Unclaimed Asset Search:
Replace Lost or Destroyed Checks

Obtain Payment for Stale-Dated and Uncashed Checks

Uncashed Checks Bank Accounts CDs Safe Deposit Boxes IRAs Credit Union Accounts

Replace a lost or uncashed check

► Uncashed checks   Checks often go uncashed after they are lost or destroyed, returned by the post office as undeliverable, or because the payee simply forgets to present them for payment.

Failure to cash or deposit a check does not terminate your right to the funds and the issuer's responsibility to pay. This is generally true even if a check specifies a 'void-after' date. Checks that are not negotiated over an extended period are considered dormant, and thereafter come under the purview of government consumer protection statutes.

If you never received a check you can obtain a replacement. If you did receive a check, but for one reason or another never cashed it or deposited it to your bank account, you are still entitled to the funds.

Even a forgotten check drawn on a bank that has closed does not necessarily mean the unclaimed money is lost forever; you may still be entitled to collect funds from government regulators. Refunds and benefit checks issued by agencies of the federal government are subject to special rules, however.


Abandoned Funds and Unclaimed Property Search

Click on binoculars for refund or replacement assistance with a lost, missing or destroyed check

Escheat and Unclaimed Property Statutes   Assets become legally abandoned after the original owner or rightful heirs fail to "communicate an interest" in them. Failure to communicate an interest in a payment to you can arise when  a check is not timely cashed. This frequently occurs after a change of address or the untimely death of a family member.

 State unclaimed property statutes consider the underlying funds to still be owed the payor, even if the instrument is not deposited or cashed. If a lost or destroyed check is not reissued by the payee, the face amount of the check must be reported and remitted after expiry of the dormancy period, usually 1-2 years. This is true even if a check has a 'void after' date stamped on it.

Each state and the District of Columbia maintains an office of unclaimed property, where abandoned assets are held in "protective custody" until owners or heirs come forth to make a claim. Which state takes custody of the asset depends on the owner's last known address.

Checks issued by federal agencies  Payments issued by federal agencies - including the IRS and Social Security Administration - do not come under the purview of state statutes. Claims for these assets must be made directly to the issuing agency - there is no central clearinghouse or repository.

IRS refund checks  Checks drawn on the U.S. Treasury are generally void after one year, after which time they must be reissued.

For IRS checks phone (800) 829-1040 or make a requests in writing to your local Internal Revenue Service Center, the location where you mail tax returns. A list is available online at: www.irs.gov/localcontacts/index.html  

Social Security benefit checks  If you know of a check that was not cashed or never received (including Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income) contact your local Social Security branch office or:

Office of Public Inquiries
6401 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21235
(800) 772-1213