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Bank Accounts - Errors


My checking account statement contains an error due to an electronic funds transfer (debit card / ACH / preauthorized withdrawal)? What should I do?

You have 60 days from the date a problem or error appears—on your periodic checking account statements or terminal receipt—to contact your financial institution. Notify the bank in writing and keep a copy for your records.

You should also review the Account Agreement you received when you opened the account.

How long can the bank take to correct an electronic funds transfer (EFT) error and credit the checking account?

Generally, a national bank can take up to 10 business days to determine if an EFT error error has occurred. The bank should respond to you within three business days of completing its investigation.

If the bank cannot make a decision within 10 business days, it may take up to 45 days to determine if an error has occurred. In this case it must provisionally (temporarily) reimburse your account. (Note: Depending on the type of transaction, the 45-day limit can be extended.)

I filed a claim with the bank regarding an electronic fund transfer (EFT) error that happened five days ago. The bank has not responded. What can I do?

Generally, a national bank can take up to 10 business days to determine if an EFT error (ATM/Debit Card, Direct Deposits, Point-of-Sale transfers) has occurred. The bank should respond to you within three business days of completing its investigation.

If the bank cannot make a decision within 10 business days, it may take up to 45 days to determine if an error has occurred. However, in this case it must temporarily reimburse your account. (Note: Depending on the type of transaction, this 45-day limit can be extended.)

What can I do about a check that was encoded incorrectly?

Encoding errors are generally handled by adjustments sent between banks. You should notify your bank so they can investigate the error. Generally, national banks require you to notify them of any error(s) within 30 days after the statement date. However, the time period for this prompt notification may vary by bank and State.

Your Deposit Account Agreement specifies your bank's specific time requirement. Take a look at that agreement and contact the bank directly regarding any alleged error.

I wrote a check for $89 but incorrectly wrote out the amount as “eight-hundred and ninety dollars.” The bank paid it as $890. Shouldn't the bank have paid according to the numeral?

No. State statutes indicate that when dealing with negotiable instruments, words prevail over numbers. In the same way, handwritten items prevail over printed or typewritten items.

I wrote a check for $300, but the bank posted it as $3,000. The bank told me to get the money from the other party. Is this correct?

No. This appears to be a check altering/posting error. The bank must correct it. You should notify your bank so it can investigate the error. The bank may require you to complete an affidavit.

The time period for this prompt notification may vary by bank and State; if a check was altered, you may have up to one year to assert one alteration. Generally, for multiple alterations, national banks require you to notify them of any error(s) within 30 days after you receive the statement.

Your Deposit Account Agreement specifies your bank's specific time requirement. Review that agreement, then contact the bank directly regarding any alleged error.

My bank owes a refund/reimbursement to my checking/savings account. How long does the bank have to reimburse these funds?

It depends on how the funds were removed. Generally, there is no specific time limit to correct a check error; however, the bank should correct the error in a reasonable amount of time.

A deposit was credited to my account by mistake. Does the bank have to get my permission before removing the funds?

No. If the funds are credited to your account in error, the bank doesn't need your permission to remove funds. The bank may correct the error by exercising its legal right of off-set. This right allows a national bank to charge your account for a debt owed to the bank.

To correct this error, the bank must remove the funds from your account and deposit them into the correct account.

A deposit was credited to my account by mistake. Can the bank freeze the account?

Yes. The bank may freeze the account to ensure that no funds are withdrawn before the error is corrected. Or the bank may place a hold on the deposit.

I made a deposit by check/cash and received a receipt, but the bank says that its records do not reflect the deposit. Since I have a receipt, doesn't the bank have to credit my account?

You should contact the bank and provide a copy of the deposit receipt. However, the deposit receipt is not conclusive evidence that you deposited the funds.

If the deposited item was a check, you will need to contact the party that provided the check to you and obtain a copy of the front and back of the check. If the deposited item was cash, and the bank does not agree to honor the receipt, you will need to consult with legal counsel about your rights.

The bank paid a check from my account that was for the wrong amount. The bank stated that I waited too long to report the loss. How long is too long?

Your deposit account agreement states that it's your responsibility to review your periodic statement and advise the bank of any errors. Generally, you have 30 days from the statement date to find the error and notify the bank.

If the loss occurred from a fraudulent endorsement with a check, State statutes typically allow up to one year from the statement date to provide notification. However, your deposit account agreement should provide the notification timeframes for this type of loss.

If the loss occurred from an electronic transaction, you should notify the bank as soon as possible, as there are separate laws that address this type of transaction. Generally, you have 60 days from the statement date to notify the bank of an error involving an electronic transaction.







Copyright 2007 by Mark McCracken , All Rights Reserved