Woman Fights for Check She Says Was Cashed by Someone Else

Janette Curtis told NBC 6 Responds her search for a perfect home has not been easy.

"The whole process of buying a property is stressful," she said.

Her process took a turn for the worse in February when a deal fell through and she requested a refund of her $2,000 deposit.

"I reached out to the realtor and he then, in turn, reached out to the title company and he said they want to know if you want them to send the check by mail or do you want to go to their office to pick it up," she said. "No need for me to go to their office to pick it up, just send it to me by mail."

But Janette says that check never arrived.

"I did become concerned because I'm like, OK, I've never, ever had that problem that something is sent in the mail and I haven't received it," she said.

And to make matters worse, the title company told her the check had been cashed.

"And now I'm really upset," she said.

Janette says she sent the title company an affidavit, explaining she had never received or cashed the check. The title company eventually sent her a copy of the cancelled check they obtained from their bank, showing someone had endorsed it by simply writing: "Pay to the order of Steven Covington".

"My signatures are not on it," she said.

She says she later learned the check had been deposited into a SunTrust account.

"How does this get by?" she said. "Why would anyone pay that?"

NBC 6 Responds sent SunTrust a copy of the cancelled check and asked them to look into Janette's situation. Our team also asked how could a check be valid without a signature from the person to whom it was addressed, but the bank did not answer our questions. SunTrust did investigate further and a few weeks later, told NBC 6 Responds in an email that an official check had been requested for reimbursement to the title company's bank, adding: "We're glad we were able to get a positive resolution."

Good news for Janette, who is eager to continue her search.

"I think I'll just be happy if I just get my money back," she said.

Florida's Office of Financial Regulation told NBC 6 endorsement policies can vary for each financial institution, so there is no universal policy on what's required in a check endorsement.

If you are involved in a dispute with a bank, you can file complaints with both the bank's regulator and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

You can find out who regulates your bank by visiting this website and clicking on "Search Financial Institutions."

To file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, click here

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