Wrongful Dishonor – Definition

Cite this article as:"Wrongful Dishonor – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated August 2, 2019, last accessed October 25, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/wrongful-dishonor-definition/.

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Wrongful Dishonor Definition

Wrongful dishonor occurs when a bank fails to honor a valid instrument endorsed and presented to it for payment. Examples of valid negotiable instruments are checks and drafts, if a payee tenders such a valid instrument to a bank for payment and the bank refuses to honor the instrument, a wrongful dishonor has occurred. There is statutory period stipulated for a valid negotiable instrument to honored according to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), failure to honor it is regarded as wrongful dishonor.

A Little More on What is Wrongful Dishonor

As stated in the Uniform Commercial Code, refusal to make payment for a negotiable instrument tendered by a customer to a bank i wrongful dishonor.  It there is sufficient funds in an account to cover for the payment of a valid negotiable instrument and the bank fails to comply, it is wrongful dishonor. As stated in Article 4, Section 402 of UCC, if the valid negotiable instrument is endorsed by the customer who issued it and the customer has enough money in the account but the bank fais to make payment, it is wrongful dishonor. In some cases, if honoring a valid negotiable instrument would cause an overdraft in the customer’s account. The bank might dishonor the instrument unless the customer agreed to overdrafts.

Dishonor for Insufficient Funds

There are many situations that can cause a bank to commit wrongful dishonor. If the funds in the customer account is not sufficient to cover the negotiable instrument tendered, the bank decided to dishonor the instrument. In some cases, the customer can make more payment into the account, then a bank may decide to reevaluate the dishonor that occurred earlier. When such a revaluation occurs, the balance in the customer’s account that the later time should be used for the reevaluation.

Bank Liability for Wrongful Dishonor

The bank that commits wrongful dishonor is liable for any damage that happens to the customer’s account. There are varying degrees of damages that a customer might face as a result of wrongful dishonor. If actual damages or consequential damages result from a wrongful dishonor, the customer can be arrested, sued and prosecuted in court for wrongful dishonor. The payor bank however answers for all of the damages, including actual and consequential damages. Once the customer is prosecuted, the court determines the extent of the damages.

Examples of Wrongful Dishonor

Wrongful dishonor is not a myth, it happens in real life situations. There are common cases where banks wrongfully dishonor a valid negotiable instrument, they fail to make payment for an endorsed and valid instrument such as check and draft that recipients present to them. A common example of wrongful dishonor was the case of Loucks and the Albuquerque National Bank, the case was later dragged to top the court.

References for “Wrongful Dishonor

https://www.investopedia.com › Personal Finance › Banking

www.businessdictionary.com/definition/wrongful-dishonor.html

https://definitions.uslegal.com/w/wrongful-dishonor/

Academic Research

Wrongful Dishonor: UCC Section 4-402 and the Trader Rule, Davenport, W. B. (1981). Wrongful Dishonor: UCC Section 4-402 and the Trader Rule. NYUL Rev., 56, 1117.

Damages and Proof in Cases of Wrongful Dishonor: The Unsettled Issues Under UCC Section 4-402, Dow, S. B. (1985). Damages and Proof in Cases of Wrongful Dishonor: The Unsettled Issues Under UCC Section 4-402. Wash. ULQ, 63, 237.

Bank Liability for Wrongful Dishonor: UCC Section 4-402-Is Revision Needed, Daniels, W. L. (1974). Bank Liability for Wrongful Dishonor: UCC Section 4-402-Is Revision Needed. Ind. L. Rev., 8, 802.

Wrongful Dishonor under the UCC: A Trip through the Maze of 4-402, Leibson, D. J. (1974). Wrongful Dishonor under the UCC: A Trip through the Maze of 4-402. Akron L. Rev., 8, 317.

Drawee Bank’s Liability for Wrongful Dishonor: A Proposed Checkholder Cause of Action, Sabbath, M. D. (1983). Drawee Bank’s Liability for Wrongful Dishonor: A Proposed Checkholder Cause of Action. . John’s L. Rev., 58, 318.

Liability of a Bank to the Maker of a Check for the Wrongful Dishonor Thereof, Huffcut, E. W. (1902). Liability of a Bank to the Maker of a Check for the Wrongful Dishonor Thereof. Colum. L. Rev., 2, 193.

Punitive Damages for Wrongful Dishonor of a Check, Parkins Jr, J. A. (1971). Punitive Damages for Wrongful Dishonor of a Check. Wash. & Lee L. Rev., 28, 357.

Wrongful Dishonor of a Check: Payor Bank’s Liability Under Section 4-402, Worboys, C. E. (1969). Wrongful Dishonor of a Check: Payor Bank’s Liability Under Section 4-402. BC Indus. & Com. L. Rev., 11, 116.

Unfair Credit Reporting and Wrongful Dishonor–Two Wrongs Made from the Same Right, Leary Jr, F., & Hudson, R. S. (1985). Unfair Credit Reporting and Wrongful Dishonor–Two Wrongs Made from the Same Right. Del. J. Corp. L., 10, 1.

Action by Depositor for Wrongful Dishonor of Check, McLemore, C. (1914). Action by Depositor for Wrongful Dishonor of Check. Cent. LJ, 78, 97.

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