How to Replace a Damaged or Lost Cashier’s Check

How to Replace a Damaged or Lost Cashier’s Check
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Like money orders, cashier's checks ensure guaranteed funds to the payee and are an alternative to personal checks and certified checks that offer less assurance. If a cashier's check you purchased gets lost or damaged, getting a replacement check requires dealing with the issuing bank or credit union and can take significant time and work depending on the situation. The teller's check replacement process is easier when you still have the check on hand than if you've had it lost or stolen.

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Can You Replace a Damaged or Misprinted Cashier’s Check?

If you still possess the cashier's check but there's a problem with damage or misprinted information such as the payee's name, you should take it to the financial institution you got it from. Capital One advises you'll want to ask your bank about the process for canceling the check and getting a new one. The bank might simply refund the money to your checking account so you can purchase a new cashier's check to give to the payee.

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How Long Will It Take?

Since you won't need to deal with the documentation that comes with lost cashier's checks, you should get a replacement cashier's check much more quickly. If your bank refunds you immediately, you can purchase the new check right away.

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Can You Replace a Lost Cashier’s Check?

Losing a cashier's check is especially problematic since you normally can't use a stop payment order like with a personal check, explains the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). These checks involve the bank guaranteeing the funds. Therefore, it would have to provide the cash to the payee if the lost check is ever found.

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Cornell Law School says the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) addresses the need for the check's payee or remitter to work with your bank to complete a declaration of loss statement. This document has you both provide information about the lost check under the penalty of perjury and agree to the bank's specific terms. You'd then need to sign a statement or get an indemnity bond guaranteeing the bank the funds in case the original check gets cashed.

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Once you finish these steps and undergo any required waiting period, the issuer can refund the amount of the check to your bank account or issue a replacement cashier's check.

Completing a Declaration of Loss Statement

You'll want to first gather as much information about the lost cashier's check as possible. You can then visit your bank's website or a local branch to get a copy of the declaration of loss statement to complete. Navy Federal Credit Union and Synchrony Bank show that the form asks for information such as:

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  • Basic information about the check remitter and payee
  • The check's serial number, date and amount
  • Whether the check is lost, destroyed or stolen and possibly additional details regarding the problem
  • Instructions on whether you want a new cashier's check issued or the funds deposited to your bank account
  • A signoff with the date, along with your signature, account number and contact details
  • Notarization and/or signature of bank personnel

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You should read the instructions carefully, along with the terms and next steps you're agreeing to. After you complete the form, you may take it to your local branch, or you could submit it via mail or fax if the financial institution allows these options.

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The Indemnity Bond

Some banks have you sign an attestation that you'll be financially responsible to pay them back if the payee cashes the lost check. That would mean paying back the whole amount of the lost check. However, they may instead ask you to purchase an indemnity bond from an insurance company as part of the terms for getting a replacement cashier's check.

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According to Lance Surety Bond Associates, Inc., you'd need to pay a percentage of the check amount for the indemnity bond and then print out some documentation you can show your bank. The OCC cautions you can run into some challenges getting this bond, so you can expect to research multiple providers.

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How Long Will It Take?

The bank's specific policy will determine how long you must wait to get a replacement cashier's check after you fill out the paperwork and meet the indemnity requirements. The OCC mentions you can expect the wait to be anywhere from ‌one to three months‌. In the meantime, your funds would be tied up in the original check you purchased.

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Common Cashier’s Check Questions

Here are answers to some common FAQs about cashier's checks.

Will the Bank Replace a Lost or Damaged Cashier’s Check for Free?

Many declaration of loss statements from major banks don't mention any charge to get a replacement cashier's check. However, you'll want to check with your specific financial institution. If you do need to pay, it's usually the original cashier's check fee.

Is It OK if a Cashier’s Check Is Ripped or Stained?

It depends on how damaged the check is and what policies your bank has. Your bank may still accept it if the issue is minor and doesn't affect reading the check's information or processing it through the equipment. Therefore, you'll need to let your bank determine whether you need a replacement.

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