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How long before a check is stale-dated?

Marlton, NJ |
Filed under: Business

I was recently given a check dated January 2012. Can I still cash it? I don't want to be hit with fees. The check was endorsed over to me.
A notation of "Please present promptly for payment" is indicated on the check. I called the bank and was told the time period is usually six months.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. See your bank about its rules for cashing a double-endorsed check.

    Many banks will insist it be deposited first and then drawn after clearance . Either way, you should present the check quickly so you are within the typical 180-day window before check becomes stale.

    This answer is provided for information purposes only. It should not be relied upon as legal advice which can only be offered to clients in an office consultation setting when all the facts and circumstances can be fully considered and reviewed.


  2. I agree with Attorney Weltman. Check with your bank prior to depositing. You should do this sooner, rather than later.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that this post is not intended to constitute legal advice and is for informational purposes only. This posting in on way creates an attorney client relationship. You should contact an attorney to protect your interests.


  3. Based upon your facts, you face two issues: 1) the stale check, and 2) a double-endorsed check. In the aftermath of 9-11 the creation of the Patriot Act, banks changed their policies in regard to the acceptance of double-endorsed or third party checks. As a result, many banks will no longer permit a customer to cash or deposit a check not made out to them. I agree with Attorney Weltman that you should check with your bank regarding their policies on 1) accepting double-endorsed checks, either for cashing or for depositing, and 2) accepting stale-dated checks. Because the check is not more than 180 days old, you should be permitted to deposit it, though you may not be able to cash it. Likewise, if the bank will accept the double-endorsed (3rd party) check, they may require you to deposit and wait for it to clear before allowing you to withdraw the funds. If possible, you might consider bringing with you the person to whom the check was originally made out, so that both of you can present it for payment/deposit. Either way, you should act quickly.

    I wish you good luck.

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to provide legal advice for your specific situation

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