Did you know that a check dated prior to six months or more before presentment is considered “stale-dated?” A drawee bank may or may not pay a stale-dated check. Should the drawee bank pay the check “in good faith” they cannot be held liable. The midnight deadline DOES apply. Under the Uniform Commercial Code: 554.4404 A bank is under no obligation to a customer having a checking account to pay a check, other than a certified check, which is presented more than six months after its date, but it may charge its customer’s account for a payment made thereafter in good faith.
Customers often believe that an item more than six months old is not negotiable. If a customer complains about payment of a stale-dated check, the drawee bank has to make a business decision as to how to handle the item based upon damage to the customer, reputation risk, etc. Important Note! Because a bank has the option of paying or not paying stale-dated checks, if a person presents a stale-dated check drawn on another institution at the teller window for cash, it should notbe accepted as the drawee bank may or may not pay it.