Cheque cashed 16 months later - is this allowed?

Discussion in 'Banking, credit cards, etc' started by Manuel, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Manuel

    Manuel Frequent Poster

    Just wondering ....
    I saw a cheque come out of my C/A on my statement in December 2016, even though I wrote the cheque in August 2015.
    I thought a cheque could only be cashed within 6 months?

    Do I have any right to claim it back from my bank? (It wasn't a huge amount ...)

  2. thedaddyman

    thedaddyman Frequent Poster

    Yes, it can be allowed. The practice of a cheque going "stale" after 6 months is banking practice, it is not enshrined in law in any of the relevant Bills of Exchange Acts (although there is case law which states it should not be in circulation beyond a reasonable period, this period has never been defined). It might have been spotted at the counter in days of old but since most customers are now hunted to machines in many branches that check no longer happens.

    If you raise a case with your bank, they might bounce it (for which you'll be charged) and you'll still owe money to whoever lodged it so it may be cheaper to say nothing. However if it's appeared on your statement, it's likely to be too late to unpay it
    Leper, Willy Fogg and Manuel like this.
  3. Palerider

    Palerider Frequent Poster

    Why would you want to claim it back, you owe the payee on the cheque the money.

    Banks stopped any manual check for dates a long time back except for very large amounts, cheques don't have an expiry date however it was common banking practice to reject cheques that were over six months old to protect the person who has written the cheque. This was done in case the payment has been made another way or the cheque has been lost or stolen but with no Bank now checking for dates for small amounts these do slip through easily, I would not make an issue of it, you still owed the money.
    tallpaul and Manuel like this.
  4. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster


    Why would you want to have the right to claim it back from your Bank ?

    ...did you instruct your bank not to pay the cheque at some stage in the past or is there some other good reason (such as the cheque not having been signed by you etc) ?
  5. Kimmagegirl

    Kimmagegirl Frequent Poster

    Back in the day I spent many hours checking cheques. The date, the payee, to see if the amounts differed, the signature, to see if there were any "stops" against the cheque. Then if there were sufficient funds in the account. Then each cheque had to be filed in the customer's file. These would be retrieved at the end of the month and posted out with the customer's statement. Each cheque had to be included in the order as they appeared on the statement.

    There was no way a cheque presented outside of a six month period would be paid. Depending on the customer, when the new year came about and the customer was still using the old year on the cheque date, it would also be returned unpaid.
    Ravima likes this.
  6. Monbretia

    Monbretia Frequent Poster

    Kimmagegirl, I remember that myself, my first job in the bank was filing the cheques! I actually loved that job :)
    Ravima likes this.
  7. Kimmagegirl

    Kimmagegirl Frequent Poster

    I joined after the 1970 six month strike. I had thousands of cheques to file away. Sore fingers and paper cuts were the order of the day. I could recognise every signature from every customer that we had. If there was a variation in the signature I would spot it. The cheque was often cashed in the local pub.
    PaddyW and Ravima like this.
  8. Ravima

    Ravima Frequent Poster

    Montbretia & Kimmagegirl = perhaps you were bankers and not sellers of money! There is a huge difference.
  9. Leper

    Leper Frequent Poster

    Palerider raised a good point above too - you owe the money, so why are you looking for a refund? I am not the best of book-keepers, but I pay everything I owe fairly fast. Several years ago I paid for an extensive car service by cheque and the cheque was not presented for payment until two years later and it was deducted from my account. Unknown to me my bank account was overdrawn, charged interest, and I had an assistant bank manager looking down his nose at me trying to wiggle an explanation from me.

    If the banks had any bit of decency they would enforce the 6 months "rule."
  10. shweeney

    shweeney Frequent Poster

    cheques are a PITA - the sooner they're scrapped the better. If you have a bank account, you can accept an online payment.
  11. elcato

    elcato Moderator

    Really ? Never had my kebab served that way :D
  12. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster

    Ten days since Manuel started this thread and hasn't returned to the thread with any sort of follow up since... one wonders why ? ;)