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Q: Personal Checks and Expiration Dates ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Personal Checks and Expiration Dates
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: yellowdandelion-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 11 Feb 2006 18:01 PST
Expires: 13 Mar 2006 18:01 PST
Question ID: 444675
I wrote a personal check out to a store credit card in mid-October. 
It arrived to them in the appropriate time, and my next bill showed a
payment for the correct amount on the check.  The issue is that the
check has never cleared through my bank.  I'm still waiting for it to
be cashed, but as far as the store credit card is aware, they have
cashed it.  I have contacted neither the bank, or the store credit
card about this matter, because frankly, it was a good sized payment,
and if this ends up working out in my favor, I'm alright with that.

So I guess my question is - how long is this personal check likely to
be 'good' for?  When does it expire?  and what is the likelihood of it
ever coming out of my Bank of America checking account?  Are there any
unseen problems I'm not accounting for?
Subject: Re: Personal Checks and Expiration Dates
Answered By: weisstho-ga on 11 Feb 2006 23:43 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Yellowdandelion!

There is no question that, as a matter of law, you will be responsible
for covering the check if it ever does finally clear Bank of America.

The law on this question is contained in Article 4 of the Uniform
Commercial Code which has been adopted by every state:  "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 6
months after its date, but it may charge its customer's account for a
payment made thereafter in good faith."  Uniform Commercial Code,
Section 4-404.

"Back in the day" there was a 6-month rule but that has been revised,
as you can see from this law.

The best one can hope for these days is that if you spend the money
that was sitting there, without collecting interest, but gathering
dust as the errant check is laying in the dust behind some bank
machinery, and then the check is found, processed, cleared and charged
to your (now insufficiently funded) account - maybe the bank, if
asked, would waive the NSF fee - but they don't have to.

Now, you could stop payment on the check or close the account as a
means of protecting yourself. A stop payment order would be the best
way to protect yourself from NSF charges - but if the dust-covered
check did show up, hit the stop-payment order and bounced back to the
store, you would have to make it good at that time with the store.

There aren't any other problems that I can foresee. These lost check
problems have become pretty rare these days given the technology.

A Stop Payment Order is your protection if it ever does show up. 

Good Luck!


Search Strategy:

UCC - Browse Article 4
"Stale Dated Check"
yellowdandelion-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Thanks for the clarification!

Subject: Re: Personal Checks and Expiration Dates
From: cynthia-ga on 11 Feb 2006 18:12 PST
Sounds to me like your payment came out of someone elses account --by
mistake. When the bank discovers it, you will be charged back no
matter when this occured or is discovered. Another possibility is that
after the check was credited correctly, but before it could get IN the
bank, it got lost, maybe fell behind a desk or something.

I'd just leave it in the bank. If it's not discovered in say 6 months
from the time the check was written, the chances of discovery will go
down dramatically.
Subject: Re: Personal Checks and Expiration Dates
From: daniel2d-ga on 12 Feb 2006 18:55 PST
Even if they do not cash your check, if and when they find they did
not cash your check they can just add back the amount the check was
for to your account.

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