Paper Checks

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
Post Reply
Topic Author
BigRedHusker
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:16 pm

Paper Checks

Post by BigRedHusker »

I'm just wondering how others feel about getting paper checks issued to them thru USPS. I do a QCD from my Vanguard account a few times a year. Checks are payable to the third party I designate and mailed to myself at my address. I always wonder what if the check never shows up in my mailbox to me. I do have something called informed delivery so I see if USPS says it is being delivered. That is good news for me to be expecting it. I just keep wondering how much of a hassle if it gets to wrong address or somehow intercepted on the way? Also if somehow it could be cashed by a fraudulent party.

Any thoughts or personal experience with this?
livesoft
Posts: 76590
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by livesoft »

I get paid by a check sent in the mail. I've never had a problem. I deposit the check at the nearby ATM, too. I do not live in a seedy neighborhood.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
helloeveryone
Posts: 828
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by helloeveryone »

livesoft wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 2:50 pm I get paid by a check sent in the mail. I've never had a problem. I deposit the check at the nearby ATM, too. I do not live in a seedy neighborhood.
No phone app and deposit check by taking picture? we rarely get checks but when we do it's fun not having to drive to bank or atm to deposit.
livesoft
Posts: 76590
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by livesoft »

helloeveryone wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 2:51 pm
livesoft wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 2:50 pm I get paid by a check sent in the mail. I've never had a problem. I deposit the check at the nearby ATM, too. I do not live in a seedy neighborhood.
No phone app and deposit check by taking picture? we rarely get checks but when we do it's fun not having to drive to bank or atm to deposit.
I'm a Luddite. The ATM is faster right now as in "Spouse, can you please deposit this when you are at the grocery store?" Also as in: It took you less time to type your response than it takes you to deposit a check via the phone app, right?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
User avatar
gwe67
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:52 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by gwe67 »

Bad idea. A hospital refund check was sent to me. I could see in the Informed Delivery image within the clear plastic envelope window the words "pay to the order of..." so it was obvious what it was. Check never arrived. I have a locking mailbox which only USPS employees and I can access. Hospital refused to re-issue check. Talked to post office "manager" who blew it off. I told him that his employees are either incompetent or thieves and he should want to know which type they are. Around the same time, a neighbor's kid was sent a graduation gift card which also never turned up. Don't send anything valuable thru USPS.

** Disclaimer: This was about three years ago, so in fairness, USPS may still be in the process of delivering these items.
VTI 48%, VXUS 12%, BND 40%
tomd37
Posts: 3606
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:39 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

Re: Paper Checks

Post by tomd37 »

BigRedHusker - My ten QCD checks earlier this year got to me just fine from Vanguard. When I forwarded them on to their intended recipients under a cover letter, one of them got inserted into the wrong post office box and ended up being delivered to a home address. Thankfully the cover letter had my name, address, and telephone number and the nice lady called me. I went to her home and picked up the $1,500 check and hand delivered it to the local charity it was intended for. First time in eleven years of QCD checks that one went astray.
Tom D.
Broken Man 1999
Posts: 6269
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am
Location: West coast of Florida, inland on high ground!

Re: Paper Checks

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

livesoft wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 2:55 pm
helloeveryone wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 2:51 pm
livesoft wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 2:50 pm I get paid by a check sent in the mail. I've never had a problem. I deposit the check at the nearby ATM, too. I do not live in a seedy neighborhood.
No phone app and deposit check by taking picture? we rarely get checks but when we do it's fun not having to drive to bank or atm to deposit.
I'm a Luddite. The ATM is faster right now as in "Spouse, can you please deposit this when you are at the grocery store?" Also as in: It took you less time to type your response than it takes you to deposit a check via the phone app, right?
Definitely easy to deposit the very rare check received in paper format. I just download our credit union app, make the deposit, then remove the app from my phone. A couple of minutes, done.

Our USPS deliveries are back to normal, have been for a few months. Rarely do I not receive the mail listed in my Informed Delivery email. Sometimes a day late, usually as expected.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go." - Mark Twain
User avatar
gwe67
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:52 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by gwe67 »

tomd37 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:05 pm BigRedHusker - My ten QCD checks earlier this year got to me just fine from Vanguard. When I forwarded them on to their intended recipients under a cover letter, one of them got inserted into the wrong post office box and ended up being delivered to a home address. Thankfully the cover letter had my name, address, and telephone number and the nice lady called me. I went to her home and picked up the $1,500 check and hand delivered it to the local charity it was intended for. First time in eleven years of QCD checks that one went astray.
One percent mis-delivery rate is not acceptable. How hard is it to put mail in the correct box?
VTI 48%, VXUS 12%, BND 40%
Broken Man 1999
Posts: 6269
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am
Location: West coast of Florida, inland on high ground!

