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  #1  
Old 06-16-2009, 04:34 PM
Gangster Octopus Gangster Octopus is offline
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I Just FOund a Nine Year Old Uncashed Check

It is only for $27 from some companyh that gave me money for putting up bnanner ads on a website I once had. I found it in an old book of mine.

is it safe to assume that it is probably more valuable as toilet paper at this time?
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2009, 04:37 PM
Basandre Basandre is offline
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Yep, it's called stale-dated, and the amount of time the check is good for varies by bank (sometimes it's printed on the check) but is generally on the order of 6 or 9 months.
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  #3  
Old 06-16-2009, 06:17 PM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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I once wrote a check and they deposited it a year later, and it did come out of my account. If there's no limit on the check, and the company is still in business, I'd say ask a teller at the bank. If they okay it, why not deposit it? $27 is $27!
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  #4  
Old 06-16-2009, 06:23 PM
Doug Bowe Doug Bowe is offline
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I remember reading that the IRS is sitting on a pile of dormant money that hasn't been paid out as refunds. Some of the uncashed checks date back to the '30's and it's unlikely they'll be cashed now, but they're covered.
Anyway, the story of the dormant checks came out at the time the IRS put end dates on the refund checks. You know, "Cash within......" or the check quits working.
Maybe the same thing is at work here. Is there an end date on the check?
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  #5  
Old 06-16-2009, 06:32 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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You might want to try this, just take a bunch of checks and endorse them all as "for deposit only," and then stick the old one in the middle of the bunch. Then deposit it through the ATM.

The bank may not catch it and put the check through. But BEWARE the check could come back and the bank may charge you. Or some later date the money may be taken back.
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2009, 06:56 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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Your bank may cash the check and give you $27. If the bank cannot get the money from the issuer of the check and it comes back, they will want the $27 back. And they may charge you an additional bad check fee.

So it could end up costing you the $27 you have to pay back plus $35 or whatever your bank's NSF charge is.
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2009, 07:02 PM
Kimmy_Gibbler Kimmy_Gibbler is offline
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Checking accounts are typically governed by a state's enactment of a version of Uniform Commercial Code Article 4. In addition, the bank-accountholder relationship is also governed by the account agreement.

In general, a bank is obligated to an accountholder to pay the checks she has written (or "drawn" in the parlance of our times) on her account:

Quote:
Originally Posted by UCC 4-402
4-402. BANK'S LIABILITY TO CUSTOMER FOR WRONGFUL DISHONOR; TIME OF DETERMINING INSUFFICIENCY OF ACCOUNT.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this Article, a payor bank wrongfully dishonors an item if it dishonors an item that is properly payable, but a bank may dishonor an item that would create an overdraft unless it has agreed to pay the overdraft.

(b) A payor bank is liable to its customer for damages proximately caused by the wrongful dishonor of an item. Liability is limited to actual damages proved and may include damages for an arrest or prosecution of the customer or other consequential damages. Whether any consequential damages are proximately caused by the wrongful dishonor is a question of fact to be determined in each case.

(c) A payor bank's determination of the customer's account balance on which a decision to dishonor for insufficiency of available funds is based may be made at any time between the time the item is received by the payor bank and the time that the payor bank returns the item or gives notice in lieu of return, and no more than one determination need be made. If, at the election of the payor bank, a subsequent balance determination is made for the purpose of reevaluating the bank's decision to dishonor the item, the account balance at that time is determinative of whether a dishonor for insufficiency of available funds is wrongful.
However, and most pertinent to the discussion here, is UCC 4-404:

Quote:
Originally Posted by UCC 4-404
4-404. BANK NOT OBLIGED TO PAY CHECK MORE THAN SIX MONTHS OLD.

A bank is under no obligation to a customer having a checking account to pay a check, other than a certified check, which is presented more than six months after its date, but it may charge its customer's account for a payment made thereafter in good faith.
Once you endorse (or "indorse," again in the parlance of our times) a check, you make certain warranties to subsequent takers of the item,* including the depositary bank and the payor bank. Upon dishonor, if the payor bank elects not to pay the stale check, a series of charge-back will occur until the amount of the check is deducted from your account.

If the company is still around, and you want the money, you could contact them, explain the situation, mail them the old check and ask them to send you a new one. Or you could enjoy your $27 bookmark.


