Check those checks

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WINTON – If you have been issued a check from Hertford County local government, make sure to cash it within 90 days.

On Monday, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners approved two measures dealing with uncashed or misplaced county-issued checks. County Manager Loria Williams informed the board members there wasn’t a policy that addressed such criteria.

“This will establish one,” she said.

Hertford County Finance Director Robbin Stephenson presented the policy to the board for their review. She said that even though there would now be a standing policy, checks to be written off will still need the approval of the commissioners.

“You will see what’s being written off,” Williams noted.

Upon a motion from Commissioner Ronald Gatling, the board approved the policy, the purpose of which is to establish uniform guidelines for determining if the county should void an original check and issue a new one.

The policy’s criteria deems that a person bearing a county-issued check has 90 days in which to cash it. It also outlines three other instances where a county check is determined to be void. They are:

Untraceable: Where a customer has provided false information, cannot be located and correct identity cannot be established.

Deceased: Payee is deceased with no estate.

Amount doesn’t warrant further action: The payee fails to respond and further action would not be cost effective.

The policy also states that the county’s legal obligation to pay will still remain, provided that proof of the obligation has been determined by the payee.

The Commissioners, acting on a motion by Gatling, also adopted a resolution to write-off checks that were lost during the payment process.

The Board, after adopting the policy and resolution, approved to write off a list of 28 uncashed/lost county-issued checks. Those checks, written over a time frame from July 25, 2008 to January 8, 2010, totaled $2,364.88. Twenty-one of those 28 checks were written in amounts of $85 or less. The largest was for $581.80.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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