Personal Finance

Lost uncashed check

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 28th, 2021 11:52 pm
Tags:
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 17, 2021
72 posts
34 upvotes

Lost uncashed check

Hi.
We made a check to real-estate agent to submit it with the offer to buy a property. Seller did not accept our offer. Realtor returned the check back to us but we lost it.
We contacted a bank requesting to put "stop payment" on the check in case somebody will find it and try to cash it.
Not only bank said, they are not able to do it but they put money (the amount that was on the check) in my bank account on hold and unavailable for me, unless I put down some collateral (property).

I am shocked. Not only bank would not take any steps to protect me, but they make all the steps to protect themselves. Moral of the story is, never tell the bank, if you loose your uncashed check.
123 replies
Deal Fanatic
Apr 5, 2016
5939 posts
4383 upvotes
Calgary/Vancouver
Which bank because that shouldn't be the case. It's easy to put a stop payment on a cheque and there's a fee to do so. Was this a cheque or a draft? But either way should be the same.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
50038 posts
14088 upvotes
ONTARIO
andreagasparova wrote: Hi.
We made a check to real-estate agent to submit it with the offer to buy a property. Seller did not accept our offer. Realtor returned the check back to us but we lost it.
We contacted a bank requesting to put "stop payment" on the check in case somebody will find it and try to cash it.
Not only bank said, they are not able to do it but they put money (the amount that was on the check) in my bank account on hold and unavailable for me, unless I put down some collateral (property).

I am shocked. Not only bank would not take any steps to protect me, but they make all the steps to protect themselves. Moral of the story is, never tell the bank, if you loose your uncashed check.
bomber17 wrote: Which bank because that shouldn't be the case. It's easy to put a stop payment on a cheque and there's a fee to do so. Was this a cheque or a draft? But either way should be the same.
The OP did not lose a cheque. They lost a bank draft.

What he described there is not a cheque, but a bank draft/money order.

They are considered the equivalent of cash. They cannot be stopped or cancelled. The bank is obligated to pay that instrument forever, hence the request for property/collateral. They only ever do it for large amounts. In the case of a house deposit, they will need some reassurance.

To put this into perspective. If the draft is found and gets cashed, the bank is out that money.

Shit happens. But honestly that draft should have been treated like a $50,000 bill (or whatever it was).

However if it was indeed a personal cheque… & the OP isnt just misinterpreting it. However I can’t imagine the bank making that big of an error… its like apples and oranges.
They should be able to put a stop payment on it easily. You could actually put a stop payment on it online easily too. Also intended payee not paid can be returned indefinitely according to the Canadian Payment Association.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 17, 2021
72 posts
34 upvotes
UrbanPoet wrote: The OP did not lose a cheque. They lost a bank draft.

What he described there is not a cheque, but a bank draft/money order.

They are considered the equivalent of cash. They cannot be stopped or cancelled. The bank is obligated to pay that instrument forever, hence the request for property/collateral. They only ever do it for large amounts. In the case of a house deposit, they will need some reassurance.

To put this into perspective. If the draft is found and gets cashed, the bank is out that money.

Shit happens. But honestly that draft should have been treated like a $50,000 bill (or whatever it was).

However if it was indeed a personal cheque… & the OP isnt just misinterpreting it. However I can’t imagine the bank making that big of an error… its like apples and oranges.
They should be able to put a stop payment on it easily. You could actually put a stop payment on it online easily too. Also intended payee not paid can be returned indefinitely according to the Canadian Payment Association.
Aha... so there is a difference. I did not even now that. I have to go to look at it. We went to bank and asked them to make a check to realtor. Maybe they told us, they are going to prepare a draft but to me it was only another word for check.
Thank you for explanation. Why on earth did nobody tell me this in the bank today?
My bad... not only I do not know difference between check and draft but I was careful enough to loose it.
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
13074 posts
8319 upvotes
Markham
UrbanPoet wrote: The OP did not lose a cheque. They lost a bank draft.

What he described there is not a cheque, but a bank draft/money order.

They are considered the equivalent of cash. They cannot be stopped or cancelled. The bank is obligated to pay that instrument forever, hence the request for property/collateral. They only ever do it for large amounts. In the case of a house deposit, they will need some reassurance.

To put this into perspective. If the draft is found and gets cashed, the bank is out that money.

Shit happens. But honestly that draft should have been treated like a $50,000 bill (or whatever it was).

