Linked question ^^^ is WHEN. My question is HOW which is different. Also, the other question does not have an answer that addresses the question. The one answer it has, does not answer the question, so the statement below that the existing question is "Answered" is not true.

How can I determine when the bank has been paid on a deposited check. A typical bank statment about this is as follows:

Your bank also may not be able to determine that the check is fraudulent when you deposit it. Rather, your bank may learn of the problem only when the check is returned unpaid by the other bank, which may take a couple weeks or more. Scammers try to make the item look genuine, which will delay discovery of the fraud. Once the item has been returned unpaid, your bank, generally, will be able to reverse the deposit to your account and collect the amount of the deposit from you.

What I want to know is how I can I find if the check HAS BEEN PAID BY THE OTHER BANK? Basically call up my bank and ask?

(I will consider answers unresponsive if they do not answer the question: for example, going on about fraudulent checks and how to detect them, why checks do not clear, how scams work, why a check might never clear, etc. I know these things.)

  • 1
    -1 for the last paragraph. To the rest of the question - depends on the institution and the country laws for your country, of which you mentioned neither, so voting to close.
    – littleadv
    Aug 3, 2016 at 16:50
  • @Aganju My question is about when the check is paid, not when it clears, those are two different things. (see my answer below) Also, the other question was never answered (the one answer given was non-responsive), so it is obsolete now anyway. My question is HOW not WHEN. "Never" is an answer to "when" not "how". Aug 3, 2016 at 16:59
  • @FiveBagger You may have the incorrect belief that once a check has been paid or has cleared, those funds are irrevocable. In the United States, that is simply not the case. See 15 USC 1693 (aka Treasury Regulation E) which, among other things, requires a minimum of 105 days (60 days for the issuer of the check to notice/complain and 45 days for the bank to act). When the check has been paid has no legal relevance. The "only" in "only when the check is returned unpaid" quote doesn't mean it's the only time it can happen, it means it's not guaranteed to happen before that. Apr 25, 2017 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


I ended up talking to a bank and receiving some research by people that specialize in draft-related issues. I found out that in the United States there are only two ways to know if check-based transaction has completed successfully.

First of all be aware: "clearing" in the US, does not technically mean the funds are irrevocable. Clearing only means that the clearing agency has verified that (1) the account is not closed, (2) the account has sufficient funds, and (3) no stop order has been put on the check. The check can still be refused if it is deemed fraudulent.

To be absolutely sure of payment, there are only 2 methods:

(1) Send the draft for collection. When this done the draft is specially handled and verified and your account will NOT be credited until the correspondent bank actually pays on the draft. Sending for collection usually has a fee. At my bank it is $30. It can take typically from 2 to 6 weeks for a draft to paid on collection. When the money is deposited in your account, it is good.

(2) Have the draft verified against the ledger. This means you call up the bank on which the draft has been drawn and have them verify that the check is good. Unfortunately, this only works for bank checks (ie "cashier's checks"), not money orders or personal checks. The bank will verify that the check was made out to you and that they plan to pay on the check. This method can be used for verifying cashier's checks.

Note: if there is any question about a draft you should verify it before signing. If you endorse a check and give it to someone else (such as a bank), you are putting your good name on the check and vouching for it, and you can be held liable if the check is fraudulent.

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