Sign up and stay connected to your favorite communities.

sign uplog in
86
Posted byu/[deleted]5 months ago
Other

Sent a $50 donation check to a charity but it looks like it was never received. My bank charges $35 for a stop payment for 6 months - is there a point to doing this?

[deleted]

46 comments
83% Upvoted
What are your thoughts? Log in or Sign uplog insign up
108 points · 5 months ago

just leave it alone. if they find it, they'll cash it. if it was lost or destroyed in transit, it will never surface and you'll never have a problem.

more than likely, it was delivered and is sitting in someone's mail pile. they'll probably find it.

if you want to ensure they get the money, make another donation, online, for the $50.

After six months your check will most likely be voided

This depends on the policies of the bank that the charity uses. Some banks will attempt to cash even old checks.

I've deposited a check that was 1-2 years old

That's a protection for the bank the check is drawn on; it doesn't limit the liability of the person that issued the check if the bank decides to pay it anyway.

[deleted]
-13 points · 5 months ago(1 child)
10 points · 5 months ago

not universally true. some banks won't honor a check, but there is nothing prohibiting them from cashing it past that date (at least in the US)

Why make a second donation? Call the charity first and tell them to get to a bank. They understand perfectly well that undeposited checks can be a nuisance.

20 points · 5 months ago

the post indicates that they may not have the check...if they don't have it, what do you expect them to do?

Comment deleted5 months ago(1 child)

He literally stated in the OP that he contacted them already...

16 points · 5 months ago

Sounds like wells fargo.there is no point. Giving them money for not taking out money is ridicolous, and all they do is put a notice that the check cannot be deposited by any bank. A simple click on a computer and all banks can see it. They just robbing you. Id say dont do it. If the check is truly lost then oh well thats a shame, plus technically the only people that can deposit the check are the charity company , so unless someone goes through a lot to pretend to be part of the organization then they shouldnt be able to cash the check.

all banks charge a fee to stop payment on a check and at every bank that I have encountered, the stop is temporary.

Comment deleted5 months ago(2 children)
-2 points · 5 months ago · edited 5 months ago

Disregard, was wrong.

That might be your bank's policy, but it isn't universal.

Also, $35 for a stop payment is very common

I would just let it go. If you sent it in December, they might wait to cash them. You might want to check their fiscal year because it might not be on the 1st of January.

I worked for a few charities and some of them were in August or September. They usually wait until right before or until they have to to cash them. Half of it is just manipulating how much they raised so far. Basically they hold on to the checks as long as possible so they can say "we only raised X amount" so people keep donating.

Then when they hit their goal, they cash out all the checks and say "we raised X amount more than last year!" And no one is gonna be like "so if you hit your goal, can I get a refund?"

I don't know what kind of charities you worked for, but I've spent my entire career in nonprofit fundraising and this is definitely not best practice. In fact, it's horrible practice and a huge liability. We have always deposited any monies we received right when we got them, and kept careful records of every check that came into our office for reasons such as this. This sounds like an awful and scammy practice.

who is the card really for here? Donate on the internet instead of writing checks, in the future

Internet payments will likely be a credit card. The charity has to pay credit card fees. Send a check. It costs you just $0.75 for he check, stamp, and envelope. It’ll likely cost the charity more.

Fees are typically 3% or less. Is all this hassle worth that on a $50 donation? Just tack 3% onto the donation if that matters to you.

2 points · 5 months ago

I think most checks go stale after six months anyway. I'd just make sure to always have $50 in your account for the next year or so and if it isn't cashed by then, forget about it.

Stop payments often expire after a period of time, such as 6 months. While that may be sufficient, there's a possibility of the check being deposited well afterwards, such a year or two later. In which case, the stop payment, unless renewed, potentially repeatedly, at additional cost (ie. $35 for another 6 months), likely wouldn't be effective.

Doesn't make sense to spend $35 to stop payment on a $50 check. For the next several months to a year, leave an extra $50 buffer in case it's cashed.

In the meantime, if you have already, setup overdraft protection, such as from a savings account and/or line of credit. Check your bank account at least a few times per week and/or setup alerts for low balance, etc.

Finally, some banks allow one to setup a free alert for a particular check number(s) clearing. See if your bank offers that feature.

The bank charges you a $35 fee for stopping payment so that you feel enough pain to find a new bank.

I would close that bank account and move to somewhere else. $35 for a stop payment is absurd. Then you don't have to worry about the stop payment either!

