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Any Kind vs Talcott

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Any Kind Checks Cashed, Inc. v Talcott

In this case, it was ruled that Any Kind should have approached the $10,000 check with additional caution, if it wanted to preserve its holder-in-due-course status (Twomey & Jennings, 2009). According to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Section 3-106(d), a party is a holder in due course when: (1) the instrument when issued or negotiated to the holder does not bear such apparent evidence of forgery or alteration or is not otherwise so irregular or incomplete as to call into question its authenticity; and

(2) the holder took the instrument (i) for value, (ii) in good faith, (iii) without notice that the instrument is overdue or has been dishonored or that there is an uncured default with respect to payment of another instrument issued as part of the same series, (iv) without notice that the instrument contains an unauthorized signature or has been altered, (v) without notice of any claim to the instrument described in Section 3-306, and (vi) without notice that any party has a defense or claim in recoupment described in Section 3-305(a). (Legal Information Institute, n.d.)

Based on this definition, it would seem that Any Kind Check Cashing is holder-in-due-course in this case. However, the UCC Article 2 defines "good faith" as, "honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing" (Legal Information Institute, n.d.). According to the information presented in the case, Michael did not contact Talcott to verify the validity of the document. Was it reasonable for Michael to cash a $10,000 check without first contacting the maker? In Florida, check-cashing businesses are regulated by Title XXXIII, Chapter 560. In 2000, the Chapter 560.102, states that this statue is an "opportunity for the management of money transmitting businesses to exercise its business judgment within the framework of the code" (Florida Statute 560.102, 2000). Is it good business judgment to cash a $10,000 check based solely on a Fed Ex envelope? Probably not. A check in that amount should have been a tremendous red flag for Michael. Although check-cashing businesses, "cash more than $80 billion worth of checks annually. Some 80 to 90 percent of these are payroll checks with an average size of $500 to $600. The remainder are largely government benefits, income-tax refund, and personal checks" (Gottlieb, 2006). A check in the amount of $10,000 is very likely to be a rare occurrence at this Any Kind branch, and it should have raised suspicion. Check cashing services are provided primarily to lower- and middle-income working individuals, since these companies do not require that a customer have an account to cash a check. Check-cashing businesses also give customers immediate access to their funds for a fee, since waiting a week or more for a check to clear the banking system is not an option for many check-cashing customers, as these individuals are living day-to-day with regard to finances. (Gottlieb, 2006). With this information, we see that Guarino is not a typical customer. He is a businessperson, presumably with identification or a business card that identifies him as such. It should have raised a bit of concern that he needed immediate access to these funds and was even willing to lose $500 in the process. Since Guarino did not cash or deposit the check at a bank, there was no time for the check to clear. Banks allow themselves that window in case the check payment is stopped or some other issue arises. By Any Kind immediately handing over the funds to Guarino, that window of time was lost, and the situation surrounding the check should have been examined more carefully. I agree with the court's decision that Any Kind was not a holder-in-due-course. Any Kind lost their holder-in-due-course status when the check was cashed without using any precautionary measures such as calling Talcott or his bank to ensure the validity of the check.

References

Florida Statute 560.102 (2000) Purpose, application of Title XXXIII Regulation of Trade, Commercial Investments and Solicitation; Chapter 560, Money Transmitters' Code. Retrieved on February 14, 2014 from: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0560/SEC102.HTM&Title=-%3E2000-%3ECh0560-%3ESection%20102#0560.102 Gottlieb, M.S. (2006). Check Cashing: An Industry Study. Retrieved on February 14, 2014 from: www.msgcpa.com/files/Check%20Cashing.pdf

Legal Information Institute (n.d.) Uniform Commercial Code. Retrieved on February 14, 2014 from: http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/3/3-302

Twomey, D.P. & Jennings, M.M. (2009) Business Law: Principles for Today's Commercial Environment. pp 670-671. Cenage Learning.…...

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