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Time Limit For Returning Cashier's Checks

Question: We've been getting a lot of activity in our area lately with counterfeit cashier's checks. Is there a time limit for returning cashier's checks? We just got one back that was deposited with us over a month ago.

Answer: If a cashier's check is returned for a valid reason - for instance if it was obtained by fraud - it is under the same time frame that normal, regular checks are returned. But other than the time frame, the handling of the negotiation and return of a cashier's check is different. Even if it is a timely return, if it has been accepted by a third party who is a "holder in due course", there may not be a valid reason for returning the check. Check out your state's UCC under 3-411 to be sure what your rules are in this case. It could be that the drawee bank has no right at all to return the check. Section 3-312 can also apply in these cases.

The counterfeit cashier's checks are becoming a major problem to the banking system in the United States. The latest Nigerian scam involves conning elderly people into depositing them for individuals who then pay them a "fee" for their trouble. And they have become one of the two largest sources of loss for e-bay - the other is credit card fraud.

Copyright © 2003 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 13, No. 2, 4/30

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