What is a Certified Cashier's Check?

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  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 27 August 2019
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There is no such thing as a certified cashier's check. A certified check and a cashier's check are two separate means used to guarantee money during the course of a payment. Both forms are accompanied by a promise from a bank that the amount for which the check has been written is available and will be paid promptly upon request. Banks typically charge a small fee to process and issue either request.

Instead of a certified cashier's check, an individual could request a certified check from his or her bank. This is signed by both the account holder and the bank in which the account holder has funds. The bank's signature is a guarantee that verifies the identity of the account holder, and that the money for the amount of the check is in the customer's account. The check, when cashed, will draw funds directly out of the customer's account. If a certified check encounters problems and cannot be cashed, both the customer and the bank are held responsible, and the offended party can seek legal action against both.


A customer wishing to initiate a secure money transfer could also use a cashier's check, rather than a certified cashier's check. This type is written directly by the bank, which is the check's only signatory. The institution promises to pay the amount listed on the check, and reimburses itself from the customer's account. The transfer of funds is done from the customer's account directly to the bank, instead of to the individual cashing the check. If a cashier's check experiences problems, the offended party could seek legal action immediately against the bank.

While there is no certified cashier's check, either of these actual forms of payment may be used and requested during a business transaction or in the course of a sale in which a large sum of money is required. Commercial landlords often require security deposits and one month's rent from new tenants in the form of certified checks. This provides the landlord with a certain amount of security regarding the availability of the funds from a tenant with whom the landlord has had no previous dealings.

Both certified and cashier's checks are commonly requested forms of payment when completing a home sale. This is typically provided by the purchaser to cover the fee of the down payment for the home. Down payments frequently exceed 20% of the total price of the home. Due to the large nature of these checks, home sellers and real estate agents prefer to ensure that the funds are available before transferring ownership of the house.


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Can I get my money back if I do not receive the services I paid for with a cashier check?

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