Re: Paper Checks

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

gwe67 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:09 pm
tomd37 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:05 pm BigRedHusker - My ten QCD checks earlier this year got to me just fine from Vanguard. When I forwarded them on to their intended recipients under a cover letter, one of them got inserted into the wrong post office box and ended up being delivered to a home address. Thankfully the cover letter had my name, address, and telephone number and the nice lady called me. I went to her home and picked up the $1,500 check and hand delivered it to the local charity it was intended for. First time in eleven years of QCD checks that one went astray.
One percent mis-delivery rate is not acceptable. How hard is it to put mail in the correct box?
Our USPS guy brings my mail to me if I’m outside. Can’t complain about his service.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go." - Mark Twain
sport
Posts: 10257
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Paper Checks

Post by sport »

BigRedHusker wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 2:47 pm I'm just wondering how others feel about getting paper checks issued to them thru USPS. I do a QCD from my Vanguard account a few times a year. Checks are payable to the third party I designate and mailed to myself at my address. I always wonder what if the check never shows up in my mailbox to me. I do have something called informed delivery so I see if USPS says it is being delivered. That is good news for me to be expecting it. I just keep wondering how much of a hassle if it gets to wrong address or somehow intercepted on the way? Also if somehow it could be cashed by a fraudulent party.

Any thoughts or personal experience with this?
One time, I did not get an acknowledgement for a QCD donation. I called Vanguard and they told me the check had not been cashed. So, they stopped payment on that check and sent me a replacement.
prd1982
Posts: 542
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:43 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by prd1982 »

BigRedHusker wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 2:47 pm I'm just wondering how others feel about getting paper checks issued to them thru USPS. I do a QCD from my Vanguard account a few times a year. Checks are payable to the third party I designate and mailed to myself at my address. I always wonder what if the check never shows up in my mailbox to me. I do have something called informed delivery so I see if USPS says it is being delivered. That is good news for me to be expecting it. I just keep wondering how much of a hassle if it gets to wrong address or somehow intercepted on the way? Also if somehow it could be cashed by a fraudulent party.

Any thoughts or personal experience with this?
I had three related QCD problems:

A. One year I didn’t get the check from my IRA holder. I called them up and explained the problem. They verified the check was not cashed, canceled it, and sent me a new check. No hassle.

B. Another year I sent a QCD check to the charity but it wasn’t cashed in a reasonable time. I checked with my IRA holder that it had not been cashed. Waited another couple of weeks, and still not cashed. Called the charity and confirmed not received. So had the checked canceled, got another check and mailed to the charity.

C. Sent the QCD check to the charity but no acknowledgment. Called the IRA provider, who confirmed cashed. Called the charity who said they had mailed an acknowledgment. They sent me another one.

So QCDs can be a minor hassle, but well worth it. The key, in my opinion, is to do the QCD by the middle of the year. Gives you plenty of time to handle missing checks or acknowledgments. You shouldn’t wait until the Thanksgiving or later holidays to start the process.
Nebraska_Drought
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:19 am
Location: Lincoln, NE

Re: Paper Checks

Post by Nebraska_Drought »

I have informed delivery and a locked "cluster box" for my mail which happens to be right outside my driveway. You would be surprised how many items get put into the wrong mail box. You would be surprised how many items show up on my informed delivery never to arrive. I hate that we can't trust the USPS anymore. Unless there is no option, I will not send a check or cash in the mail. My kids have been lucky that b-day cards and graduation cards all have arrived as intended (at least we think). I bet I write less than 50 checks a year anymore, no reason to.
Hyperchicken
Posts: 783
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:33 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by Hyperchicken »

I regularly get neighbors' mail in my mailbox. Same house number on a nearby street, same street name but house number is off by one digit, etc. I can only guess how much of my mail ends up in someone else's mailbox. That summarizes my thoughts about mailing paper checks.
UpperNwGuy
Posts: 5404
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I live in a high rise apartment building. My mail sometimes gets delivered to other apartments in the building and sometimes to other nearby buildings. I hate it when people send me paper checks through the mail because I'm never sure if they will arrive. These problems started about a year ago after many, many years of excellent service.
Last edited by UpperNwGuy on Mon May 17, 2021 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
prd1982
Posts: 542
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:43 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by prd1982 »

gwe67 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:09 pm One percent mis-delivery rate is not acceptable. How hard is it to put mail in the correct box?
I sorted mail a couple of summers while in college. It’s harder than you think by the 6th hour of your shift.

The good news is that most people put mis-directed 1st class mail back in their box for re-delivery.
User avatar
SquawkIdent
Posts: 640
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:14 pm
Location: Planet Earth

Re: Paper Checks

Post by SquawkIdent »

I wouldn’t trust the USPS with anything, at this point. The need for them, in general, is quickly disappearing.