* Don't ask for cites, if you're so damn curious and/or skeptical take Commercial Law and try to stay awake during Payment Systems, the most boring thing in law school ever. And I took Corporate Taxation.
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  #8  
Old 06-16-2009, 07:43 PM
raindog raindog is offline
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In some old mail I found a check for $1000 (give or take) that a bank in Oregon sent me. (I live in Ohio) It was my money, from an old account. The check was approaching 2 years old.

The bank was no longer in business, having been acquired. I called them and they had me send copies (via fax) of my license and SS card.

I expected they'd send me a new check; after all, the issuing bank no longer existed.

After a couple days, they told me to deposit it, which surprised me.

No problem.
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  #9  
Old 06-16-2009, 08:16 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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When checks have been sitting around that long, there are three possibilities:

1) The check itself has expired. It'll have a date on it. So far as I know, you can always request that the check be reissued, but this assumes the company is still operating and wants to cooperate. It's obviously not worth calling your lawyer to collect $27.

2) The check has been turned over to the state. I managed to recover some 5-7 year old checks for a client through WA's unclaimed check procedures. In our state, you can actually look on a web site to see if they're holding any checks for you.

3) The check may still be valid. That client I mentioned had a cashier's check that was 7 years old. It was drawn on a bank that was bought by a bank that was bought by Wells Fargo. When we called Wells Fargo, they said it had to be cashed at a branch, in person and with ID, but that they would still honor it because it was a bank check.
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2009, 08:17 PM
Mrs. Cake Mrs. Cake is offline
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Most states have unclaimed property laws which basically state that if you owe someone money, you owe it to them until it is actually turned over to them or remitted to the state to hold. Many companies don't know about these laws and get into trouble. It works the same whether it is an uncashed check, a gift certificate, or credit for an overpayment you made. If the company still exists, they are obliged to honor the debt. If they have already escheated the funds to the state, they still have to honor the debt and apply to get the money back from the state.

Generally, states that require money be remitted after the debt has been outstanding a certain number of years (three is most common in the states I have worked) have a website you can go to to see if any money is owed to you. They don't publicize it very often, of course. Why encourage people to claim thier money when the state can invest it and enjoy the proceeds?
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  #11  
Old 06-16-2009, 09:51 PM
Serenata67 Serenata67 is offline
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The bank can also put a hold on the check, just in case it's not honored. That way, you don't spend the money, have the check come back, and then have to pay overdraft fees. That's what the bank I work for would do in most cases.
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  #12  
Old 06-16-2009, 10:03 PM
friedo friedo is online now
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I once got a cashier's check for something which I ended up not doing, then forgot about. I found it four years later and redeposited it into my account; the bank honored it without any fuss. But that's a cashier's check, not a regular corporate or personal check.
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  #13  
Old 08-21-2009, 05:03 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Is the firm that wrote you the check still in business?
__________________
"The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."
~~~William Butler Yeats
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  #14  
Old 08-21-2009, 10:49 AM
janeslogin janeslogin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghardester View Post
Your bank may cash the check and give you $27. ... .
This was my experience in a similar situation. I had to ask the teller to take me to a manager to effect the deposit. The check was valid and I got my money.
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  #15  
Old 08-21-2009, 10:56 AM
Mr. Slant Mr.  Slant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. Cake View Post
Most states have unclaimed property laws which basically state that if you owe someone money, you owe it to them until it is actually turned over to them or remitted to the state to hold. Many companies don't know about these laws and get into trouble. It works the same whether it is an uncashed check, a gift certificate, or credit for an overpayment you made. If the company still exists, they are obliged to honor the debt. If they have already escheated the funds to the state, they still have to honor the debt and apply to get the money back from the state.
SNIP
FTR, in one case I received funds from the state's unclaimed funds department 1 year AFTER I deposited the 3-yr-old check from my employer. (It was a medical reimbursement check. I'd filled out the deposit form the day I got the check, but just... misplaced it for 3 years.
It's been 3 years since I got the "unclaimed funds", and I've heard nothing from either the state or my boss about it.
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  #16  
Old 08-21-2009, 01:16 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimmy_Gibbler View Post
...If the company is still around, and you want the money, you could contact them, explain the situation, mail them the old check and ask them to send you a new one....
That's what I'd do. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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