What is 90 days, really?
January 27, 2013 11:11 PM   Subscribe

Doing a long-delayed errand, depositing a few checks from various and sundry rebates. One has a date of 10/30/12 and a statement on it declaring "Not valid after 90 days". 90 days after 10/30 is.... today, January 28th. If I cash the check when I go to work in the morning, and my bank accepts the check today, then processes it through to the originating bank a day or two later, will I ultimately get hit with a returned-check fee?

For what it's worth, the back of the check includes a disclaimer saying "Check, and all obligations and claims, voided if not cashed before date printed on the reverse side of this check. Failure to cash within said period assigns and transfers proceeds to promotion sponsor or processor, as appropriate."

So... cashing it today (the 90th day after 10/30) would presumably be "within said period", right? Or does "cashing" involve the check clearing through the originating bank as well?

(I'll go to bed now before I turn this into a metaphysical question or start wondering about the exact time of day the rebate check was printed.)
posted by sesquipedalia to Work & Money (9 answers total)
I would just contact the company and say you never received the check and have them issue you a new one.
posted by empath at 11:58 PM on January 27, 2013

it will probably be fine...it's a corporate rebate check, no? i doubt human hands or eyes will ever be laid upon it again...if you want to be sure, google (your state) stale dated check...just because it SAYS a thing doesn't actually mean it's really a thing...it's more likely 'legal tender' for 6-24 months, if not more...
posted by sexyrobot at 12:02 AM on January 28, 2013

This may be a matter of your bank's policies more than the issuer's -- the expiration largely offers them a rationale for removing uncashed checks from their books, but that doesn't mean that they stop payment the day after (especially given the vagaries of the system, even today). Call your bank if you're concerned about a charge.
posted by dhartung at 12:15 AM on January 28, 2013

I have deposited checks after the "expiration" (but within a month or two of it) and had no problems.
posted by anaelith at 2:23 AM on January 28, 2013

Anecdotally, I am the treasurer of an organization. When I took over from the old treasurer, she hadn't made a deposit in months, and handed me a stack of donation checks that were as old as 7 or 8 months. I deposited them all; one was refused, and our credit union just reversed the deposit and sent me a note about it. We weren't charged a fee. When you go to deposit the check, talk to the teller, maybe, and ask about what happens if the check is refused by the issuing bank. It might not be the full $30 bad-check fee or whatever.
posted by not that girl at 5:26 AM on January 28, 2013

Seconding to ask the teller about it at the bank. It will probably be fine. With the new electronic systems deposits are processed immediately, so it won't take a few days to go through.
posted by apricot at 5:30 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've deposited outdated checks in the ATM without a problem. I wouldn't point the problem out to a teller, I'd toss it in the ATM today.

You deposited it within the 90 days.
posted by 26.2 at 11:25 AM on January 28, 2013

There is a very high likelihood it will be electronically processed and nobody will care. You may be hit with a "return deposited item" fee (check the fee schedule on your bank's website) if somebody at your bank or the other person's bank notices.
posted by calistasm at 4:33 PM on January 28, 2013

Thanks all! The teller indeed confirmed that their processing of the check today was what counted.
posted by sesquipedalia at 7:32 PM on January 28, 2013

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