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mblitch said: A lot of people would look at this subjectively and say "well if you didn't cash the check that was your fault", and I would agree; however the simple fact that if a service was rendered and the payment promised has not been transferred, then there is still a debt owed. Does anyone objectively feel that I am off-base?
Nope, you're not in the wrong to ask for payment in my eyes.
I'd even be tempted to deposit the under $100 checks and see what happens.

Well to a certain extent this is Dad being in the wrong after 4 years to try and cash checks well just wow. They paid promptly and to refuse that payment for 4 years and then say well now we want your money when it did not matter for 4 years seems unfair. I might do it in your situation but I kinda think any check that is over 6 months to a year old and not attempted to cash well I think it is Dads mistake and a bit unfair to collect years later when they tried to pay promptly.

lindylady said: Well to a certain extent this is Dad being in the wrong after 4 years to try and cash checks well just wow. They paid promptly and to refuse that payment for 4 years and then say well now we want your money when it did not matter for 4 years seems unfair. I might do it in your situation but I kinda think any check that is over 6 months to a year old and not attempted to cash well I think it is Dads mistake and a bit unfair to collect years later when they tried to pay promptly.

What do you mean unfair to collect a few years later? The people had an interest-free loan, and you think it is fair that they don't ever pay? Are you one of his dads clients with over $10k checks?

Edit: Also, I like the fact that this doctor doesn't seem to care about money that much. A doctor that cares only about money is a bad thing...

Porqin said: jmz668 said: Porqin said: Rebate companies do it all the time. They open new account for each promotion and close it a few months later.Of course they happen to be running a business based on this model, so they'd know all the correct ways to do that.

A regular person with a regular bank account and regular checks, not so much.


Rebate companies are shady as they come. Losing things, saying things were never sent, etc. You can do a lot of shady things and make the appearance of following the law.


You may be right. But lemme ask ya.

Who is shadier, some of the scammers we have right here or the rebate co's?

I have collected hundreds of rebates in my time, and not getting paid is extremely rare. So you may have to call about it once in a while. Not that often all things considered.

something somewhat similar happend to me, was going on vacation last two weeks of month, so I paid the next months rent very early on the 15th, management company lost the check, and billed me the "late fee". eventually they were nice about removing the fee as a courtesy, but it made me realize theres no way I can force them to cash the check (or prove that I dropped it in their mail slot). easy way for a sleazy landlord to collect a bunch of late fees once in a while

Do a billpay out of your bank. Even if the landlord doesn't accept electronic payments, doing it through the bank will enable you to prove it got sent.

OP, a debt is NOT considered paid until it is paid. If the person lost/damaged/sat on, or never received the check, the debt is not magically extingushed and they are entitled to receive a replacement. If you refuse to provide a replacement, they can send you to collections or sue you. Worse in your situation, there have been situations like yours where you can get in trouble with the DA's office for presenting a check on a (now) closed account. You dont want the hassle to explain how the account was open and had funds at the time it was written, but was later closed... You should request they return your old check to you and quickly issue a valid check.



mblitch said: I am, unfortunately on the opposite side. My father is a great doctor, however his financial habits are atrocious.


A lot of people would look at this subjectively and say "well if you didn't cash the check that was your fault", and I would agree; however the simple fact that if a service was rendered and the payment promised has not been transferred, then there is still a debt owed. Does anyone objectively feel that I am off-base?
Mblitch, first I would check the statute of limitations. Any checks for services past the SOL I would chalk up as a loss. You can ask for the money, in hopes some will pay out of moral obligation, but you really cant enforce payment unless you want to be dirty and sell the debt to junk debt buyers/

Any checks still within SOL you should attempt to collect, regardless of amount. There's no reason someone owing $50 should get preferential treatment over someone owing $5000.

It is going to be difficult to strike a balance and seem "nice" between being extremely sorry for the delay while still attempting to collect - perhaps a discount off the original bill for those who willingly submit a new check?

I would not send ANY of the old checks to collections. These people dont need bad credit for your dads bad business habits.

