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Oldest Check You Have Deposited?

Monday, January 14, 2013 - 12:59 PM
Personal Finance Columnist Liz Weston answers a reader's question about an old check. Accoring to Weston:
You typically have six months to cash a check. If you miss that time frame, you can ask the issuer for a new check, but it is usually under no obligation to accommodate you.

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This had me wondering if anyone has deposited really old checks? As mentioned by Weston, this can be risky since the bank may hit you with a return-check fee.
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Ken TuminKen Tumin5,441 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 123,675
1. Monday, January 14, 2013 - 3:58 PM
I don't receive many paper checks but they are deposited either that day or the next business day.  I prefer to receive money quickly and to pay it "just in time". 

As far as the question submitted to Liz Weston's column, would imagine the uncashed check would be subject to escheating since it represents a customer overpayment.   Therefore, at some point the funds would be turned over to the state where the business is registered.  With several well-known sites available to help locate missing money and a process for the reader to follow, in time they should be able to recover the funds.

... and ideally not misplace them once again before depositing.  ;)
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pearlbrownpearlbrown1,356 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 5,955
2. Monday, January 14, 2013 - 5:04 PM
I don't know if it counts but I am still holding on to an insurance check for several hundred dollars which they mailed us but them told me not to deposit it because they decided they did not owe for the claim on our former home.  I didn't cash it but stuck it in a drawer for reasons I don't know and it is still there.  I always wonder what would have happened if I had cashed it.  Probably would have had to pay a fee if their check bounced.  I just can't make myself tear it up and it is over six years old!
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paoli2paoli21,140 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 5,083
3. Monday, January 14, 2013 - 6:48 PM
A business most likely has paid for a stop payment if it was a large check. The stop payment  usually has to be renewed every 6 months.

A check older than six months is not payable and the check number alone would kick it out as being out of sequence. 

A company should turn over the funds of an unpaid check to the state after 6 months. It should be recovered from the state that they reside in or check with your state or the state you lived in when the check was issued. Do a google for missingmoney.com. There are 2 sites that do this and I have forgotten the other site. This is free and DO NOT PAY ANYONE TO DO THIS. 
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AllyAlly774 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,257
4. Monday, January 14, 2013 - 7:31 PM
Ken discussed websites helpful in the search for missing/escheated money here.
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pearlbrownpearlbrown1,356 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 5,955
5. Monday, January 14, 2013 - 8:08 PM
Thanks for the helpful info but I think the company must have done a stop payment on it because they never asked me to return it.  Just told me not to cash it so I didn't.  As far as they were concerned, the money did not belong to me so I have never contested them on it.  Why I keep that blasted worthless check is beyond me.  I kept thinking they would ask me to return it but after 6 years I think I would be safe in tearing it up.
1
paoli2paoli21,140 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 5,083
6. Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 6:18 AM
Thanks Ken for positing and to Pearl for pointing this out.  
1
AllyAlly774 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,257
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