. For example, if today is August 1, 2023, and a cheque is written with a date of August 15, 2023, that cheque is considered a post-dated cheque.

Characteristics

  1. Future Date: The most defining feature of a post-dated cheque is that it bears a date in the future.
  2. Payment Timing: The cheque is not meant to be cashed or deposited until the date specified on the cheque.
  3. Legality: Post-dated cheques are legal in many jurisdictions, including India under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, and in the United States.

Uses of Post-Dated Cheques

  1. Installment Payments: They are commonly used for installment payments, where the payer issues several post-dated cheques at once to cover future payments.
  2. Rent Payments: Many tenants give post-dated cheques to landlords for future rent payments.
  3. Future Obligations: They can also be used for any situation where future payment is agreed upon but the payer wants to ensure that the payee does not cash the cheque immediately.
  4. Loans: In some financial loan agreements, borrowers give post-dated cheques to lenders as a guarantee of future repayments.

India (Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881)

  1. Dishonor: In India, a dishonored post-dated cheque can invite legal action under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act if it was issued for a debt or any other liability.
  2. Validity: The Act doesn’t specifically address post-dated cheques, treating them like any other cheque for the purpose of validity and dishonor.

United States

  1. State Laws: Laws regarding post-dated cheques can vary by state, but generally, post-dated cheques are legal.
  2. Federal Law: According to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), banks are generally not liable if they cash a post-dated cheque before its date unless the account holder informs the bank about the post-dated cheque.

Points to Note

  1. Notify the Bank: If you don’t want the post-dated cheque to be cashed before the mentioned date, it’s advisable to notify your bank in advance.
  2. Funds Availability: Ensure that adequate funds are available in your account by the date mentioned on the cheque to avoid a “bounced cheque” situation.
  3. Written Agreement: It’s beneficial to have a written agreement between the payer and payee outlining the terms involving the use of post-dated cheques to prevent misunderstandings or potential legal issues.

Conclusion

Post-dated cheques serve as a convenient method to schedule future payments, both for personal and business transactions. However, understanding the legal implications in your jurisdiction is crucial to using them effectively and responsibly.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or financial advice. Always consult with professionals for legal or financial advice.

Understanding the nuances of post-dated cheques can help in better financial planning and can prevent potential legal complications.