format_list_bulleted Topic Overview

Outstanding Stanford Issued Checks (Escheatment)

Outstanding checks are mainly checks issued by the university that have not been cashed by the intended payee. They are classified as “unclaimed property”. These checks can include payroll checks, checks issued to vendors, payments to human research subjects, reimbursement checks, among others. The State of California, and all other states in the United States and Puerto Rico, require that unclaimed property be turned over to the state if the property remains unclaimed for typically 3 years, it varies by state and payment purpose. (i.e., for payroll checks the requirement is to turn over the property after 1 year.) This requirement applies to all checks issued by the university and some types of stored value cards as well.

Each year the university is required to identify checks issued that remain unclaimed. There are strict schedules to provide the information, along with the corresponding amount of funds, to the state for safekeeping until the payee claims them. Severe fines and penalties are imposed for any asset that is not remitted to the state per their schedule. These fines and penalties are charged to the school or department’s PTA responsible for the noncompliance.

Annually, Stanford in collaboration with schools, departments and affiliates assesses whether any checks or stored value card balances issued remain unclaimed, i.e. they have not been deposited or cash balances remain on the card. This information, along with the funds outstanding, is submitted to the state per state law.

If you are aware of your department issuing checks, gift cards or other stored value cards that may have items or balances still outstanding, please contact Cash Management & Operations, Office of the Treasurer.

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2020