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Compliance Companion®
Standard Procedures Manuals (SPM)

Negotiable Instruments Law March 2016

This Manual examines the law of negotiable instruments, particularly Divisions 3 and 4 of the California Commercial Code.  The text of this Manual is 382 pages, plus 53 pages of appendices.  The Manual is divided into four parts.

Part One addresses the check collection process, including the following areas:

  • Basics regarding negotiable instruments as provided in Divisions 3 and 4
  • Issues regarding the drawer’s signature, such as the drawer’s liability, forgeries, remotely created checks and unsigned checks, multiple signatures and agency issues
  • Issues involving the issuance of checks, such as how a check is issued, the parties who are liable on an instrument, negotiation and indorsement, and holder in due course principles
  • Bank collection issues, including presentment and dishonor, collection and return of checks, overdrafts and check kiting, payor bank’s compliance with legal process and stop payment orders, chargebacks, payable-through checks and drafts, “payment in full” checks (accord and satisfaction principles), death or incompetence of a depositor, postdated checks and bulk filing
  • Expedited funds availability, including Regulation CC and California’s funds availability law
  • Stop payments
  • Account agreements and contractual issues
  • Automated overdraft protection guidance

Part Two discusses financial institution instruments and government checks, including:

  • Cashier’s checks, teller checks and certified checks
  • Money orders and traveler’s checks
  • Government checks, such as U.S. Treasury checks and California checks and warrants

Part Three covers substitute checks, electronic items and check conversion, such as:

  • Check truncation and imaging
  • Check 21 rules
  • Electronic items and image exchange
  • Check conversion to ACH entry
  • Remote deposit capture
  • Electronic presentment of checks

Part Four addresses claims and defenses of the parties in the case of forged and altered items, including:

  • Forged or unauthorized drawer’s signatures
  • Forged or missing indorsements
  • Altered checks and other instruments
  • Claims procedures for forged or altered items
  • Financial institution’s liability to third parties



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