banking

Learn how to handle a lost cashier's check

Don TaylorDear Dr. Don,
I lost a cashier's check issued in my name. I possess a copy of the check issued by the bank. However, the bank refuses to reissue the check. I have even offered to deposit more money than the check is for into their bank, but that was rejected. How do I get them to reissue the check? It has now been more than one year!

Thank you,
-- Doug Dragon

Dear Dr. Don,
I read an article by you about a lost cashier's check. We lost a cashier's check of $45,900, but the bank won't allow us to put a stop payment on it before 90 days have passed. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks,
-- Frank Forgo

Dear Doug,
A bank typically won't reissue a cashier's check within 90 days of issuance of the original check. A bank employee guaranteed acceptance of the original check when issued.

The Universal Commercial Code regarding a "lost, destroyed or stolen cashier's check, teller's check or certified check" covers reissuance of cashier's checks. In truth, it isn't very universal because the code can vary by state. As the payee on the check, you should be able to make a "declaration of loss" and assert a claim that becomes enforceable past the 90-day window after the check was issued. You're well past that window, and your claim should be enforceable after the declaration of loss is made to the bank.

Dear Frank,
A cashier's check is good for funds when a bank employee signs it. That's why people accept cashier's checks. Stop payment is a misnomer since the bank has guaranteed that the check is backed by good funds.

A "declaration of loss" can be filed by the claimant. As either the drawer or payee of the certified check, you have the ability to make this declaration of loss. By doing so, you assert a claim to the amount of a check.

You do have the ability to pursue a claim, and it is enforceable either when the claim is asserted or 90 days after the date of the cashier's check, whichever is later. After you review the code, discuss your claim with the issuing bank.

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