And by the service that’s been provided the last 1 1/2 years, do you wonder why? I don’t...
Topic Author
BigRedHusker
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:16 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by BigRedHusker »

prd1982 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:15 pm
BigRedHusker wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 2:47 pm I'm just wondering how others feel about getting paper checks issued to them thru USPS. I do a QCD from my Vanguard account a few times a year. Checks are payable to the third party I designate and mailed to myself at my address. I always wonder what if the check never shows up in my mailbox to me. I do have something called informed delivery so I see if USPS says it is being delivered. That is good news for me to be expecting it. I just keep wondering how much of a hassle if it gets to wrong address or somehow intercepted on the way? Also if somehow it could be cashed by a fraudulent party.

Any thoughts or personal experience with this?
I had three related QCD problems:

A. One year I didn’t get the check from my IRA holder. I called them up and explained the problem. They verified the check was not cashed, canceled it, and sent me a new check. No hassle.

B. Another year I sent a QCD check to the charity but it wasn’t cashed in a reasonable time. I checked with my IRA holder that it had not been cashed. Waited another couple of weeks, and still not cashed. Called the charity and confirmed not received. So had the checked canceled, got another check and mailed to the charity.

C. Sent the QCD check to the charity but no acknowledgment. Called the IRA provider, who confirmed cashed. Called the charity who said they had mailed an acknowledgment. They sent me another one.

So QCDs can be a minor hassle, but well worth it. The key, in my opinion, is to do the QCD by the middle of the year. Gives you plenty of time to handle missing checks or acknowledgments. You shouldn’t wait until the Thanksgiving or later holidays to start the process.
livesoft wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 2:50 pm I get paid by a check sent in the mail. I've never had a problem. I deposit the check at the nearby ATM, too. I do not live in a seedy neighborhood.
Thanks for response. It echos many of my concerns. As Vanguard now requires, QCD checks have to be mailed by USPS to account holder. I expect one day it sill not show up
CurlyDave
Posts: 2656
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:37 am

Re: Paper Checks

Post by CurlyDave »

The problem can be worse that anyone has stated. 15 years ago my local post office was in Redwood City, CA. When I went to the post office looking for a large amount of mail that had apparently been lost I discovered that for most employees there English was at least their 3rd language, both proficiency and attitude were low. I have since moved to a much more rural location and the both the communication situation and the attitude issue have improved.

For my mailbox, mis-delivery runs about 2-3%.

As far as receiving checks from a brokerage I have linked my bank account and the brokerage so that an ACH transfer is possible both ways. No checks involved.

I deal with a fair number of paper checks because I am a redneck and own rentals, but they are only sent or received through the mail if both addresses are local.

The only serious paper communications we get any longer are from either the IRS or the state tax agency. 2 or 3 times a year I will get a love note from one or the other. Few of those ever go astray.
Answering a question is easy -- asking the right question is the hard part.
prd1982
Posts: 542
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:43 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by prd1982 »

BigRedHusker wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:40 pm Thanks for response. It echos many of my concerns. As Vanguard now requires, QCD checks have to be mailed by USPS to account holder. I expect one day it sill not show up
Not showing up isn't a big deal.

The thing I worry about the most is not getting the acknowledgement letter from the charity. Without it, I cannot treat it as a charitable gift. This would be true even if Vanguard could send the money directly to the charity. Only a DAF avoids this, and it cannot be used with a QCD.
likegarden
Posts: 3068
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by likegarden »

I am using checks and get / send them via USPS since 1968. I never lost a check.
Ha, but recently :
Recently the USPS got slowed down (no political comment permitted) such that getting a bill from SPECTRUM via USPS long distance took 10 days. I let this bill then sit around for 10 days, and my check took then another 13 days via USPS from NY to Texas to Spectrum to pay them the $150. Spectrum got so alarmed that they called us several times a day for a week. I had to pay another $300. I explained and the Spectrum man stopped their calling, but then it started again. Now I am waiting for the next billing.
It seems that billing via USPS and paying via check with USPS long distance will go away.
helloeveryone
Posts: 828
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by helloeveryone »

gwe67 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:01 pm Bad idea. A hospital refund check was sent to me. I could see in the Informed Delivery image within the clear plastic envelope window the words "pay to the order of..." so it was obvious what it was. Check never arrived. I have a locking mailbox which only USPS employees and I can access. Hospital refused to re-issue check. Talked to post office "manager" who blew it off. I told him that his employees are either incompetent or thieves and he should want to know which type they are. Around the same time, a neighbor's kid was sent a graduation gift card which also never turned up. Don't send anything valuable thru USPS.