Lastly, as long as he is excellent at medicine, thats whats most important. Now he has someone competent at finance to back him up.

mblitch said: I am, unfortunately on the opposite side. My father is a great doctor, however his financial habits are atrocious. He had a private practice and owned an office building that he rented out individual offices/suites to various people. Often when he was swamped, he would just take a check and place it in his drawer thinking 'I'll just cash these next week when I get a chance." Unfortunately, his patient load never really decreases, and it was always put of. When I was in school I was constantly getting calls from tenants saying a utility person was there to shut off the power/water/whatever because of unpaid bills (fortunately the building was owned outright, so no mortgage issues), until I finally get everyone on auto-debit. A couple of years ago after I finished school I started taking over the finances for him. I had no idea how bad it really was. I've found ten of thousands of dollars of checks written over the years that were simply uncashed. Just one client had over 20,000 with several over 10,000 and checks from the state totalling nearly $20,000 (fortunately that was the easiest to reclaim since by this point it was in the state's unclaimed property division which is easy to get back).

I was, and still sometimes may be, in a bit of a dilemma. I fully understand and accept that it was his responsibility to cash them in a timely manner and this was not done. Some of these checks were piled for months at a time over several years. I've even found notes from the tenants/clients asking that the checks be cashed. I dislike having to go back to these people and saying 'yeah, we messed up, but we still now need these thousands of dollars that was to be paid 4 years ago'.

I have a stack of under $100 checks that I'll probably just write-off and not even bother. I emphatically state that I could not ever reasonably consider any kind of interest or late fees since of course the monies were submitted, just not paid out/transferred. However, after acknowledging that, I have to still accept that a service was rendered at one point and a promise of payment was made. If a check was not cashed, then the money is still owed. the payer has simply been given an interest-free loan the entire time. I am embarrassed to have to do it, but since it is my job now to look after the financial accounts, I have to act in his best interest. I'm having to right now prepare a lawsuit against an old tenant that has at least $12000 outstanding and is ignoring all correspondence (though I know they are indded at the address through current business and property records).

A lot of people would look at this subjectively and say "well if you didn't cash the check that was your fault", and I would agree; however the simple fact that if a service was rendered and the payment promised has not been transferred, then there is still a debt owed. Does anyone objectively feel that I am off-base?


No, no, no, you're not off base. You're not demanding anything as a result of the delay, the people who wrote the checks profited from the delay. Are all of these things still enforceable, though, 4 years may start hitting up against the statutes of limitations. If I had written one of those checks, though, I would pay whether it was enforceable or not.

SUCKISSTAPLES said: Any checks for services past the SOL I would chalk up as a loss.



Any chance for the SOL to be tolled as he didn't realize the checks weren't cashed until very recently?

Ecuadorgr said:
What do you mean unfair to collect a few years later? The people had an interest-free loan, and you think it is fair that they don't ever pay? Are you one of his dads clients with over $10k checks?
Edit: Also, I like the fact that this doctor doesn't seem to care about money that much. A doctor that cares only about money is a bad thing...

Ok you go to the doctor get something done for $3k and pay a check. You personally probably balance your checkbook and are good but the doctor for 4 years does not cash the check. do you spend 4 years with 3k sitting extra in your checking because some doc did not hire a office manager? yes i think 4 years is a bit much as it is docs fault not the patient that tried to pay. doc should not have accepted check if he coyld not cash within a year

A lot of checks we receive from insurance companies are time-limited - usually 6 months. If for some unknown reason the check is not cashed (and we have not chased them for payment if it is a small amount) we have had the issuing company send a letter asking for confirmation the check has not been received/cashed and a replacement is issued. If no letter is forthcoming then the check is re-issued on request. As many have stated the debt is still valid if not paid

I believe most businesses would show the outsnading checks in their reconciliations for 6 months or so and then move it from their bank account to a separate account so that it would not effect the net assets of the business. Now after a period in time that check might well be written-back so essentially the company profits. I've known of 2 cases where a telecom compnay issued a duplicate check for over $35000 in each case and after two years of showing the items in their balance sheets the checks were simply taken as income byt the recipient company.

Essentially this is what most individuals do of course. If they balance their check books they know a check has not been cashed and it is up to them as to when they think they have "won" the payment but don't complain if someone spots it. After all you should know it is still owed....

