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There is a 4 year statute of limitations in CA on a debt like this, so they could go back a max of 4 years and enforce any dues that weren't credited to your account due to their not cashing the checks. However, if you sent in the checks on time each month, then they wouldn't be able to charge any late fees since you weren't in breach of the contract to pay.
Even though they were negligent in not cashing the checks, they never actually withdrew the money from your account so it would still be owed.