Money order frustration
October 9, 2010 1:53 AM   Subscribe

I got a money order for a security deposit on an apartment, but then ended up not staying with them. They gave me back the money order, but im having trouble getting the money back into my own hands..

It actually two money orders, if that makes a difference; one is $50 and the other is $100. I got them from a 7-Eleven, and I still have the receipts. When I got them back I returned to the same 7-Eleven and they told me they can only issue them and cant refund or cash them.
So I went to my bank (Chase) with them, only to have them refer me back to the 7-Eleven.
I then tried a Western Union (since that was the issuing company), and they said call the number on the back of the money orders. I did, it was a very informative recording. Ive forgotten the particulars but it sounds like a pretty ridiculous process involving a $15 fee per money order and a physical notarized letter stating my reasons for needing the refund, which they would mail back in a few weeks..

Ive never dealt with money orders before. Is there a reasonable way for me to get my money back without the high fees and in a timely manner?? I dont care if its cash or a check or a refund to my debit card!

posted by Esefa to Work & Money (8 answers total)
Ask the person who was almost your landlord to cash them for you?
posted by jon1270 at 2:19 AM on October 9, 2010

I think jon's suggestion is dependent on how well you know and trust the almost-landlord. Being a rather paranoid person, I would NOT do this as there's no way I'd know A-L would actually cough it up.

Is there a way to get the money order transferred to someone you DO trust?
posted by Heretical at 4:01 AM on October 9, 2010

Sign the back, deposit them into your bank account via ATM.

IANABanker but, very unlikely that that won't do the trick.
posted by kmennie at 5:22 AM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some good suggestions so far: First I'd try seeing if you could work out a deal with your almost-landlord. Call them up and explain that you're having trouble cashing the money orders that are in their name. Ask if they'll cash them for you (via ATM even) and accompany them to wherever they go to do that. Offer to buy them lunch, maybe. If that doesn't pan out, go the ATM route. Just make sure they have your name and address on them, somewheres, and are filled out completely.

And next time, buy money orders at the supermarket. Their customer service in these situations will be much better than what you get at a 7-11.
posted by carsonb at 8:34 AM on October 9, 2010

Thanks for the suggestions so far!
I was thinking about talking to the A-L about helping, I still might ask.. But they have been pretty helpful thus far even though I ended up stopping the process with them, would rather not push my luck hahaha.
As for signing the back and depositing via ATM - seems like they would have suggested that to me when I was at chase??
posted by Esefa at 1:41 PM on October 9, 2010

I was a temporary worker in Florida in 2003. When I went inside the bank, they wouldn't let me cash or deposit my paychecks, claiming that since I had opened my account in a different "region," it didn't matter that it was the same bank (that has since been eaten by Chase). So I went outside and deposited my paycheck in the ATM. The tellers wouldn't accept my paychecks, but the ATM always did.

If a money order is something that can normally be deposited to a bank account, the ATM should work fine. I'd recommend calling the bank and asking, because if you plan to go this route it wouldn't be fun to find out you had some extra fee due to some obscure fee.
posted by aniola at 4:15 PM on October 9, 2010

If the money order isn't made out to you, the ATM *will* cash it, but then it might get screwed up later. Some kind of rejected transaction.

I believe you can still do this: have the A-L endorse the rear and sign it over to you. I think they just sign it and then write pay to the order of you. Could be wrong.

This is why you do banking somewhere besides 7-11. The post office sells money orders, and I suspect the process is better.
posted by gjc at 5:47 PM on October 9, 2010

To whom it may concern - All has been settled, the money orders were successfully deposited into my account yesterday.

Wow, this has been quite the ordeal! Ive been to 4 different chase branches and talked with several different levels of folks there, went to a few 7-elevens, went to two western union locations, went back to the A-L who wouldnt sign the back..
What finally did it was the last chase branch I went to - They said, "Oh no problem, just cross out who you made it out to, initial it, and put your name instead.".

Why couldnt they tell me that was OK the first time!!???

Lessons learned:
- DONT do anything money related with 7-eleven!
- Talk to several people at a chase bank, apparently they cant hold their employees very long, so most of the people you talk to will be new.
- if at all possible, dont use money orders!
posted by Esefa at 2:24 PM on October 15, 2010

« Older Unpaid invoice. How do I get them to pay without...   |   Watch Out! That's A Rock! CRUNCH. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.