I know that at my old job, if we were sending a new check in place of a misplaced/lost in the mail/very old check, we'd do a "stop payment" on the original check before sending the new one. I don't know if that would be possible given that your account is closed, but you could call the old bank and ask them what your options are, just to make sure your ass is covered.

I'd say that the debt is still very valid, and you seem like you intended to pay it. Just pay it and thank them for essentially giving you a no-interest loan until this point.

bri719 said: iSeller said: Brings us to an interesting question...lets say I have an old paycheck that has expired. Would calling the old firm result in them being obligated to issue a new one?


that's an interesting one because I've never really seen or heard of an "expired" paycheck. care to clarify on that?

I believe most states have labor laws that cover these kinds of issues. if you say it's lost or stolen most will just do it out of habit because paychecks are lost and have to be voided and reissued all the time. probably also one reason they love direct deposit so much...


Once I forgot to cash a reimbursement check issued by my employer and realized it after it was expired. They gladly wrote me another one.

Corndogg said: bri719 said: however I must admit I wonder how this applies to those rebate checks you get in the mail that say "only valid if cashed or deposited by Dec 31, XXXX". pretty much a scam if you ask me. but IF you wrote something that on your check and signed it and they accepted it as payment, then I believe you'd have no further obligation. otherwise you're still on the hook.

I'm sure you can write a "Not valid after dd/mm/yy" on the check somewhere, just like you would post date it to ensure availability of funds. I haven't every done this on a check but I'm sure the reabate companies are within their rights in doing this. If you did do something like this for a company you did business with (not sure why you would) and they decided not to accept the check then the same thing should apply, you would still be responsible for payment since the transaction was not debited from your account.


"Postdated" checks are usually not honored by banks. (Edit: I meant the postdating provisions of them.) Checks are valid on they day they have been written, irrespective of whether or not they have been postmarked.

nycll said:
A different question, how long will a personal check expire (without not valid after xx/xx/yy)? I vaguely remember a 6-month period, but not sure if it is per bank or by UCC.


There was a King of Queens episode on this very subject. A gift check went uncashed for a long period (I think more than a year) and the bank refused to cash it.

My assumption is that the writers check these facts before filming the episodes.

jmz668 said: "months" is not a long time to hold onto a check before depositing it.
I wouldn't even call a year a very long time.

Closing an account with outstanding checks is pretty silly, really.


Your refusal to cash a check in a timely fashion (I say two weeks) does not obligate me to keep my account open.

katx said: nycll said:
A different question, how long will a personal check expire (without not valid after xx/xx/yy)? I vaguely remember a 6-month period, but not sure if it is per bank or by UCC.


There was a King of Queens episode on this very subject. A gift check went uncashed for a long period (I think more than a year) and the bank refused to cash it.

My assumption is that the writers check these facts before filming the episodes.
According to the helpful link provided by a fw member, UCC says the bank do not have to honor it past 6 months (but is still can choose to honor it and charge the account). In practical case, my bank (Chase) will not honor it.

newlin99 said: you're a bum. you owe them, so pay them. if they cash 2 checks, then sue te bejesus out of them.

I hope your karma gets you


I hope your karma reds you.


Pylos said: You may find the statute of limitations for debt an interesting read. The debt would need to be a bit further along. For instance, I had a cable company that was trying to charge my a frivolus debt that should have been taken off the account (I had paid it in full) over 6 years ago. I simply called them and told them to remove it from their books, according to the statute of limitations, the debt is free and clear.

http://www.bcsalliance.com/y_debt_sol.html


Well, this could be a bit unclear, even wrong.

If you are billed, you have a lot more rights if you do not pay it than if you pay it with an unchashable/uncashed check.

I think SOL applies to unpaid bills but not to bills paid with unchashable/uncahsed checks.

If you do not pay a bill, a prosecutor would not come after you. If you write a check in response to a bill and then, say, stop the payment on the check, you are likely to be prosecuted.

katx said: Your refusal to cash a check in a timely fashion (I say two weeks) does not obligate me to keep my account open.
I imagine the local prosecutor would have something to say about that when the check bounced.

katx said:
There was a King of Queens episode on this very subject. A gift check went uncashed for a long period (I think more than a year) and the bank refused to cash it.

