Can legal action be taken on old checks?

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2010

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Can legal action be taken on old checks?

I have about 3 checks linked to my current bank account that were written over a year ago and never cashed. I now want to close that bank account. I’m curious to know if the person the check was written to can take legal action if they decide to cash the check after a year and it is returned due to the account being closed. I’m worried because I’m moving out of state.

Asked on July 14, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Generally, checks go "stale" after six months.  In other words, if you do not present them to the bank to be cashed within 6 months from the date that they are written they will not be honored.  I would double check with your bank before you close the account.  But I would also speak with the person or people to whom you wrote the check and see what happened and make good ob the money that you owe.  You do not want them claiming they never received it or worse that you wrote a bad check even after all this time.  The statute of limitations for those scenarios is greater than the six months one above.  Good luck. 

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