It is distressing to have a check lost in the mail. Who is responsible for this lost check? What should you do if your check is lost in the mail?
If your check was lost in the mail, you should report it to your bank as soon as possible. You can either call your bank, and they will help you fill out a form, or you can fill out an affidavit of loss. This legal document says the check was not received and provides steps for retrieving the check.
Read on to learn more about who is responsible for a check lost in the mail and what you should do about it.
Check Lost in Mail – Who Is Responsible? What to Do?
Do you know who is responsible for a lost check in the mail? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably not. However, that would depend on who sent the check and where. The manner of sending is also important.
Both Sender and Recipient Have Responsibilities
When a check is sent via mail, both sender and recipient are responsible for what happens with it.
The sender’s responsibility varies by state, but typically, they are responsible for any losses while in transit. The recipient may be accountable if they have received an incomplete check without accompanying documentation.
Depends on the Agreement With the Recipient
If there is a lost check in the mail, it is helpful to understand who is responsible for paying the check. The sender may be responsible for paying lost checks, but it will depend on their agreement with the recipient.
Consult With a Local Attorney
SSuppose you are not aware of your rights as a recipient or sender of such a check. You can consult with a local attorney to determine any legal responsibilities that may apply to your situation.
What Should You Do If Your Check Is Lost In Mail?
The person who wrote the check is responsible for a check lost in the mail. Still, it’s up to the check recipient to file a mail fraud complaint with the U.S. Postal Service. The recipient can also submit a claim to the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General if they believe there is a fraud:
1. Contact the Sender
If you lost a check in the mail, contact the sender and tell them that their check has not arrived. Do this as soon as possible to avoid any penalties. You can contact them by phone or email, but if possible, it is best to do this in person because they may need to see your license or identification card.
2. Give It Time To Arrive
Give the check time to arrive. If you’re expecting your check to arrive soon, but have not received it for over a week, then you must contact the company that issued your check.
You can also consider filing a stop payment on your check if you are not confident it will come through. By doing so, you get protection against fraud and identity theft.
3. Check With USPS
If you lost a check in the mail, contact the United States Postal Service and ask the staff what they would do if they found one. They will be able to tell you if they will be able to return it or not. They may even detect the zip code of where the check was mailed from.
Call the Bank
If you have a lost check and don’t know where it was mailed from, it’s best to call your bank and ask them to tell you where the check was mailed from. If they can’t tell you, contact the Postal Service and ask them what they would do if they found it. They may confirm if they either mail it back or not.
Contact the US Postal Service
If your bank cannot tell you where the check was mailed from, contact the United States Postal Service and ask them what they would do with a found check. They will probably tell you if they will mail it back or not. If they can’t tell you, contact your bank and ask about their policy on found checks.
If your bank’s policy is to mail a made check back, then contact the United States Postal Service and ask them what they would do with a found check addressed to another person. You should get an answer from them as to whether or not they would mail it back or not.
Contact Other Banks
If not, then try contacting other banks in your area and ask their policies on found checks addressed to different people than yourself. Then go by whatever information you get from the banks in your area about how the United States Postal Service handles such things as found checks addressed to different people than yourself.
4. Stop the Payment If You Have Sent Out The Check
If you lose a check, contact your bank or credit card company immediately and ask them how much they charge for stopping payment on the check. It is better to know this ahead of time, but if you need to stop payment on a lost check, call the bank right away and ask them what their fee is for stopping payment on a lost check.
5. Ask the Issuer To Stop the Payment If You Are The Recipient
A lost check can create many problems, not just for the person who wrote it but for the person who is the recipient. The situation becomes challenging when the person who wrote the check is not sure if they should stop payment on it or not. If you are the recipient and the check is lost, you should do a few things:
If you wrote the check and it is lost, your responsibility is to stop payment.
- Contact your bank and let them know that you lost your checkbook, at which point they will put a stop payment on the check.
- Contact the other person as soon as possible after discovering you have a lost check.
- You should call or write to let them know about your lost check as soon as possible, so they don’t end up being responsible for paying out of their pocket.
- It’s best if you can get in touch with them before they try to cash it because there may be some confusion if they go ahead with cashing an invalid check.
6. Ask for a New Check
If you lost a check in the mail, don’t worry. You can ask your bank for a new one. They will request your account number, name, and address to verify your identity.
Again, what to do if your check is lost in the mail? Immediately report to your bank, if your check was lost in the mail. They will give you a form to fill out or you can get an affidavit of loss.
What If Someone Else Has Cashed Your Lost Check?
Regularly check your account to see if someone else has cashed it. If someone cashed the check, get in touch with your bank to see if they can locate the check. If they can’t, you’ll have to contact the company that issued the check. Request a new check and ask them to set up a stop payment.
This could happen if the person in charge of the account, maybe your roommate or significant other, has lost or misplaced your check. You can call the bank and ask them to stop payment on the check. You can also contact the person who cashed your check and ask them to return it. If they refuse to do so, you may need to file a police report.
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Conclusion – Check Lost in Mail – Who Is Responsible? What to Do?
Many people believe that the USPS is responsible for losing a mailed check. The USPS states that they are not liable for lost mail but will provide a refund if delivered to them.
When mailing something, it is best to be cautious and send it through other means. Sending it through certified mail or with a signature required is generally the safest way.
When you are sending a check through the USPS, it is wise to send it in a way that requires a signature. This means that if the person on the receiving end does not sign for it, they will not get their hands on it. That is why certified mail or with a signature required is so important when sending large amounts of money.
Most people don’t realize that USPS is not liable for lost mail, nor can they compensate. USPS recommends contacting the sender of the check to see if they may have a copy of it. If that doesn’t work, there are a few steps one should take to try and locate the check:
- Contact the sender to see if they have a copy of it.
- Reach out to your bank and ask them to put a stop payment on the check.
- Contact the payee to see if they can provide a copy of the check.
If you can locate the check, return it to your bank and ask them to re-deposit it for you. Otherwise, you may have to wait for your bank to process the check and attempt to get your money back from the payee.
Contact USPS and ask for a claim application if you don’t get all of your money back from the payee. Complete and submit this form within 60 days of receiving a notice that your check was not delivered or held at a Post Office. You can also mail it in after 60 days.
If you do not receive your full payment within 30 days of filing the claim, you have the right to sue in Small Claims Court. You will need to file suit within two years of being notified that your payment was not delivered or held at a Post Office.