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#1
Old 01-11-2003, 10:00 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Bucks County, PA
Posts: 329
how long is a personal check valid for?

Does anybody know the answer to this. I have a personal check written to me by someone and the date on the check is about four months ago.
Can I still deposit it? Is there a time limit?
I'm in the US - PA to be exact.
#2
Old 01-11-2003, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 12,780
Each financial institution sets its own rules about how long it will honor a check written on one of its accounts. Regardless of whether the financial institution will honor that check, the debtor still owes the money to you.
#3
Old 01-11-2003, 10:19 AM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Bangkok/52/Male
Posts: 8,870
Checks that have long since passed the date they were written are called (at least by my bank) "stale-dated". This strikes me as the opposite of "post-dated".

Does a debtor stay in debt in perpetuity for so long as the creditor fails to cash the check? That doesn't seem right.
#4
Old 01-11-2003, 10:23 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Washington dc
Posts: 16,441
I believe a check turns stale after six months. That does not mean you cannot cash it after that date, it just means the payer is not obligated to keeps the funds at your disposal in that account after that date, but if there are funds, the bank will still cash it.
#5
Old 01-11-2003, 10:28 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 12,780
Quote:
Originally posted by Attrayant
Does a debtor stay in debt in perpetuity for so long as the creditor fails to cash the check? That doesn't seem right.
No. Every state has a statute of limitations on how long a debt may be pursued past its default date. Six years is a common term.
#6
Old 01-11-2003, 11:32 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cleveland USA
Posts: 151
True story: About 8 months ago my neighbor had a check clear that was written in 1999. It was to the cable company. Come to find out, the check was found under a file cabinet when the company was re-arranging office furniture. They had meant to send it back to my neighbor but somehow it was misplaced again and processed for payment.
#7
Old 01-11-2003, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Greenbelt, Maryland
Posts: 13,937
Cash the check immediately. You're O.K. if it's less than six months old. We could continue this thread for a while explaining the ins and outs of collecting on old debts, but that's irrelevant to your question.
#8
Old 01-11-2003, 12:05 PM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Raiderville, TX
Posts: 10,665
Uniform Commercial Code, section 4-404:

"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."

So, you're still within the payment time frame. However, you also gotta consider 3-302(a)(2), which says that a check becomes "overdue" 90 days after its date. Being "overdue" doesn't mean it can't be cashed or deposited; it pretty much just means that the rights of the holder to sue on the instrument as a holder in due course are most likely lost. Of course, just because you can't sue on the instrument doesn't mean you can't enforce the debt.

But that takes us pretty far afield. You're overdue, but not stale, so go deposit this check right away.
#9
Old 01-11-2003, 12:06 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 822
UCC 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.
#10
Old 01-11-2003, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 822
argh you beat me to it by a few seconds, Max Torque
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