Stale Check Law and Legal Definition

A stale check is a check that has been outstanding for an unreasonable time. A check may be outstanding for more than six months and a bank may under its discretion refuse to honor such a check. A bank is under no obligation to a customer to pay a check, other than a certified check, after more than six months of its date, but it can charge its customer's account for a payment made thereafter in good faith.[IBP, Inc. v. Mercantile Bank of Topeka, 6 F. Supp. 2d 1258 (D. Kan. 1998)].