However if it was indeed a personal cheque… & the OP isnt just misinterpreting it. However I can’t imagine the bank making that big of an error… its like apples and oranges.
They should be able to put a stop payment on it easily. You could actually put a stop payment on it online easily too. Also intended payee not paid can be returned indefinitely according to the Canadian Payment Association.
Quick question: if the draft forever lost, would bank will request collateral forever?
Member
May 24, 2019
384 posts
403 upvotes
Toronto
smartie wrote: Quick question: if the draft forever lost, would bank will request collateral forever?
It is up to the branch discretion and it should also be written on the back of the bank draft. I have a couple drafts with me and they clearly state on the back:
Lost, destroyed or stolen payment instrument:
A stop payment direction cannot be implemented against this payment instrument to prevent its negotiation after its purchase.
[...]
The purchaser must establish to the satisfaction of the bank which is paying for, or replacing, the bank draft that the purchaser has the financial ability to reimburse the bank the Refund amount or Replacement value, if the original payment instrument is subsequently negotiated.
So it depends on what the branch will consider satisfactory in your current situation.
They can put a stop payment on the draft (and they did if OP sees the amount on hold in their account), which will prevent the draft from being negotiated in Canada, most of the time (it is still a stolen payment instrument, after all). The problem is mostly, if the bank draft is negotiated abroad, it might take weeks for the bank that issued it to know, and at that point the funds are probably gone already.

Edit: Bank drafts are also considered the same way as "bank accounts", and after 10 years from the date issued, if not negotiated, the bank turns the funds over to the government and you can reclaim them and look for them on the Bank Of Canada Unclaimed Balances website.
Last edited by Andreit on Aug 21st, 2021 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2003
1317 posts
151 upvotes
Always treat bank drafts like cash. Especially if it's a large sum of money, safeguard it with your life!

Which bank did you get the draft?

Here's an excerpt from TD about bank drafts:
Basically, treat bank drafts like cash. These are useful when you need to make a payment with guaranteed funds and commonly used, for example, when paying a legal settlement or making a large purchase for a home or vehicle. Unlike a personal cheque, a bank draft is guaranteed by the financial institution, so the person to whom the bank draft is payable is sure to receive the amount on the draft.

A bank draft can't be cancelled once it has been delivered to the person it's for. If you lose the draft before you have been able to deliver it, you can replace the lost draft if you are the purchaser but you may have to sign an indemnity or provide a surety bond from a licensed insurance company before the draft is replaced.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
50038 posts
14088 upvotes
ONTARIO
andreagasparova wrote: Aha... so there is a difference. I did not even now that. I have to go to look at it. We went to bank and asked them to make a check to realtor. Maybe they told us, they are going to prepare a draft but to me it was only another word for check.
Thank you for explanation. Why on earth did nobody tell me this in the bank today?
My bad... not only I do not know difference between check and draft but I was careful enough to loose it.
There are a lot of scary things out there in the worst case scenario. I mean what happened to you doesn't happen very often... the large majority of people tippy toe and guard those drafts with utmost care. They rarely ever get lost.
Especially when its house deposit size. Literally only less then 1 hand full per year of lost money order/drafts... and we issued thousands of them per year. Sorry to say bud... But even without full disclosure people kinda clue in they gotta treat it like an extremely important document.

However... In my experience of a decade of bank telling... The people who lose it usually seem pretty negligent. Its always somewhere in the house, in the car, at an in-laws house. etc... More like misplaced rather then outright "omg I left it at he coffee shop." or "holy crap it actually fell out of my pocket.".
Few times there are legit cases like the realtor office lost it. Or it gets lost in the mail.
In the few cases where its like yours. Some huge $100k+ draft that requires collateral.... The manager will just say "turn your house and car upside down looking for it. Trace your steps.". And they find it... lol
When they realize it takes a lot of hassle and money... They magically find it. lol

Not to say that's you. Just sharing my general experience on the matter.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
50038 posts
14088 upvotes
ONTARIO
One thing i notice for some real estate transactions (makes sense too for security).

REaltor needs deposit.
Buyer gets a bank draft, then goes directly to the realtor's bank and deposits into their account.
Then buyer sends a picture of the draft + receipt to the realtor so they know verified funds are in the realtors trust account.
Member
May 24, 2019
384 posts
403 upvotes
Toronto
UrbanPoet wrote: One thing i notice for some real estate transactions (makes sense too for security).

REaltor needs deposit.
Buyer gets a bank draft, then goes directly to the realtor's bank and deposits into their account.
Then buyer sends a picture of the draft + receipt to the realtor so they know verified funds are in the realtors trust account.
That is exactly what I do, get a draft at my bank, go directly to the brokerage's bank, deposit it into their account and get a receipt. I definitely didn't wanna leave it in the hands of a realtor.
(Funny story once the HSBC teller printed the receipt with the balance of the trust account showing and chased me down the street to give me another one LOL)
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
26070 posts
10754 upvotes
Socially Distanced
If its a certified cheque/bank draft then the bank is probably correct.
You didn't tell us how much its for but i will guess a large amount.

