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Can't cash or deposit check from US gov't

charlesburke

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The other day I received the $1,200 economic impact (covid) payment check from the US. But every bank I've gone to here in Okinawa says I can't cash it or deposit it because the check's from abroad.

They'll accept foreign wire transfers, but that's no help in this case.

Anybody else run into this situation?
 

mdchachi

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The other day I received the $1,200 economic impact (covid) payment check from the US. But every bank I've gone to here in Okinawa says I can't cash it or deposit it because the check's from abroad.

They'll accept foreign wire transfers, but that's no help in this case.

Anybody else run into this situation?
I think the easiest solution is to sign the back of it and send it to me. ;)

Seriously though I think most U.S. ex-patriots still have bank accounts in the U.S. If so you should able to use the bank's app to deposit it.
Or you can deposit by mail. Do you have any accounts in the U.S.?
 

nice gaijin

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Yeah most US banks have the ability to take a cellphone photo of the check and deposit it electronically. If you don't have a US bank account it may be a lot more work to get it cashed, or take some help from someone in the states... Japanese banks just don't see very many checks so they don't really know what to do with them.
 

charlesburke

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I think the easiest solution is to sign the back of it and send it to me. ;)

Seriously though I think most U.S. ex-patriots still have bank accounts in the U.S. If so you should able to use the bank's app to deposit it.
Or you can deposit by mail. Do you have any accounts in the U.S.?
Yeah, there's no US bank account, so I may just have to endorse it over to my daughter. What the heck, it'll make a nice Christmas present for her kids. LOL
 

charlesburke

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Yeah most US banks have the ability to take a cellphone photo of the check and deposit it electronically. If you don't have a US bank account it may be a lot more work to get it cashed, or take some help from someone in the states... Japanese banks just don't see very many checks so they don't really know what to do with them.
Banks here seem to have regressed over time. When I came in 1985 I could get checks cleared, no questions asked. Of course, it took 5-7 weeks and cost about 60 bucks in processing fees, but they'd do it. Over the years all the payments I receive have gradually changed to direct wire transfer, and that's way convenient. But for some reason the US gov't did it the old-fashioned way this time. Oh well, I'll just have to get creative, I guess.
 

nice gaijin

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haha liked for all but those insane processing fees. It's your money, it shouldn't cost you to pay yourself.

This is a thing:

 

charlesburke

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haha liked for all but those insane processing fees. It's your money, it shouldn't cost you to pay yourself.

This is a thing:

Sadly, I've got no US bank account, so therefore, no US PayPal account. That's great information to know, though. Thanks much.
So are you in the military?

No - got no military, so no base facilities
 

Buntaro

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Charles,

When you get a chance, open a bank account in the states. This will help you out in these kinds of situations. (I once cashed a US check in Japan, but the cost of the fee was the same as the value of the check!) I can think of a couple of good reasons to open a bank account in the states.
 

mdchachi

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Banks here seem to have regressed over time. When I came in 1985 I could get checks cleared, no questions asked. Of course, it took 5-7 weeks and cost about 60 bucks in processing fees, but they'd do it. Over the years all the payments I receive have gradually changed to direct wire transfer, and that's way convenient. But for some reason the US gov't did it the old-fashioned way this time. Oh well, I'll just have to get creative, I guess.
It's a little late now but you were able to give the govt direct deposit details online to avoid a paper check. But I think it has to be a U.S. account and is supposed to be in your name.

Endorsing it over to your daughter sounds like the easiest way to go at this point. Easy come easy go.
 

tomoni

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Banks here seem to have regressed over time.
I think that is pretty much the case "everywhere" in that "old style banking" and cashing cheques have become a bit of a pain. As another "old Japan hand", I think that rather than regressing Japanese Banks have caught up with other banks in not dealing with anything that is "not worth their time".

In the old traveller check days I had "local branded VISA travelers cheques" rejected at a Canadian bank because the they had not every heard of that bank. Naturally another bank could cash them for me...

Now, in a 400K city, I cannot buy Canadian currency anymore (they used to stock it) because I suspect it is not worth their effort.

Ahhh the good old days. :)

BTW, the best thing about this is that your daughter gets a great Xmas present! Great idea! Merry Christmas!

Cheers
 

charlesburke

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Yeah, it's definitely adapt or get left in the dust. That's part of what keeps an old fart like me still interested in the game. LOL

And you're right my daughter will probably like the present. Now, which daughter shall I choose? Hmmmm...
 

Buntaro

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I would like to add that, if a person has a check, they are in Japan, and they have a bank account in the States, they can simply mail the check to their bank in the States and the bank will deposit it for them. (I guess they would have to endorse the check.)
 

charlesburke

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Unfortunately, I don't have a US bank account. So I thought maybe I should get one.

Spoke with my daughter, who talked at length with her own bank, Wells Fargo, and found out that they won't accept a check endorsed over to her. But they suggested I apply online for a new account. Sounds like a good idea, right?

