Hey, it looks like the Feds are permitting some banks to pull a fast one.
The folks at Consumers' Union, who do Consumer Reports, are trying to help out:
Check 21 is a complex new federal law, starting October 28, 2004, that changes check processing. It
will speed up the checks you write, but won't make the funds you deposit available in your account
any sooner. One industry expert forecasts that Check 21 will result in seven million more bounced
check fees per month by mid-2005.
Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America have written to the nation's largest
deposit-taking financial institutions, suggesting seven policies that they could adopt to improve
Check 21 for consumers. The groups asked banks to avoid imposing new fees associated with Check
21's new type of copy of a check, called a substitute check; and to give all consumers equal rights
to a prompt recredit of disputed funds regardless of how a check is processed.
Consumers can join an online petition to ask banks to adopt policies that improve Check 21 for
Online petition: http://cu.convio.net/check_21