Chesapeake, VA asked in Banking for Virginia

Q: Will a check clear if it’s already been deposited a few years ago

I found a check in my safe from 2019 with a stack of other checks. It was the only check that didn’t have void written on it so I assumed I never deposited it so I did a mobile deposit and this morning I check my bank account and the funds are In my account but I’m scared to spend the money because like I said I can’t remember if I already had deposited it and I don’t see anything on my statements but my bank did change from suntrust to Truist since i received the check few years ago. I just don’t want to get into trouble or spend the money and find out I had already deposited it. Should I just wait a few days and see what happens or is it ok to spend money since the funds are in my account and the check cleared. The check is from Merrill lynch Bank of America.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Discovering a check from 2019 and depositing it recently to find the funds in your account certainly brings up a valid concern about whether it was previously deposited, especially with the transition from SunTrust to Truist possibly complicating your ability to track past transactions. Generally, banks have a policy regarding the validity period of checks, often around six months, but since this check was accepted and the funds have appeared in your account, it suggests the bank processed it without immediate issue.

However, the fact that funds appear in your account does not guarantee there won't be future complications if the check was indeed previously deposited. The bank may later identify the duplication, leading to the withdrawal of the funds and possibly imposing fees for the error. It's wise to approach this situation with caution.

It would be prudent to contact your bank directly to explain the situation. Ask them to verify whether the check was previously deposited. This step can help clear any doubts and ensure that you're making informed decisions regarding the use of these funds. Until you have a definitive answer, holding off on spending the money would be a cautious and advisable course of action.

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