Is writing "final payment" on a check binding?
I wanted to close an account, but was never successful speaking to anyone in the business department. On advice from friends, I wrote "FINAL PAYMENT- PLEASE CLOSE ACCOUNT" in the memo section of my final payment (no balance was withstanding). 8 months later, they called my husband and said we were delinquent. Is my note legally binding?
No, unfortunately the note is not legally binding, any more than it would be legally binding to write "payment in full" on a check for partial payment and have it settle or discharge the entire debt. Notations put unilaterally by one party in the memo field of a check have no legal effect.
However, you should be able to cite the memo as evidence that you are not in fact late in payment, since the note indicates that you believe that you were done with the account and had no more need to pay. It is therefore evidence that you failed to pay for the following 8 months owing to a dispute over whether payment was in fact due. As such, you should be able to use this note as grounds to challenge any attempt to impose interest or late penalties for not paying; but you will still owe whatever amounts you would normally owe on the account.