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If I give a check in payment of an obligation or purchase and the check never cleared. The recipient never called me to say he lost it or misplaced it. Do I have to call the recipient and give him another one?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

There is a discussion of this topic here.

Summary: There is no obligation for a buyer to inquire after a seller regarding why a check has not been cashed. However, if the seller confronts the buyer to request another check, then it depends: If the original check is ruined or expired, the buyer has an obligation to write another check. If the original is lost, the buyer may refuse to repay.

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I am no expert, so I do not know what the halacha says about this. But I believe that common decency would require you to at least call this person and discuss the matter.

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At times people pass along checks to others. Why would it be different than cash where I do not have to check up on the guy to see what he did with it? – Gershon Gold May 18 '11 at 21:20
@GershonGold: As a practical matter, fewer and fewer places are accepting third-party checks these days (at least in the States), rendering it nearly impossible to pass along a check (unless it's made to "cash", "bearer", or no one). – msh210 May 18 '11 at 21:51
@Gershon Gold: A check is different from cash. When you write a check, presumably you have enough money in your account to cover it. If it is not cashed within reasonable time, your balance may run low or you may close the account. So either you have to keep track of all your outstanding checks, which is unrealistic, or your check may bounce if the recipient tries to cash it. So if there is a reason the recipient does not cash your check, you want to know about it. – Dima May 18 '11 at 22:01
I agree with your comment, @Dima, but that's an explanation of why it's in the drawer's own interest to check up on what happened to his check, not an explanation of your answer, which said it's decent of him to do so. – msh210 May 18 '11 at 22:39
@msh210 It is a decent thing to do, because if the recipient tries to deposit the check two months later, and there is no longer enough money in the account, the recipient will not get his money, and he might also be charged a fee by his bank for trying to deposit a bad check. The recipient stands to lose more from this. – Dima May 19 '11 at 14:20

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