I visited Wells Fargo and several other online US-based bank websites to sign up for a new account. I was able to fill out a form up to the point where they wanted an address. There it stalled. Either their form would not accept a non-US zip code or it only had a drop-down menu of US states to choose from, with no space to type in any other state or prefecture name. Also, no space to type in country. Result - unable to submit application.

On this topic, there seems to be a lot more opinion than fact going around, even within the banks themselves. So I'm going back to the drawing board. Will visit a bunch more online banks and see if I can slip through the filters at any of them.

If that doesn't work, I'll start personally calling bank support numbers and try the "your call is important, so please wait for a hour" routine

This is starting to seem like a lot of work for such a small slice of "free" money.

So if none of the above ends up working ... well ... fuggit.
 

mdchachi

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Unfortunately, I don't have a US bank account. So I thought maybe I should get one.

Spoke with my daughter, who talked at length with her own bank, Wells Fargo, and found out that they won't accept a check endorsed over to her. But they suggested I apply online for a new account. Sounds like a good idea, right?

I visited Wells Fargo and several other online US-based bank websites to sign up for a new account. I was able to fill out a form up to the point where they wanted an address. There it stalled. Either their form would not accept a non-US zip code or it only had a drop-down menu of US states to choose from, with no space to type in any other state or prefecture name. Also, no space to type in country. Result - unable to submit application.

On this topic, there seems to be a lot more opinion than fact going around, even within the banks themselves. So I'm going back to the drawing board. Will visit a bunch more online banks and see if I can slip through the filters at any of them.

If that doesn't work, I'll start personally calling bank support numbers and try the "your call is important, so please wait for a hour" routine

This is starting to seem like a lot of work for such a small slice of "free" money.

So if none of the above ends up working ... well ... fuggit.
Can you just use one of your kids' addresses just as a mail drop? I don't think there's a requirement that you reside at the address you give.

Think of all the people living the motorhome lifestyle without a permanent residence besides their mobile one. Though I guess most of those people establish a permanent mail drop such as a PO Box or relative's address.
 

musicisgood

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Can you just use one of your kids' addresses just as a mail drop? I don't think there's a requirement that you reside at the address you give.

Think of all the people living the motorhome lifestyle without a permanent residence besides their mobile one. Though I guess most of those people establish a permanent mail drop such as a PO Box or relative's address.
I'm in that position too. One must be present with their kids to have a joint account. I know this since I went through this 4 years ago. Yes, you use your daughters address and just tell them that you live with them and be quiet about it, or just tell them also that you are homeless and living on their front porch.
Either way, I too dealt with Wells Fargo. I got to open the joint account there. Not easy, but I was in the states with my daughter visiting her at the time.

Seems like you are stuck with a piece of paper.

I didn't even get a check in the mail, so I don't know what happened. If you are xmilitary there, see if they have a support group that you can tell them your story.
 

johnnyG

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I think it's the US embassy website, or dept of state, that gives the name/address of credit union that's commonly used by state dept employees (who often hit the same wall that other expats do).
 

musicisgood

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I know when I applied for SS , the Tokyo Embassy did all the paper work for me. I wrote to them about the stimulus money, but they never got back in touch we me. So I guess I may not be seeing any money. Its tough living overseas. :(
 

charlesburke

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Can you just use one of your kids' addresses just as a mail drop? I don't think there's a requirement that you reside at the address you give.

Think of all the people living the motorhome lifestyle without a permanent residence besides their mobile one. Though I guess most of those people establish a permanent mail drop such as a PO Box or relative's address.
Hmmm ... didn't think of that. Thanks -- I'll check to see if it's doable.
 

charlesburke

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I'm in that position too. One must be present with their kids to have a joint account. I know this since I went through this 4 years ago. Yes, you use your daughters address and just tell them that you live with them and be quiet about it, or just tell them also that you are homeless and living on their front porch.
Either way, I too dealt with Wells Fargo. I got to open the joint account there. Not easy, but I was in the states with my daughter visiting her at the time.

Seems like you are stuck with a piece of paper.

I didn't even get a check in the mail, so I don't know what happened. If you are xmilitary there, see if they have a support group that you can tell them your story.
So many variables LOL -- ex military isn't one of them, though. Vietnam war era, they sent me a little note saying I was unfit to serve my country. Something about a damaged right eye and an inguinal hernia. Turned out that wasn't all bad. Several of my friends from high school never came back.

Anyway, if it comes down to flying to the US to open an account to deposit a $1200 check, it seems like a fairly low ROI. At that point I think I'll just scrap the whole project. LOL
 

charlesburke

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I know when I applied for SS , the Tokyo Embassy did all the paper work for me. I wrote to them about the stimulus money, but they never got back in touch we me. So I guess I may not be seeing any money. Its tough living overseas. :(
Might be worth giving 'em a followup call. Depends on how long their support call waiting queues are.
 

Vincent3

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I searched online banking and found this:

I don't know if you need to appear in person to open an account, or whether you can send proof of identity electronically or through the mail.
 

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