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Background: my previous landlord returned my security deposit, but for less than the full amount. I believe I am entitled to the full deposit back, so intend to dispute the amount.

I am going to try to avoid a heated debate that ultimately winds up in court, but it's hard to know how that initial discussion will go.

What I would like to do is deposit the check, and be 100% sure that payment cannot be stopped on the check before I contact the landlord and begin the dispute. How long do I have to wait to ensure that payment on the check cannot be stopped?

If it matters, the amount of the check is ~$2500. Also, I am not looking for advice on the legal aspects of the situation, just the check deposit.

  • Once it has cleared your account it cannot be stopped. The bank can tell you or if you have online account access it may differentiate between inclearings and cleared checks, – AbraCadaver Sep 17 '15 at 18:08
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    careful. Depositing the check and then waiting too long before filing a written protest might cause an issue. Check the state documents regarding tenant law before proceeding. – mhoran_psprep Sep 17 '15 at 19:13
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    Generally takes 2 days for the check to clear. Once a check is cleared, there can't be a stop on it. Like mhoran_psprep mentioned, the fact that you have cashed the check would weaken your claim. – Dheer Sep 18 '15 at 2:39
  • Thanks--as noted in the question, the legal side of issue is well understood and covered. – Phil Sandler Sep 18 '15 at 13:40
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Is this a USA bank to a USA bank transaction? If so, it will clear in one to two business days. Once cleared, the landlord cannot stop pay it. He can, however, dishonestly claim it was a fraudulent check and attempt a chargeback.

If you want absolute certainty the money will not be recalled, go to the landlord's bank and cash the check as a non-customer. You will have to pay a small fee, but you will walk out with cash. I suggest you take a photocopy of the check, and staple your receipt to it as evidence that the check was cashed for any impending legal proceedings.

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