** Disclaimer: This was about three years ago, so in fairness, USPS may still be in the process of delivering these items.
that's pretty wrong of the hospital to do that. it's just a matter of them calling their bank, cancelling that check after confirming it was not withdrawn, then re-issuing check.
helloeveryone
Posts: 828
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by helloeveryone »

gwe67 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:09 pm
tomd37 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:05 pm BigRedHusker - My ten QCD checks earlier this year got to me just fine from Vanguard. When I forwarded them on to their intended recipients under a cover letter, one of them got inserted into the wrong post office box and ended up being delivered to a home address. Thankfully the cover letter had my name, address, and telephone number and the nice lady called me. I went to her home and picked up the $1,500 check and hand delivered it to the local charity it was intended for. First time in eleven years of QCD checks that one went astray.
One percent mis-delivery rate is not acceptable. How hard is it to put mail in the correct box?
human error...though our rate seems to be more then 1%.
in our community of about 80 homes - there are THREE homes on three different streets with same street number. Every few months we walk to each other's house to deliver misplaced mail to each other
User avatar
cheese_breath
Posts: 10474
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:08 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by cheese_breath »

gwe67 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:01 pm ... Check never arrived. I have a locking mailbox which only USPS employees and I can access.... Talked to post office "manager" who blew it off.
Don't waste your time with the post office manager. Your Informed Delivery Email has a link near the bottom for reporting missing mail.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
sport
Posts: 10257
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Paper Checks

Post by sport »

cheese_breath wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 5:09 pm
gwe67 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:01 pm ... Check never arrived. I have a locking mailbox which only USPS employees and I can access.... Talked to post office "manager" who blew it off.
Don't waste your time with the post office manager. Your Informed Delivery Email has a link near the bottom for reporting missing mail.
What happens when you report it?
User avatar
cheese_breath
Posts: 10474
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:08 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by cheese_breath »

I don't know, but I reported some and it showed up a few days later. Maybe somebody with more authority than whoever claims to be the local manager on whatever day you come in sees it? Just speculating.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
jt90505
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:10 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by jt90505 »

2020 Mail volume in US was ~129.2 *Billion* units.
With 99.99% accuracy you are still looking at ~13 *Million* misdelivered pieces of mail per year.
I cannot remember receiving a misdelivered item that required more than walking to either of my next door neighbors.
User avatar
Steelersfan
Posts: 3910
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by Steelersfan »

I mail 10 - 15 check a year for various reasons. That's down from years past. I've never had a lost check.

I live in a multi-unit condo and do occasionally get mail for another unit, and vise-versa. It makes it to the right unit the next day at the latest.
RetiredCSProf
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:59 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by RetiredCSProf »

It would be convenient to be able to distribute QCDs electronically rather than by check. This year, I wanted to add a local food bank to my list of QCD recipients, but their website showed donation information via online only. I suppose that some charitable organizations prefer not to deal with paper check deposits. Instead of the local food bank, I mailed a QCD check to a local charity that helps find housing for the homeless.
Normchad
Posts: 2489
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:20 am

Re: Paper Checks

Post by Normchad »

I’m happy to accept funds in any form. Mail is fine. Electronic is fine. It’s all fine with me.

When somebody wants to send me money, I let them.

I just don’t worry about fraud. I had a postal fraud perpetrated on me a few years back. The response of my bank, the police, and the postal inspector was immediate and exemplary.
DetroitRick
Posts: 994
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:28 am
Location: SE Michigan

Re: Paper Checks

Post by DetroitRick »

Probably not a big deal if that's convenient for you. Especially because it is likely not a time-sensitive situation. Lost checks, inbound or outbound, can be replaced.

But we've found it best for us to eliminate paper checks and the whole mailing process, and we did it pre-pandemic. We've had checks lost in the mail fairly recently, and delivery times here are abysmal right now anyway. We write (and mail) around 2 checks per year, receive 1 or 2 via mail at most. We cut off everything we possibly could. Zero doubt in my mind that it's quicker, more convenient and safer this way. And theft from mailboxes is not related to neighborhood safety - it happens. Anyway, huge fan of electronic payments and receipts here.
Topic Author
BigRedHusker
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:16 pm

Re: Paper Checks

Post by BigRedHusker »

tomd37 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 3:05 pm BigRedHusker - My ten QCD checks earlier this year got to me just fine from Vanguard. When I forwarded them on to their intended recipients under a cover letter, one of them got inserted into the wrong post office box and ended up being delivered to a home address. Thankfully the cover letter had my name, address, and telephone number and the nice lady called me. I went to her home and picked up the $1,500 check and hand delivered it to the local charity it was intended for. First time in eleven years of QCD checks that one went astray.
Good to hear that you have not had much trouble thru your 11 years.
Post Reply