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A Blank Money Order: Can I Cash It?

I have a money order issued from a bank that has only the dollar amount filled out, no "pay to the order of" name or sender/address. Does this money order have value?

That is the form in which many banks issue personal money orders. Purchasers are usually cautioned to complete the money order payee and signature/purchaser information promptly, because a money order without that information is like cash.

Yes, it has value, even if it's been a long time since it was issued. Check with the issuing bank to ensure that the money order still shows as issued and outstanding on its books. If so, either use it or cash it promptly. If you're going to cash it, make it payable to yourself, and endorse it at the bank when you cash it.

It's possible that the purchaser thought that it was lost and placed a stop payment on it. In that case, it won't have any value, since the bank will have replaced it by now. If the money order was bought several years ago, state abandoned property laws may have required the bank to turn the deposit represented by the money order over to the state. In that case, you'd have to contact the state's abandoned property office (normally part of the Treasurer's office) and get assistance there.

Published on 1/05/10