My assumption is that the writers check these facts before filming the episodes.


Because everything on television must be true. Especially sitcoms, since they are fountains of knowledge.

I get my medical advice from Scrubs. How about you?

katx said: There was a King of Queens episode on this very subject. A gift check went uncashed for a long period (I think more than a year) and the bank refused to cash it.

My assumption is that the writers check these facts before filming the episodes.

What about the episode of Seinfeld when Jerry cashed all the checks from years and years from his aunt/grandmother/whatever that were drawn on a closed account and the bank called her down there to cover them?

jmz668 said: katx said: Your refusal to cash a check in a timely fashion (I say two weeks) does not obligate me to keep my account open.
I imagine the local prosecutor would have something to say about that when the check bounced.


Prove it.

Also tell me for how long am I obligated to keep an account open IYO?

madcowdisease said: katx said:
There was a King of Queens episode on this very subject. A gift check went uncashed for a long period (I think more than a year) and the bank refused to cash it.

My assumption is that the writers check these facts before filming the episodes.


Because everything on television must be true. Especially sitcoms, since they are fountains of knowledge.

I get my medical advice from Scrubs. How about you?


"Everything"?

Well, it was right in this case. No?

And can you give an example of when it has not been correct?

(BTW: there are many good legal/medical advices in legal/medical shows. Again I would ask you, do you have examples to the contrary?)

jmz668 said: katx said: There was a King of Queens episode on this very subject. A gift check went uncashed for a long period (I think more than a year) and the bank refused to cash it.

My assumption is that the writers check these facts before filming the episodes.

What about the episode of Seinfeld when Jerry cashed all the checks from years and years from his aunt/grandmother/whatever that were drawn on a closed account and the bank called her down there to cover them?


Good example!

BTW: IIRC the account was not closed but dormant.

Again, good example.....though it did not contradict my claim. According to others in this thread banks do not have to, but can, honor those checks.

dhiru2000 said: what happens to checks if the bank goes bankrupt? do i have to write a new check then?The details would be spelled out in the information you would receive after the FDIC took control (assuming the bank is FDIC insured). In many cases, the new bank to which your account is transferred would either indefinitely continue honoring the old checks, or give a grace period where they will continue to honor the old checks.

WalStMonky said: ElectricSavant said: who is responsible? ...should I make sure that someone cashes my check or should they make sure and cash the check....interesting. This guy HANDED them the check with the application....did he pay? I know what the law says about a transfer, I still find this interesting.

ES


How about enhancing the question by adding in a company invoice marked 'paid in full'. So then if that makes it paid in full, can I then call the bank and stop payment on that check? Obviously it falls under the check fraud laws if I don't have the funds when I strike the check so let's not go there, eh?


That is theft by false pretext. Depending on who charged you and how much it would be a felony if done using the US Mail to either pay or send you the bill. $5000 is going to get you about 14months in Federal detention under the guidelines. State laws may vary on how severe the sentence is.

Legally, this one would be easy for a judge to decide if the merchant brought civil suit: merchant wins. Any prejudice arising from merchant's delay in cashing check would be more than offset by (i) OP's negligence in closing account on which an outstanding check had been written and (ii) simple equity, i.e., merchant provided service and has not been compensated.

Forget about a DA bringing any criminal charges, they wouldn't hold up under the circumstances.

Next ...

katx said: madcowdisease said: katx said:
There was a King of Queens episode on this very subject. A gift check went uncashed for a long period (I think more than a year) and the bank refused to cash it.

My assumption is that the writers check these facts before filming the episodes.


Because everything on television must be true. Especially sitcoms, since they are fountains of knowledge.

I get my medical advice from Scrubs. How about you?


"Everything"?

Well, it was right in this case. No?

And can you give an example of when it has not been correct?

(BTW: there are many good legal/medical advices in legal/medical shows. Again I would ask you, do you have examples to the contrary?)


