Bank Checks V. Cashiers Checks


#1

Are checks from a savings and loan that say bank check…accepted at trustee sales?

Thank You


#2

Cashiers checks only … some trustee sale companies used to accept cash, and perhaps a few do, but most auction services will no longer allow their criers to take “actual” cash as this places undo liability risk on the auctioneers (target for robbery, somehow the $ disappeared, etc) and the auction company.


#3

D.B. - You are wrong. Over the years we have “made law” on stopping Trustees from being outrageous in what they can do regarding checks. In the first case (25 years ago?) see Baron v. Colonial.
In a later case, can’t recall name, a lower Court said a trustee did not have to accept a Certified Check, even though it is more “solid” than a cashier’s check - because it isn’t mentioned in the Code. We did not appeal that decision because the defendant did agree (and instructed their auctioneers to accept certified checks from us anyway). The Code does state cash. If you call the sales lines for most Trustees, like B of A, the recordings specifically state “CASH” as one of the acceptable qualifications for bidding.
If an auctioneer refuses to let you bid because you want to use cash, let me know.
ALL Trustee’s, for the past 10+ years, have accepted an instrument first created by Savings and Loans (may they rest in peace). That instrument (which shall remain nameless) is NOT a cashier’s check. If you look at it, it will not have the words “Cashier’s Check” on the instrument. FYI, it is not listed in the Code. “Banks” have been issuing these instruments in place of cashier’s checks, in many instances, for some years.
So, to answer the OP, “yes” your S&L check is acceptable. I didn’t know there were any S&Ls left. An S&L, technically, can not issue an instrument called a cashier’s check. (Unless that changed in the past few years.)
Humorous story. Prospective bidder pulls up and parks (illegally) at bottom of Ct. Hse steps in Okld. When asked to qualify, he asks auctioneer to come down the steps and opens his trunk - which contained cash! He obviously was a street pharmacist - who sold drugs for cash.


#4

An LPS (Agency Sales and Posting) crier in Northern California told me that, per company orders, ASAP auctioneers would no longer be allowed to accept cash (as in green $ money). She speculated that is was due to robbery concerns, given the “target of the back” that auctioneers might be wearing if they leave an auction site with many thousands in cash. Criers have a busy day, often having to keep a tight schedule to make the next courthouse venue and also to complete postings. I can understand the concerns that LPS (ASAP) might have. As far a what is legally the case (required by law) and what LPS (ASAP) has set forth as company policy … there could be some divergences.


#5

It would be great to get the cash controversy resolved. I like to pay mostly with checks, but I bring some cash to try to give the crier the exact amount. Seems that refunds slows the delivery of the deed with some trustees. I was also thinking the code says CASH, or equivilant. I guess it is a sign of the times when CASH is no longer accepted. Bernanke doesn’t even print anymore, just adds zeros to the Feds ledger and presto… money, but not CASH,


#6

Many (most/all?)) sale notices still publish the words “…cash or cashier’s check…” in the sales notice. I just called the B of A (Recon Trust) sales number that is published - and the recording still mentions cash.
ASAP obviously thinks they can make their own “laws”. OTH, that’s not the policy followed by all their auctioneers. Maybe that one auctioneer simply said that because it would require them to take the time to go to a nearby bank to convert the money into mailable form - a cashier’s check. I can see a bank giving a strange person trouble, especially if the amount is large. If it is over $10K, extra red tape is involved.
I would suggest you (someone) simply call ASAP and see what they say. Better yet email, fax, or write and get it in writing. We don’t have trouble in the few counties where we are active, so I have no reason to stir anything up. IF they say they won’t accept any cash, please post something here.
Question - did the auctioneer say altho she couldn’t take cash, would she allow you to go to the bank and return w. a cashier’s check - or - would she accompany you to the bank to convert the cash?
I don’t think Fidelity Title (ASAP) would want to alienate their Trustee clients by dragging them into a law suit over this clear provision in the Code.
Al this could be solved if Ca. did what other states do. Eg. Az says you only need to put up (10%?) and have either til the close of business or the next day to pay the rest. (Forget the particulars.) Other states do something similar. Florida (a Judicial state, and Mass. do it.

…mike


#7

Mike,

You’re right and I was wrong. I spoke with an Agency Sales and Posting (ASAP) auctioneer today and she told me that they will indeed take the green stuff (cash) … What they won’t do is walk away from an auction site with literally thousands in cash. If the total $ amount of cash involved is more than a few thousand, the crier (auctioneer) will not take “custody” of the cash. Rather, immediately following their business at that particular steps venue, they will escort the cash-in-hand winning bidder directly to the bank and require that a bank teller, or other bank officer(s), count out the cash and deposited it directly into their escrow account for subsequent transmission to the trustee. So for large amounts of cash, they are removing the excess liability/risk to the auctioneer and company (ASAP), by mandating that the auctioneer NOT take possession of the cash, as they are together (auctioneer and winning bidder) going straight to the bank to make the deposit. The cash remains in the possession of the bidder until the deposit is made. I believe most of the auctioneer services have a similar policy?

The auctioneer then told me that she once had to qualify a steps bidder “show me your checks.” He said “no checks, I have cash.” He then opened a satchel containing a massive quantity of cash. The opening bid was close to $400,000 and he had to flip through his packages containing bundles of $25,000 apiece. The auctioneer explained that, should he win the bid, she could not “touch” (take possession of) that amount of cash and that together they (as outlined above) would need to visit the bank to do a proper count-out and deposit. The auctioneer was relieved when another veteran steps buyer stepped forward to explain that the cash-carrying investor (a newbie at the steps) was about to bid on a junior DOT and would likely be underwater despite his large cash outlay. And so the property went REO and a dramatic scene at the bank (along with a requisite currency transaction report + a possible anti-money laundering suspicious activity report [SAR] filing) were averted.


#8

Danny B. -
Email me at mike@thaler.org w. your phone no. Would like to talk w. you.