You need to find it. Whatever it takes, take a day off work and search everywhere, retrace your steps, ask for lost and founds everywhere you have been, see if its been turned over to the police...

Check the couch cushions, turn your car inside out from the cabin to the trunk to glove compartment to inside and under the seats and every nook and cranny you never knew your vehicle(s) have. Check your garbage and recycling, hopefully you still have them, go through every piece of paper and every flyer and every envelope.
If you shredded it go through your shreddings as painful as that is.

Check your entire house and inside every crevice from basement floor to top floor ceiling. Check inside books you have touched since then.
If you have been to other people's homes you will have to repeat the process there.

You need to find that cheque if you want the money back. The 10 year thing mentioned above is correct but sometimes they "lose" it plus you are losing interest/investment gains on it.

All that said investigate further if the bank can somehow recover the funds but if they can't don't blame them.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Addict
May 16, 2017
2371 posts
3090 upvotes
andreagasparova wrote: ...Moral of the story is, never tell the bank, if you loose your uncashed check.
Given that this is most likely a Draft - the moral of the story is absolutely report a draft, certified cheque or money order as lost or stolen immediately!

Since the money has already left the personal account (although apparently returned with a hold) failing to report the loss or theft means that money will not be returned.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 24, 2016
1389 posts
1424 upvotes
ON
I thought the bank prepares and provides you with the draft or certified cheque for an x amount only after taking out that amount from your bank account. So what is all this about the bank putting a hold on the amount? They already took that amount while making the draft so there’s no risk to them.
”If you buy things you don’t need, soon you will have to sell things you need.”
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 17, 2021
72 posts
34 upvotes
Thank you guys for help... I have never felt so bad because it was large amount for me. This was very expensive lesson for me to learn. All that time I was in impression I had a check... not a draft.
Member
May 24, 2019
384 posts
403 upvotes
Toronto
andreagasparova wrote: Thank you guys for help... I have never felt so bad because it was large amount for me. This was very expensive lesson for me to learn. All that time I was in impression I had a check... not a draft.
A cheque is something you will write out of your personal chequebook, it will not take money out of your account until deposited and it usually will not be accepted for real estate transactions.
Now, as other people have suggested, just go through every place you've been that day and think where you could've left it. Home? Car? Friend's house? It is highly unlikely to just drop a draft on the street.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 17, 2021
72 posts
34 upvotes
Holystone wrote: I thought the bank prepares and provides you with the draft or certified cheque for an x amount only after taking out that amount from your bank account. So what is all this about the bank putting a hold on the amount? They already took that amount while making the draft so there’s no risk to them.
I was in the bank today and (thinking I have a check), I asked them to put stop payment on it... they keep saying thy can not do it and keep asking if I want it back in my bank account and I keep saying that nobody cashed it so it should still be in my bank account... after half an hour discussion with 2 people, they said they put money back into my account, and made my sign two papers which I could not understand why I am signing it when all I want is simple stop on check. When I got home, they called me and asked for that collateral.
All that time nobody explained that what I had was not a check.
I am going back now that I understand I did not have a check and will see what we can do.
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
13074 posts
8319 upvotes
Markham
andreagasparova wrote: Thank you guys for help... I have never felt so bad because it was large amount for me. This was very expensive lesson for me to learn. All that time I was in impression I had a check... not a draft.
More likely it's just staying somewhere like your house, car, notebooks. Just search more carefully
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
26070 posts
10754 upvotes
Socially Distanced
andreagasparova wrote: Thank you guys for help... I have never felt so bad because it was large amount for me. This was very expensive lesson for me to learn. All that time I was in impression I had a check... not a draft.
Let us know what happens.

Also as i mentioned keep looking until you find it becasue unless it fell out of your pocket you do have it and will get all the money back once you present it. I once "misplaced" a few hundred dollars back when i was in post secondary, i knew i didn't drop it and that my SOP is to place money in a safe place. I spent hours checking everywhere i thought it would be.
It turns out it was in the under seat pouch on my bicycle, a safe spot, zipped tight, but not my normal storage places. And yes it was me who put it there.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 9, 2012
5792 posts
4931 upvotes
Oakville, ON
andreagasparova wrote: Thank you guys for help... I have never felt so bad because it was large amount for me. This was very expensive lesson for me to learn. All that time I was in impression I had a check... not a draft.
So sorry for piling on, but, please use the correct terminology! “Check” is American English. In Canada and everywhere else in the Commonwealth the correct word is “Cheque”.

That said, as pointed out earlier, retrace every step/place where you were before you lost the draft. Take your time and look thoroughly! Look in, on, and around every place where it may have been placed or where it may have inadvertently fallen.

Top