Would you pay $35 to insure a $50 product?

Have you called the charity you sent it to? Might be good to chase it up with them and see if they received it, charities are required to keep careful records of every donation they receive.

Honestly, you are probably best just monitoring your checking account and if you see anything fishy, then you start the dispute process.

Many banks have a 180 day window on stale dated checks, but this is not a hard rule and your check can still be deposited or negotiated after this time frame. Oftentimes the first indicationthat something is wrong is seeing something wrong on your balance or summary statement.

For what it is worth, if your bank offers an online Bill Pay it is probably better to use that. I know that you feel better about writing a card, but in all likelihood the card is opened by a mail clerk or intern, they look for a check or cash, and the cad is then discarded. Bill Pay items are more likely to have a free cancellation option (my bank offers this after 72 hours of scheduled receipt if it has not been deposited), they give you an easy way to keep track of all the money you have given to a particular entity, and you're saving the environment of a card not likely to be appreciated.

Cards are for family, friends and important workplace proximity associates. If you want to tell the local charity how much you value their work, they need cash, coffee and doughnuts. Money via Bill Pay, messages of encouragement are best sent with the breakfast foods.

If you're a good customer, your bank should waive that $35 fee. I've had two checks go missing during the 20 years I've held an account with a major bank. Both times the stop payment fee was waived.

I wouldn’t issues a stop payment. I assume the check is made to the charities name once you see it reflect on your account call and ask to make sure they are the ones that cashed it. If not, call wells fargo and they will get your money back free of charge.

Comment deleted5 months ago(1 child)
-1 points · 5 months ago

Idk why I assumed you had wells fargo but you are covered under federal law if you did not authorize a payment to be made to receive a refund.

Did you call the charity and ask if it was received?

Does this mean in the future you'll write an expiration date on each check?

Those dates mean nothing. UCC says other wise.

Thank you, I did not know that.

Check are only negotiable for 6 monthes unless stated otherwise on the check

Not false buddy, I work at a bank and I see this everyday. If someone does cash it out, you can fight it because the check was no longer negotiable and the bank should not have given the money.

-44 points · 5 months ago(0 children)
-11 points · 5 months ago(0 children)

Charities can take advantage of bulk buying much more than an individual. $50 to a food bank buys a whole lot more food than me walking into a grocery store.

Part of being a good donor is doing due diligence on a charity before donating. You can either do all the leg work yourself or rely on something like Charity Navigator or Give Well.

-6 points · 5 months ago(0 children)

So since people in China don't know that David is a male name, I shouldn't donate to my local food bank?

Did you skip over my whole second part?

-6 points · 5 months ago(0 children)

Neither Charity Navigator or Give Well focus on "reviews" like Yelp, which seems to be what you're insinuating. They both take detailed looks through things like the tax documents that a charity operating in the US must submit that accounts for its spending in order to maintain 501c3 status.

And if you'd like examples/anecdotes, I grew up dirt poor and if it wasn't for a local food bank, I would have gone without food quite often.

I've also had more than a few friends get medical care pre-ACA from Planned Parenthood because they lacked access to any other healthcare.

I adopted my cat from a no kill shelter run by a small local non-profit that shows its books to anyone who asks. They offer free training, supplies, and labor for trap/neuter/release programs in the whole metro area.

Doctors without Borders does amazing work. I have a nurse friend who did work with them.

I've volunteered with Food not Bombs to feed the homeless with donated food. The list goes on.

The Red Cross does good work for disaster relief and even mundane day to day things like blood donations. Go ask a local trauma center if something like Red Cross Blood Drives and ones organized by other charities matter.

The EFF does important work that anyone who uses the Internet should care about.

No one is denying the fact that there are bad charities out there, but you seem to want to paint them all as bad.

Community Details

13.0m

Subscribers

3.6k

Online

Learn about personal finance: budgeting, saving, getting out of debt, building credit, investing, and planning for retirement. Please join our community focused on financial education and helping each other!

Create Post

r/personalfinance Rules

1.
R1. Submission guidelines
2.
R2. Self-promotional advertising or soliciting
3.
R3. Unhelpful or disrespectful
4.
R4. Asking for handouts
5.
R5. Legal discussion
6.
R6. Politicizing
7.
R7. Lawbreaking information
8.
R8. Personal attack or abusive language
9.
R9. Relationship or personal advice discussion
10.
R10. Other bad behavior
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.