Aging uncleared checks

Rocket J Squirrel
Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
edited 9:46AM in The Water Cooler
I have 5 checks that I printed from Quicken and mailed via USPS that are uncleared.
They date from 12/17/21 to 2/2/22 and range from $100 to $200. Coincidentally, they are all contributions to charities.
At this point, I presume they've all been lost in the mail. How long should I wait for them and what should I do about them?
Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.

Comments

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    You can check with the recipient and see if they received the check. I have found that some charities, especially small ones, let donations pile up for a while before depositing them. I guess most donors don't balance their checkbooks and thus don't notice.

    You can get the bank to stop payment, but they may charge you a fee and the charity may also incur a fee if they try to deposit a stopped check.
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  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Only 12 days on the 2/2/22 check seems a little soon to be doing anything about it.  As suggested by Jim, contact the charities to see if they have gotten them and when they plan on cashing them.  I wouldn't be blaming the USPS yet, they can be slow at times, but they have never lost a piece of my mail.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    This is a fundamental reason I really hate writing checks.  Short of a "stop payment" a check has no expiration date, unlike say a paycheck.  So, if something like this happens you have no idea if that check might popup out of the blue someday.
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  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 14
    I realize that electronic payments are faster, better, and cheaper. I choose to mail paper checks to organizations I believe will abuse my email address if I give it to them. One e-donation can trigger an avalanche of spam.
    All my postal mail that I put (58¢, wow!) stamps on seems to arrive timely. I wonder whether the "postage paid by sender" envelopes that charities provide get thrown into the Lewis DeJoy Commemorative Dumpster.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have a report that shows me uncleared transactions. It makes sense that they would all be paper checks. But the fact that they are literally all contributions makes me suspect someone in my local post office dislikes my chosen recipients. I have other mailed paper checks that have cleared; e.g., check 1819 dated 2/2/22 cleared on 2/15/22.
    I did email the organization with the oldest uncleared check in this list. I got a robo-reply and that is all. I guess my days of mailing checks are coming to an end if I want to stop this annoyance and replace it with the annoyance of spam when I have to give them my email address.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    If these checks still haven't cleared after 6 months, I'd seriously reconsider renewing my membership with these organizations.
  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited February 19
    I know what you mean about mailing paper checks. I have one doctor that I visit on a regular basis that apparently can't receive electronic payments, so when I pay their bill using Fidelity's bill-pay service, Fidelity winds up mailing a paper check instead of doing an EFT. Between the time it takes Fidelity to print & mail the check, the time it takes the USPS to deliver the check, the time it takes the doctor's office to cash the check and the time it takes the banking system to process the cashed check & get that info back to Fidelity, it can take almost a month for that payment to clear (compared to an EFT which typically takes just a few days start to finish). I'm tempted to try writing & mailing the check myself to see how much difference that makes, but I'm not sure it's worth the cost of a stamp and an envelope.

    Is it possible that your bank's bill pay service could make those donations using EFT? That would speed things up & shouldn't expose your email address.
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  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Jon said:
    ... I'm tempted to try writing & mailing the check myself to see how much difference that makes, but I'm not sure it's worth the cost of a stamp and an envelope.
    How about taking your personal checkbook or a blank paper check with you to the doctor's office and write them a check right there on the spot? They'll love you for receiving payment promptly and you even save the cost of a stamp.
    Who knows, they might even accept credit card payments ...

  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    UKR said:

    How about taking your personal checkbook or a blank paper check with you to the doctor's office and write them a check right there on the spot? 

    I wish it was that simple, but first they have to submit to insurance & find out how much they'll pay depending on where I'm at wrt the deductible & out of pocket maximums. Only after the insurance has paid their share do they know how much I owe, and that process apparently takes about 3 weeks to complete.
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  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Jon said:

    I wish it was that simple, but first they have to submit to insurance & find out how much they'll pay depending on where I'm at wrt the deductible & out of pocket maximums. Only after the insurance has paid their share do they know how much I owe, and that process apparently takes about 3 weeks to complete.
    You are lucky that the insurance and billing process only takes 3 weeks. I just got a bill for two office visits in September and October of 2020. The insurance had been settled by November 2020. There was no explanation for the delay in billing.
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  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited February 20
    @Jim_Harman Yikes! My record so far is 9 months to receive a bill. And yes, I was was given no explanation for the delay either, even when I called up the office to verify that the bill was legitimate.

    And the 3 weeks I mentioned was just for the insurance to get resolved. It usually takes another month or so after that for the bill to arrive. 
    Quicken Mac subscription. Quicken user since 1990.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    One e-donation can trigger an avalanche of spam.

    To me this is pick your poison.  I don't know about you, but my checks have my address on them, and that triggers them to use it to send regular mail asking for more donations.

    Then again if you pay by credit card the same thing happens.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    BTW Lately what we are doing is giving to charity through PayPal's Giving Fund.  You can decide not to have the charity any information, and you can pay with any method you use to pay PayPal.
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  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I finally couldn't stand the suspense and phoned the payee of the uncleared 12/17/21 check. I had previously sent them at least 2 messages using their web site with no response. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a call back from them maybe an hour after I left the message. They do have record of my check. But their check-processing firm came down with Covid and they have a massive backlog.
    Another nudge away from checks and toward electronic payments.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I finally couldn't stand the suspense and phoned the payee of the uncleared 12/17/21 check. I had previously sent them at least 2 messages using their web site with no response. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a call back from them maybe an hour after I left the message. They do have record of my check. But their check-processing firm came down with Covid and they have a massive backlog.
    Another nudge away from checks and toward electronic payments.
    Ahhh! "Take two inoculations and call me in the morning!"
    They must not be hurting for your money then ... :smile:

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 17
    But their check-processing firm came down with Covid and they have a massive backlog.
    You got love the fact that your "biller" is using a "check-processing firm" that is small enough that all of it can come down with Covid at the same time!  ;)
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  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Reminds me of movie My Cousin Vinny.   The whole store came down with the flu.
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Finally got the oldest one. A new personal record.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
This discussion has been closed.