Cashing Old Checks: Rules, Regulations and Etiquette ~ Get Rich Slowly
Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That’s why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates. Though you want to avoid letting a check go out of date, there are some important considerations for a check that has become outdated.
A teller might not question a post-dated check that is being deposited early. So, Wells Fargo may try to process the check, regardless of the date written on the check. Essentially, I don’t see any point in post-dating a check — it is valid from the moment that I sign it. I called a Wells Fargo branch to inquire about what would happen to the post-dated check if I am the person writing the check. However, I do expect to have those funds by the date written on the check.
Where Can I Cash a Stale-Dated Check?
If you ever come across an old check, the best option might be to contact the issuing bank or the check’s issuer to determine its current status. Be considerate — call or text the payer to let them know your intent. Make sure to also double-check that they haven’t switched financial institutions or opened a new account.
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- You can try and deposit or cash it, but you risk the check being rejected by your bank or possibly returned from the issuing bank.
- A bank may not be liable for a stop payment if you fail to provide enough information to identify the check or if you do implement the stop payment order early enough.
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This means that, in theory, you can cash a money order at any point in time. Although, each state and financial institution can instate rules like considering old money orders to be abandoned property or charging a fee after a certain amount of time. This is because after six months, most banks and credit unions will refuse to cash checks as they consider them “stale” after this period of time has passed.
How long does it take for a check to clear?
Personal checks are typically valid for six months after the date written on the check. But banks might not notice the date, or they might choose to process stale-dated checks for customers. Unless you have a government-issued check or certified check, it’s wise to deposit checks within six stale dated checks months. Doing so prevents confusion at the bank and lets the check writer know that you’re ready to collect your money. A personal or business check that’s older than six months is technically considered stale, but that doesn’t mean it’s void, a bad check or that your bank won’t honor it.
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- The UCC tells banks that they are under no obligation to accept personal or business checks that are older than 180 days (6 months).
- Early action will help you avoid issues that might arise upon the check’s expiration, like banks refusing to honor the payment.
- Banks don’t have to accept checks that are more than six months (180 days) old.
If you discover an old cashier’s check, contact the issuing bank and ask them what they need from you to handle the transaction. A personal check that’s several months old may have been forgotten by the issuer. Practically all checking accounts have zero interest, meaning most people only keep just enough in the account to pay the bills. As a result, when the forgotten check resurfaces without warning, there may not be enough funds in the account to cover it.
What types of checks can ‘go stale’?
But the obligation to pay still exists, so it’s best to deal with payments as soon as possible. Let’s look at what to know about stale-dated checks and what you can do if you’re holding onto one. Santander Bank, for example, charges $15 a check, while at Bank of America, the fee is $12. Plus, the person who wrote the bounced check might be charged a nonsufficient funds fee of up to $35.
It’s always best to contact the issuer before trying to cash a stale or outstanding check. Such a call may be awkward, but it’s better than imposing an overdraft fee on the person or business that wrote it. Ask for a new check if the old one is past six months old.