January 5, 2007, Newsletter Issue #46: Bounced Check Fees

Tip of the Week

If your bank or credit union made an error under the Check 21 substitute check processing system that results in another check bouncing, you should be able to receive a full reaccredit of those fees. When you submit your written request for a reaccredit of a substitute check disputed amount, be sure to itemize any and all bounced check charges, as well as other charges and fees assessed by merchants or creditors.

Let's say you mailed out a bunch of checks to pay your mortgage, utility, and Visa bills. Your mortgage company's bank issued a substitute check during processing of the payment. Somehow, the mortgage payment was withdrawn from your account twice so that by the time your Visa payment hit your account, there were insufficient funds, and the check bounced. As a result, Visa charged you a late fee of $35. While you may not be able to collect the $35 fee under the rights afforded you by the Check 21 Act, you could collect it and other damages in small claims or civil court, depending on the size of your claim.

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