A cashier’s check or cheque is a cheque guaranteed by a bank, drawn on the bank’s own funds and signed by a cashier. Cashier’s checks are treated as guaranteed funds because the bank, rather than the purchaser, is responsible for paying the amount. They are commonly required for real estate and brokerage transactions.
Cashier’s checks deposited into a bank account are usually cleared the next day. The customer can request “next-day availability” when depositing a cashier’s check in person.
However, cashier’s checks are often forged in fraud schemes. The recipient of the check can deposit the check in his or her account, withdraw funds under next-day availability, and assume that the check is good. The check can take weeks to clear the banks. So the bank can discover that a check is fraudulent weeks after the customer has withdrawn the funds, and the customer is then legally liable for the cash already withdrawn.
A customer asks a bank for a cashier’s check, and the bank debits the amount from the customer’s account immediately, and assumes the responsibility for covering the cashier’s check. That is in contrast with a personal check, in which the bank does not debit the amount from the customer’s account until the check is deposited or cashed by the recipient.
A cashier’s check is not the same as a teller’s check, also known as a banker’s draft, which is a check provided to a customer of a bank or acquired from a bank for remittance purposes and drawn by the bank, and drawn on another bank or payable through or at a bank. A cashier’s check is also different from a certified check, which is a personal check written by the customer and drawn on the customer’s account, on which the bank certifies that the signature is genuine and that the customer has sufficient funds in the account to cover the check. Also, it should not be confused with a counter check, which is a non-personalized check provided by the bank for the convenience of a customer in making withdrawals or payments but is not guaranteed and is functionally equivalent to a personal check.
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