Yes the Seinfeld episode above. I spent 25 years practicing law in Federal Court before retiring including 8 years on the Federal Public Defender's A Panel and 4 years as bankruptcy counsel for NCUA. Federal Reserve clearing house rules are that anything over 12 months old is "stale paper" may be presented for collection but has no warranty. If the checks were stale there is no obligation to cover them. The bank should not have contacted her if the checks were more than 1 year old. The NY 6 month rule only applies to state regulated banks in New York W/O federal insurance. Use the 1 year rule and you will be correct 90+% of the time. Paychecks have special rules so the employer can control presentation but not the obligation to pay as per the Wage and Hours statute. Employer liability is generally 3-7 years depending on circumstances. It can be longer under criminal prosecution of government contractors who violate Davis Bacon or other statues knowingly.

Nitwit threads like this kept me having to answer more dumb questions than you possibly imagine.

iSeller said: Brings us to an interesting question...lets say I have an old paycheck that has expired. Would calling the old firm result in them being obligated to issue a new one?
Dunno what the law says, but I always honored those requests. I had an employee who did weird things like hiding his paychecks in his socks. Apparently he knew he'd spend the money if it was in his account, so his trick was to not cash checks until he needed the money. He came to me with a 5 year old paycheck that he'd stashed away and forgotten. I checked the records to verify it was legit and had never cleared, then issued him a replacement.

Running a business which had some flaky customers and employees really made me realize how many holes there are in our banking system. Banks will only honor checks that are cashed within 6 months of their date. At least that's their policy. In practice, a bank employee has to notice that the check is stale. If nobody notices and the account has adequate funds, the computers don't care - the check will go through. While reconciling (back when the bank mailed you back the cleared checks), I've run across a checks as old as 2.5 years that the bank cleared.

If that was the extent of it this wouldn't be a problem. But here's the catch: The bank assumes their stale check policy is enforced 100% of the time. When you put a stop payment on a check, they will only stop it for 6-12 months (one bank told me 6, another told me 12). So if you put a stop payment on a check, a year passes, the person tries to cash it, and the bank doesn't notice the stale date, the money still leaves your account. I dunno why they don't put a permanent stop on it. Maybe it would slow down the computers too much if they have to cross-check every account and check number that comes through against a list of millions of checks with stop payments on them?

I had this happen when I reissued a replacement check when an employee said she lost the original. 10 months later, her mom found the original check while she was overseas, and cashed it for her. The bank had a 6-month stale check and stop payment policy, so the stop payment I'd put on it didn't catch it. They didn't catch the check's stale date, so the check cleared. Fortunately the mom was cooperative when I explained the situation and produced records and copies of the cashed replacement check, and sent us back the money. This is why when reissuing checks, it's always better to get the original check back rather than putting a stop payment on it.

Another time a customer (company) paid us with a check that bounced as NSF. After talking with the company and getting their verbal assurance that there were enough funds (this was a $10,000+ check), I deposited it again only to have it bounce as NSF again. I talked with the company about it again, and after a few months they got their finances together to the point where they guaranteed me with 100% certainty in writing that there were enough funds to cover the check. So I deposited it a third time. This time the bank returned it as stale dated. *Sigh*. The company issued us a new check without any problems, and that one finally went through.

Then there was the company I worked at that ceased operations and closed all its bank accounts. At one of the banks, I asked them to make a cashier's check for the remaining funds, minus any closing/cashier's check fees. The teller made a mistake and forgot to deduct the cashier's check fee. But apparently the computers caught it because about 3 months later, I got a notice from the bank that the (closed) account was overdrawn by $5 plus a $35 NSF fee. This was followed every month by another statement repeating the same info. Since I'd only been brought in to wrap things up at the company, I no longer had any connection to the compnay. On top of that the company didn't exist anymore so there was no way to get $5 out of it anyway. The bank stopped bothering me after my third letter to them explaining the situation and that it was their teller's error which caused it.

An interesting follow-up to that was a refund check I got from Verizon made out to the same company. The check ($18 and change) arrived after the accounts were closed and the company shut down. So I had the check (still have it in fact), it was legitimate, but I had no way to cash it. Maybe I should've given it to the above bank to let them work it out.

Anyway, to answer the GP. Lost and stale checks are a fact of life. If it's a legitimate debt, honor it and issue a replacement check. If everyone tried to take advantage of these situations, the business world would quickly grind to a halt.

