How to Cancel a Stolen, Lost or Unused Cashier’s Check

Can I Put a Stop Payment Order on a Cashier’s Check?

How to Cancel a Stolen, Lost or Unused Cashier’s Check
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Similar to certified checks and money orders, cashier's checks are popular since they offer assurance to the payee that personal checks can't provide. They're considered the most secure checks as they're backed by money in the actual bank's account. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) explains this extra security makes it hard to issue a stop payment order on these checks. However, you can follow different processes to cancel the check in situations where it's unused, lost or stolen.

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How to Cancel a Stolen Cashier’s Check

If you're a victim of a cashier's check scam or another type of theft, you can follow certain steps to try to recover the funds.

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  • Consider reporting it to law enforcement‌: The OCC recommends filing a police report about check fraud so that you have evidence to back up the claim with your bank.
  • Gather important check information‌: You should find your cashier's check receipt. You'll want to know the account number used to purchase the check, check number, check date, amount of the check and the payee's name and contact details.
  • Fill out documentation with the‌ ‌issuing bank‌: Whether you visit a local branch or check on your bank's website, you'll fill out a declaration of loss form for the cashier's check. According to Synchrony Bank, this asks for information about you, the payee and the check itself, and it has you explain that the check was stolen. Multiple signatures and notarization may be required along with a police report copy. The form should say how long it will take and how you'll get the money back.
  • Obtain an‌ ‌indemnity bond‌ ‌(if needed)‌: The bank doesn't want to risk paying out twice for the check, so it will hold you financially responsible if this happens. You may need to find an insurance company to get an indemnity bond for the exact amount of the check; this involves paying a percentage of the check amount.
  • Wait for the money‌: The OCC says it can be up to ‌90 days‌ before you get a replacement check or refund even if you have an indemnity bond.

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How to Cancel a Lost Cashier’s Check

If the check is lost rather than stolen, you'll go through a very similar process to get a refund or a replacement check. You'll need to:

  • Have your cashier's check receipt and other necessary information handy.
  • Reach out to your bank to explain the issue and complete the declaration of loss form.
  • Obtain an indemnity bond if your bank requires it.
  • Wait for up to ‌90 days‌ to get a replacement cashier's check or refund to your bank account.

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How to Cancel an Unused Cashier’s Check

To get refunded for an unused cashier's check, you should try certain steps.

  • Ensure the check is valid‌: Check for any expiration date on the check. If there's not one, or the date hasn't yet passed, it should be valid to proceed with the issuing bank or credit union. If the check is old enough to be considered abandoned property in your state, Chase advises checking with the state's unclaimed property division to reclaim the funds.
  • Visit the issuing financial institution‌: Capital One mentions that you can go to the issuer you purchased the cashier's check from and ask about a refund. You can present the check and explain you don't need it after all.
  • Get refunded for the check‌: Your bank may have you write a special note on the check to specify it wasn't used for the intended purpose. It could then put the money back in your savings account or checking account.

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Common Questions About Cancelling Cashier’s Checks

Here are answers to common questions about cashier's checks.

How Much Does It Cost to Cancel a Cashier’s Check?

In the case of a lost or stolen cashier's check, your bank might charge a stop payment fee that runs between ‌$20 and $35‌, explains the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). However, Wells Fargo doesn't charge for stop payment requests in these circumstances.

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If your bank charges for a replacement cashier's check, this will add to the cost. For example, Bank of America charges ‌$15‌ unless you're part of their Preferred Rewards program.

Can You Get Your Money Back on a Cashier’s Check?

As long as you follow your bank's procedures, you can usually get your money back for a cashier's check. However, the OCC cautions it can take a few months in the case of a lost or stolen check.

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Can You Change the Name of the Payee on a Cashier’s Check?

You'd likely need to take the cashier's check back to the issuing bank, get a refund and purchase a new cashier's check with the correct information. The payee could also sign the check over to someone else if they wanted. This would require their endorsement and the inclusion of "pay to the order of" with the new payee's name.

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Are Cashier’s Checks Valid After 90 Days?

According to Huntington, the expiration date for a cashier's check can range from a specific deadline set by the bank to an indefinite period while the bank still operates. You should first see if any expiration date is on the check and ask the bank how long the check's good for. The cashier's check can also become unclaimed property after a period such as ‌three years‌, notes the California State Controller.

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