Dear Dr. Don,
I misplaced a cashier’s check issued to me when I closed a business account. The bank is willing to eventually replace the check for $35. But if I don’t wait 30 days, they will charge me $400, as well as $35. I have never heard of such high fees. Is this legal? It seems like robbery.
— Lucinda Larceny
It’s common for a bank to require a set period of time to pass before issuing a replacement for a lost cashier’s check. The FAQ section of the website for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the government regulator) says banks may require a waiting period of 30 to 90 days. It also says the bank may require an indemnity bond protecting it from the possibility that both checks are cashed.
The bank is at risk — it guaranteed that the money will be paid when the check is presented for payment.
Frankly, I think the bank is offering you a deal by being willing to replace the check after 30 days with only a $35 replacement fee. As for $400, if you want your money now, you’ll have to pay that price for the convenience.
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