31 CFR 240.13 - Indorsement by payees.
(a) General requirements. Checks shall be indorsed by the named payee or by another on behalf of such named payee as set forth in this part.
(b) Acceptable indorsements.
(1) A check is properly indorsed when:
(i) The check is indorsed by the payee in a form recognized by general principles of law and commercial usage for negotiation, transfer or collection of negotiable instruments.
(ii) The check is indorsed by another on behalf of the named payee, and sufficiently indicates that the indorser has indorsed the check on behalf of the payee pursuant to authority expressly conferred by or under law or other regulation. An example would be: “John Jones by Mary Jones.” This example states the minimum indication acceptable. However, §§ 240.14, 240.15, and 240.17(f) specify the addition of an indication in specified situations of the actual capacity in which the person other than the named payee is indorsing.
(iii) Absent a signature, the check is indorsed “for collection” or “for deposit only to the credit of the within named payee or payees.” The presenting bank shall be deemed to guarantee good title to checks without signatures to all subsequent indorsers and to Treasury.
(iv) The check is indorsed by a financial institution under the payee's authorization.
(2) Indorsement of checks by a duly authorized fiduciary or representative. The individual or institution accepting a check from a person other than the named payee is responsible for determining whether such person is authorized and has the capacity to indorse and negotiate the check. Evidence of the basis for such a determination may be required by Treasury in the event of a dispute.
(3) Indorsement of checks by a financial institution under the payee's authorization. When a check is credited by a financial institution to the payee's account under the payee's authorization, the financial institution may use an indorsement substantially as follows: “Credit to the account of the within-named payee in accordance with the payee's instructions. XYZ [Name of financial institution].” A financial institution using this form of indorsement will be deemed to guarantee to all subsequent indorsers and to the Treasury that it is acting as an attorney-in-fact for the payee, under the payee's authorization, and that this authority is currently in force and has neither lapsed nor been revoked either in fact or by the death or incapacity of the payee.
(4) Indorsement of checks drawn in favor of financial institutions. All checks drawn in favor of a financial institution, for credit to the account of a person designating payment so to be made, must be indorsed in the name of the financial institution as payee in the usual manner. However, no check drawn in favor of a financial institution for credit to the account of a payee may be negotiated by the financial institution after the death of the payee.
(c) Unacceptable indorsements.
(1) A check is not properly indorsed when the check is signed or otherwise is indorsed by a person without the payee's consent or authorization.
(2) Failure to include the signature of the person signing the check as required by paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section will create a rebuttable presumption that the indorsement is a forgery and is unacceptable.
(3) Failure to include sufficient indication of the indorser's authority to act on behalf of the payee as required by paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section will create a rebuttable presumption that the indorsing person is not authorized to indorse a check for the payee.