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Writing "Payment in Full" on check.

Englewood, FL |

Learned in Business Law 101 if one writes "Payment in Full" on check, it means just that. My husband was recently in a rehab facility to which my insurance and medicare did not pay the entire bill. I sent a payment of 5700 with "payment in full" in the memo section. Check was cashed. Now they are trying to squeeze my for an additional 4000 and cannot explain to my satisfaction. Please advise. Thank you.

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Filed under: Debt
Attorney answers 4


It is a common myth that if someone writes “paid in full” on the memo line of a check, and the check is cashed, then the person cashing it has actually agreed to accept that amount as payment in full and is barred from attempting to collect any further balance due. One cannot unilaterally change terms of a preexisting contract for services.

This is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. This is for education and informational purposes only. It is always recommended that you contact an attorney with any concerns as each individual case is unique.


Florida does not recognize the "Payment in Full" and reasonably so because a number of cases came up where parties wrote this on the check after it was returned to them from the bank. The only way to have this effective is to write on the back of the check a disclaimer that by cashing this check the payee is accepting it as payment in full.

This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case.


I agree with the previous answers and you would have had to put the restrictive endorsement on the back of the check. In many cases a letter explaining what your intent is will be required at the same time to be able to raise the equitable defense of "accord and satisfaction."
Good Luck

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It stands to reason that your question is mired with an issue that most people at some point in life have contemplated. 1. If everyone wrote "paid in full" on the memo line, then people would do this to get out of debt, by simply writing that with the expectation of the person cashing the check thereby forfeiting their right to collect, for services rendered or the remaining balance. 2. Now lets contemplate this issue assuming the creditor could forfeit their right to collect payment, then it stands to reason that one would pay a lessor amount, than is actually owed. 3. Some people believe that by writing cashed under protest on the back of the check also preserves their right to collect, once again another assumption. 4. If there is an agreement in writing, stating the creditor is willing to accept an amount less than what is owed; this new contract would now be enforceable. 5. You can always negotiate what is owed to creditors, however, when you do this have it in writing. 6. I would also suggest you contact an attorney referral service in your area. 7. You never mentioned what the rehab facility was billing you or what they stated you owed. 8. Often times businesses tend to double bill the insurance and client. 9 Get an accounting of what was owed and what was paid, you may realize, that they owe you money. Best of luck.

This response will not create an attorney-client relationship between you and The Law Office of Anthony Munoz, and is not intended to serve as a legal advice in your specific circumstances. This response is a legal opinion based solely on facts represented and you should not rely on this legal opinion as a legal advice. You still need to consult an attorney directly to fully protect your legal rights.

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