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Q&A: What Should We Do with Old, Uncleared Checks?

Clean up the books the right way.

Last Reviewed: October 1, 2019
Q&A: What Should We Do with Old, Uncleared Checks?
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Two checks written by my church in 2015 have not been cashed and are assumed lost. Since I can't track down the payees, I want to remove these checks from our records so they no longer show up as uncleared. Any suggestions for how best to do this?

If the payees do not cash them, you must turn the check amounts over to the state as "unclaimed property" after the passage of a certain amount of time. If you don't, you will be guilty of breaking "escheatment" rules.

These rules vary from state to state. Here is a website that provides the rules in all 50 states: bizfilings.com/toolkit/sbg/finance/basic-accounting/unclaimed-property.

Frank Sommerville is an attorney and shareholder in the law firm of Weycer, Kaplan, Pulaski & Zuber, P. C. in Houston and Dallas, Texas, and an Editorial Advisor for Church Law & Tax.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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Posted:
  • April 19, 2017
  • Last Reviewed: October 1, 2019

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