Originally Answered: My checkbook was stolen and money was withdrawn, will the bank put this money back into my account?
I worked in check fraud for several years.
1. CLOSE THE CHECKING ACCOUNT:
First, ask the bank if you can close the account, they will want to keep it open - but the bank will return all the checks to all the companies your perpetrator wrote them to. All those companies will send you a bill for the bounced checks and put blocks on your checking account with the big check approval companies, like SCAN or CHEXSYSTEMS etc.
So if you keep the same checking account, you'll be turned down everywhere in town. Banks just don't like to open and close accounts it's a lot of paperwork for them.
2: REPORT THE ROBBERY/THEFT:
Go online to your local police departments web site and fill out the form to report the robbery or theft of your checkbook, include what series of check numbers were taken 1150-1175, whatever it was. If SEARS calls you tomorrow and is placing a courtesy call to you because you're writing a check and you have no I.D, and they're just calling the phone number on the check to be sure - they cannot attempt to arrest your perpetrator if you have not reported the robbery. (Yes they could detain this person, but most retail companies don't put the neck on the line, unless you have your police case number - because too many times relatives decide not to press charges, etc when they find out who the perp was.)
Typically all the store will do, is try to scare the perp off while they keep the check.
3: BANK/AFFIDAVID OF FORGERY
Go to your banking institution and fill out an affidavid of forgery. This is a legal document saying that those checks have a forged signature on them, which is not yours. This document protects YOU from companies who will later want payment for the bad checks passed at their stores. Make several copies of it, you will need to mail these out when the bills come in from Target or Walmart etc.
4. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE:
If you give your bank the police case number and signed affidavid of forgery it should be less than 48 hours to get the money back into your account. But if you just call and report it, without any supporting documentation - there is no time limit on how long they can process your investigation. Some banks are great, and give it to you the minute you report it, some banks will delay you 2 weeks.
5. CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT
Watch your credit report for bills that show up, that may have been from one of the checks that your bank will return unpaid. Some companies will report you with unpaid bill instead of sending you something in the mail. Send them your affidavid of forgery and police case number.