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Random Discovery of the Day: Postdated Checks

Due to certain changes to the check laws that went into effect a couple years ago (a.k.a. “Check 21 Act”), a bank may elect to honor a post-dated check even before the check date, unless the payer notifies the bank in advance of such a check and asks the bank not to honor it until the check date.

I just had to go through a 15-minute call to (800)788-7000, which included 10+ minutes of holding of course -_-, to notify of two post-dated checks I made today.  There was no fee for the notification (unlike a stop-payment request) fortunately, though.  _-_  But the 10+-minute hold…. *sighes*  Apparently the phone rep didn't know such a procedure existed because he had to “verify” it; more like, asking his super what to do, I guess.  _-_;;  It just shows how poorly communicated to the general public the implication of the Check 21 Act was.

And what does that mean?  The answer is, if you regularly write post-dated checks for your rent or other recurring payments to concert them with your payday for example, you may want to reconsider that practice.  Because, your landlord will forget eventually (yay Murphy) that your check was postdated and cash it before the check date, causing you much headache (yay NSF fees).

And here's the OTL part: According to FRB, ] the Check 21 Act was made in order to eliminate banks'—not our—hassle of transporting physical (paper) checks.  Read: Yay for legislators for making people's life much easier!  *rolls eyes*

Update 20060605T2051: *sigh* I knew something was gonna go wrong….  Looks like the phone rep made not just one but two mistakes: 1) I told him I was notifying of two checks #1168 and #1169; he entered only one entry into the system for the check number #11681169 (orz); 2) I told him this was for stopping payment only until the check date (because they were postdated); he entered the default 6-month expiration period, so that the checks won't clear until frickin' December 4th.  Arghaiuhrgia2h3p9a^@$&*(^!QT*GOIBUHA&aaa!

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