Bills and Notes – Ficticious Indorsee – Immaterial Alteration

Thomas and Betty Gallegos asked defendant bank for a loan to purchase an automobile from Schneider Motors. Defendant gave them a cashier’s check for $1,000 payable “To the order of Betty J. and Thomas Gallegos.” To assure itself that the check would be used to purchase the car, the bank, before delivering the check to the payees, had them indorse it “to the order of Schneider Motors,” signed “Betty J. and Thomas Gallegos.” The Gallegoses then went to Schneider Motors, but a partner of that firm refused to accept the check and returned it to Thomas Gallegos. Having taken it upon themselves to indorse the check in the name of Schneider Motors, the Gallegoses cashed the check at plaintiff’s store, plaintiff being unaware that the indorsement was made without the authorization of Schneider Motors. When defendant bank refused to honor the check, plaintiff brought an action and recovered. On appeal, held, affirmed. Since Schneider Motors was a fictitious indorsee under the Negotiable Instruments Law, the check was payable to bearer. Hall v. Bank of Blasdell, (N.Y. 1954) 118 N.E. (2d) 464.