all 47 comments

[–]TDIMike 106 points107 points  (11 children)

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.

[–]mitchelldanger 17 points18 points  (6 children)

After six months your check will most likely be voided

[–]Econ0mist 12 points13 points  (0 children)

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

[–]sirtophat 2 points3 points  (0 children)

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

[–]TokyoJokeyo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

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.

[–]notathrowaway1769 34 points35 points  (3 children)

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.

[–]TDIMike 17 points18 points  (2 children)

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

[–]Masv2X 16 points17 points  (5 children)

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.

[–]TDIMike 6 points7 points  (0 children)

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

[–]Skootchy 14 points15 points  (1 child)

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?"

[–]ltravelgirl 7 points8 points  (0 children)

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.

[–]BeEasyBrother 6 points7 points  (2 children)

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

[–]HairyHip 0 points1 point  (1 child)

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.

[–]TDIMike 0 points1 point  (0 children)

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.

[–]B_P_G 1 point2 points  (0 children)

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.

[–]ronreadingpa 0 points1 point  (0 children)

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.

[–]srwaggon 0 points1 point  (0 children)

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

[–]FatchRacall 0 points1 point  (0 children)

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!

[–]Gorf_the_Magnificent 0 points1 point  (0 children)

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

[–]ltravelgirl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

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.

[–]Yet_Another_Hero 0 points1 point  (0 children)

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.

[–]RiffFantastic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

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.

[–]HundrEX -1 points0 points  (2 children)

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.

[–]donfart -1 points0 points  (2 children)

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

[–]HairyHip 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Those dates mean nothing. UCC says other wise.

[–]donfart 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you, I did not know that.

[–]MrGiantPotato -1 points0 points  (2 children)

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

[–]MrGiantPotato 0 points1 point  (0 children)

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.