Need help with check written in euros!

Feb 17th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Need help with check written in euros!

I received a check from a rental apartment owner in Paris, actually a refund of my deposit due to a cancellation, but it's in euros. We bank with a local credit union that doesn't handle foreign currency. What are my options?
Hagan is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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If you can find a bank that deals with foreign currency transactions, you'll end up paying a steep fee, probably as high as 7% and will have to wait for the check to clear.

Id return the check and ask them to wire the funds to your account in the credit union.

Next time put the deposit on your credit card. It will protect your investment.
Robert2533 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 10:52 AM
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Get your IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and ask for a bank transfer (after returning the check). It won't be free, but it's better than having a check you can't deposit.
kerouac is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 01:27 PM
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I'm not following what you're suggesting. What is an IBAN, exactly, and where would I get one? You know I think I really screwed up here. The owner asked me for our bank account info, so he could give the money back, and I was uneasy giving that information to anyone. I guess I'm getting paranoid, with all the scams going around. I have to say this business is over my head! At this point, I'd even settle for losing the 7%, just to get it done with.
Hagan is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 01:30 PM
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Find out what the fees will be first before having the money transferred to your account. I just got "reimbursed" by a Turkish organisation for the costs of a speaking engagement in Turkey, and my bank in France deducted almost 20 euros from the 350 euro payment.
Kate_W is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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If it's a check from Alpha Bank (which is probably unlikely) I'll help you out.
angeliki is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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Hi H,

First you wouldn't give him the bank info and now you want to return his check and give him the bank info?

Is there no bank in your town that will cash the check for you, even if you have to open an account?

ira is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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Even for my business account, if I received a check in foreign currency, it goes for "collection", which can take maybe 10/days-2wks to be processed, cleared and then a fee for handling besides the conversion. I ask for wire transfers in USD which works just fine. However, the sender incurs bank wiring fees, whatever conversion fees; you the receiver are usually charged an incoming fee.
Feb 17th, 2007, 02:41 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,608
An IBAN is your account number + various other identification codes that allow banks to recognize each other anywhere in the world. Failing that, the SWIFT code should work as well. Any bank will know what that is.
kerouac is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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There's no way I would involve the owner again, you must head misread my intent. No, he's gone above and beyond what one would expect, I think.

I'll just have to eat the cost of conversion and consider it a lesson learned. What I'm looking for is HOW to convert it, and I thank all for your suggestions.
Hagan is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 08:40 AM
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Just have your bank send it for collection. It will just take longer for you to receive your refund..and...probably cost more, and learn!!

You should have given them your bank numbers for transfer. I guess you know that now. This is standard procedure
gracejoan3 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Yes, live and learn. We people in the euro zone are so happy not to worry about euro zone transactions anymore -- yet the banks tried to charge us fees the first year, until the European Commission told them "hello? what point is there in having the euro if you are still trying to get fees?" And the fees were cancelled forever.
kerouac is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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When a transaction such as this ends up costing me, I list the expense under "education" in my budget.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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The IBAN # is your account #, along with that is your BIC number, which identifies your bank and branch.

I have sent bank wire transfers a couple of times and they were not cheap. The sender has the choice of having the receiver pay the fees.

Three other methods I have used for international transfers are Western Union, Paypal and bank drafts in the currency of the receiver.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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How did you think you were going to cash this check when you requested it from the owner? Maybe you just never thought of asking your credit union.

I agree you can't involve the owner as you already asked him to do something, which he did. The problem is that this is a personal check, I presume? If it were a travelers check you could more easily cash it in the US, regardless of its currency. Personal checks of any kind are usually difficult to cash unless you have an account at a bank. You could try contacting Travelex, they have a website, and deal in foreign currency and transactins. I know they'll buy back foreign currency and travelers checks, but I sort of doubt if they'll deal with a personal check (too much trouble for the risk it isn't good, etc.). You could call and ask, though, maybe they'd have some idea. Or just go to a regular large bank that would deal in foreign currency and see if they'll do something for you even if you don't have an account there.

Otherwise, surely some friend or relative would do this for you who does have a regular bank?
Christina is offline  
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