How Long Can a Bank Hold Your Check?

Federal Regulation CC provides financial institutions with limits to how long they can hold various types of checks. The regulation is meant to protect banks and their depositors from possible fraud that can occur with check deposits, but prohibit banks from unfairly holding consumer's monies.

Next business day items

Under normal circumstances, US Treasury Checks, US Postal Service Money Orders, government checks, cashiers or official checks, Federal Reserve checks, Federal Home Loan checks, checks drawn on the depositing bank, and the first $100 of all deposits must be made available on the next business day.

Local personal and business checks

Typically, checks from a bank that is in the same federal reserve district as the bank where the check is being deposited must be available in two business days.

Non-local personal and business checks

If the check is from a bank in a different federal reserve district than the depositing bank, it can be held for 5 business days under normal circumstances.

Exceptions for new customers during the first 30 days

Banks are not required to give next day ability on the first $100 of deposits, and both local and non-local personal and business checks can be held for a maximum of 11 business days. For items typically available on the next day, the first $5000 must be released on the next business day, but any amount over $5000 can be held for 9 business days.

Other exceptions personal and business checks

If a deposit is for more than $5000, has been returned once for Non-sufficient funds, is being deposited into an account that has been repeatedly overdrawn, or is being deposited at a bank that has lost their computer systems due to an emergency condition, local and non-local checks can be held for 7 and 11 business days respectively.

Exceptions for other items

If any of the conditions above apply to a next day item, the bank can place an extended hold on checks drawn on the same bank as where the deposit is being made for 2 business days. When the conditions exist for US Treasury or US Postal Money orders, they may be held for 7 business days, and all other next day items can be held for up to11 business days.