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How long does a bank to process a check?

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Hi all!

I'm in a bit of an interesting situation regarding my rent for the month of January.

I wrote a check and gave it to my landlord at the end of December, and she cashed it and received the money on January 11th.


Around mid-January, I noticed the money had not been withdrawn from my account. I contacted the landlord, who assured me she cashed my check and received the cash without any issue. Since, I have written a check for February's rent, which was cashed and withdrawn in a timely fashion, and as of today, the January check has not been drawn from my account. I'm imagining the check was lost or misplaced by my landlord's bank, and is probably getting dusty under a counter somewhere. Or maybe a typo was made?


I'm tempted to transfer the funds back into my savings account, as I typically only use my checking to hold enough funds for what I need, plus a few hundred extra in case I need it quickly - but I don't want to accidentally overdraw my account if the check suddenly turns up or whatever. Plus it's annoying constantly having to look at my checking balance and recalculate to know how much money I actually have or don't have.


How long until I can assume the money is not going to be withdrawn, considering my landlord has assured me multiple times she received the money on January 11th?

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A lot of it depends on your agreement with your bank. It also may depend on if you have notified your bank of the error or not.



But also ask yourself this: If you remove the money and they come back in 6 months and correct the issue and hit your checking account with NSFs, do you want the headaches of having to prove it is their error and getting everything reversed?

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I would definitely notify YOUR bank of the issue ASAP. This is clearly not normal, and something somewhere has gone wrong, so it's nothing you can predict. The error may be at your back or the landlord's bank, but you should take what action you can.

I could going on for awhile about errors my banks have made ... starting with last year when they credited a $7000 mystery deposit to my account! (Somehow I resisted the temptation to withdraw it all and immediately close my account.)

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Thanks for the replies! I contacted my bank, and they said they'll get back to me.

I'm guessing the landlord's bank either lost the check after she cashed it, or mistyped my account or routing number.

I want to be diligent and keep the money available as long as I should - but I also don't want to keep the money sitting in limbo longer than I have to... whether that's more than three months, six months, or even a year - if only for the annoyance of constantly needing to mentally recalculate my checking balance, which I'm pretty meticulous about managing.

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Needless to say, if your bank finally finds the check 6 months from now behind the desk where it dropped -- they're just going to process it.


It's not like they're going to call you up and say "Hey we found this check you wrote 6 months ago, and it fell behind the copy machine so we're only getting to it now, is it OK if we process it now?". That ain't how it works.

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