When a check is lost or stolen, someone else may cash it. There are two different situations when this may happen to you. You may have your checkbook stolen, and you will need to deal directly with your bank to resolve the issue. If a check that was issued to you by someone else is stolen, you will need to contact the person who sent you a check in order to resolve the issue. Either situation may take some time to resolve.
Contact your bank to report that the check cashed was forged or stolen. Most banks put a limit of 30 days from the banking statement where the first stolen check shows up as to when they will be held financially responsible. If you realize that a checkbook is missing you need to report it immediately.
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File a police report stating that the check was stolen or forged. Keep a file of the police report in case your identity is stolen in the future.
Fill out the required paperwork at your local branch and close the account. You can open a new account at the same bank, but this will prevent the thief from accessing your information again. You may need to close all of your accounts at the bank and open new ones so that they cannot access any of your current financial information. You will need to list any transactions you have authorized within the last few days so your bank can let those transactions clear.
Change the direct deposit and automatic payment information for any payments or deposits you may have set up. Provide your bank a list of these payments as well, so they can watch for them as they come in.
Wait for the bank to decide if they will be responsible for the cashed check. If the bank considers that they followed all procedures to verify the check was accurate and you missed reporting the stolen checks in a timely manner, you may be held responsible for the charges. If they take responsibility, they will refund the money to your account.
Check your credit report several times over the next two or three years. Make sure that no new accounts have been opened under your name. If they have, you will need to contact the banks immediately to let them know your identity has been stolen.
Stolen Check Issued to You
Inform the person who issued you the check that it has been lost or stolen. The company will check the bank records to see if it has already been cashed. If it has not, they will be able to issue you a new check and put a stop payment on the current check. Depending on your company's policy, you may be charged a fee for the stop payment.
Ask the person if you need to file a police report to verify that you did not cash the check. Generally, the person who issued the check needs to file the report, but they may ask you to do it as well.
Cash your new check as soon as you receive it. If the person decides not to issue you a new check, you may need to take legal action. The decision the bank makes may determine whether or not you will be issued a new check.