If a debt is owed it should be paid ethically

Now if the check bounced or an over draft fee was incurred due to a check being deposited late, thats another story. In that case I would support the person who wrote the check as its tough to keep a balance

fwvisitor said: Now if the check bounced or an over draft fee was incurred due to a check being deposited late, thats another story. In that case I would support the person who wrote the check as its tough to keep a balance
It's the account owner's responsibility to have the funds to cover a check in their account. If they have a hard time keeping money in their account is irrelevant. Maybe they should be using a money order instead of a check.

katx said: Prove it.

Also tell me for how long am I obligated to keep an account open IYO?

You'll have to talk to your own local prosecutor, I don't know where you live.

You should keep a checking account open as long as there are outstanding checks and they are not stale, IMO. Certainly longer than the 2 weeks you mentioned.

Here goes my .02:

In this case the debt would still exist. But if let's say it was a few years down the road and the statutes of limitations no longer apply I doubt you would be required by law to pay that debt off. The best they would be able to do is to take you to court on the matter, but considering statues of limitations have expired the judge might not hear it or should not let it go through. However, sometimes a judge might need to see bad faith as well. So if they held on to the check purposely and you can prove it then yes you might not need to pay. If they were able to prove there was some sort of mistake then you would pay. I'm sure this applies if it's within the statutes of limitation, but doubt it does outside of the statutes of limitations.

jmz668 said: katx said: Prove it.

Also tell me for how long am I obligated to keep an account open IYO?

You'll have to talk to your own local prosecutor, I don't know where you live.

You should keep a checking account open as long as there are outstanding checks and they are not stale, IMO. Certainly longer than the 2 weeks you mentioned.


1. Prove it for YOUR locality.

2. So you *seem* to say 6 months (right?), and I say 2 weeks. I have not seen evidence that you can be prosecuted if you close an account 5.5 months after you write a check that has not yet been cashed.

mblitch said: A lot of people would look at this subjectively and say "well if you didn't cash the check that was your fault", and I would agree; however the simple fact that if a service was rendered and the payment promised has not been transferred, then there is still a debt owed. Does anyone objectively feel that I am off-base?

I think you're right.

The debt is still owed but there should be no interest or late fees or anything else that wouldn't apply to a current payment.

I would also think deducting what your bank normally charges you for a stop payment from the replacement would be reasonable.

ajr55555 said: dhiru2000 said: what happens to checks if the bank goes bankrupt? do i have to write a new check then?The details would be spelled out in the information you would receive after the FDIC took control (assuming the bank is FDIC insured). In many cases, the new bank to which your account is transferred would either indefinitely continue honoring the old checks, or give a grace period where they will continue to honor the old checks.
Then what if i paid using bill pay and that money is already gone from my account but sitting with bank. My landlord has habit of not cashing checks regularly. I use bill pay and money gets deducted from account as soon as i write it. Now am i liable that he did not cash those checks written by the bank?

Here's a similar story from my own experience:

A few years ago, I ended up incurring a $12 debt to a co-worker, which I paid by check (mostly since I didn't have any singles on me at the time). Months go by, and I forget about it.

A month or two after writing the check, I decided to close that account, so I stopped using it and let it sit dormant for about three months (to give anything outstanding a chance to clear) and then closed it. I went over my checkbook one last time to check that everything had cleared, but I guess I must have missed that $12 check.

Nine months after writing the check, neither I nor the co-worker are working at the same company. I get an e-mail from her, stating that she tried to cash the check and it bounced. She incurred a DIR fee from her bank. I, of course, did not incur an NSF fee since I no longer had any accounts at that bank. I assumed she expected me to pay her the $12 and reimburse her DIR fee.

Now, at this point, I was inclined to tell her to go ***k off for her stupidity, but instead I send her a polite e-mail explaining what happened, and why it's better to cash checks when you get them. I then offered to send her a replacement check drawn on my new account if she would e-mail me her postal address.

I never heard any answer after that and there the story ends. If she'd sent me her address, I would have replaced the check but don't feel I should be responsible for her DIR fee. I never got to find out who would've won that argument.

Irregardless of whether or not it's considered legally paid, ask yourself whether or not it's right to not pay for a service provided by others. Look into your heart.

mechanic111 said: Irregardless
Say no more, your credibility is shot.



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