United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 19, 2024

§ 3712.
Time limitations for presenting certain claims of the Government
Claims Over Forged or Unauthorized Endorsements.—
Period for claims.—
If the Secretary of the Treasury determines that a Treasury check has been paid over a forged or unauthorized endorsement, the Secretary may reclaim the amount of such check from the presenting bank or any other endorser that has breached its guarantee of endorsements prior to—
the end of the 1-year period beginning on the date of payment; or
the expiration of the 180-day period beginning on the close of the period described in subparagraph (A) if a timely claim is received under section 3702.
Civil actions.—
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the United States may bring a civil action to enforce the liability of an endorser, transferor, depository, or fiscal agent on a forged or unauthorized signature or endorsement on, or a change in, a check or warrant issued by the Secretary of the Treasury, the United States Postal Service, or any disbursing official or agent not later than 1 year after a check or warrant is presented to the drawee for payment.
If the United States has given an endorser written notice of a claim against the endorser within the time allowed by subparagraph (A), the 1-year period for bringing a civil action on that claim under subparagraph (A) shall be extended by 3 years.
Effect on agency authority.—
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the authority of any agency under subchapter II of chapter 37 of this title.
Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, a civil action may be brought within 2 years after the claim is discovered when an endorser, transferor, depositary, or fiscal agent fraudulently conceals the claim from an officer or employee of the Government entitled to bring the civil action.
The Comptroller General shall credit the appropriate account of the Treasury for the amount of a check or warrant for which a civil action cannot be brought because notice was not given within the time required under subsection (a) of this section if the failure to give notice was not the result of negligence of the Secretary.
The Government waives all claims against a person arising from dual pay from the Government if the dual pay is not reported to the Comptroller General for collection within 6 years from the last date of a period of dual pay.
Treasury Check Offset.—
In general.—
To facilitate collection of amounts owed by presenting banks pursuant to subsection (a) or (b), upon the direction of the Secretary, a Federal reserve bank shall withhold credit from banks presenting Treasury checks for ultimate charge to the account of the United States Treasury. By presenting Treasury checks for payment a presenting bank is deemed to authorize this offset.
Attempt to collect required.—
Prior to directing offset under subsection (a)(1), the Secretary shall first attempt to collect amounts owed in the manner provided by sections 3711 and 3716.
(Pub. L. 97–258, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 971; Pub. L. 100–86, title X, § 1004(a), Aug. 10, 1987, 101 Stat. 659; Pub. L. 104–134, title III, § 31001(d)(4), Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321–362.)
cite as: 31 USC 3712