A cashier's check is a bank draft purchased by a bank customer and written on the bank's deposits, not the customer's. When a cashier's check is obtained, the exact amount of the check is deposited into the bank's general fund and a check is written off the funds in the bank's accounts. Even though these are guaranteed funds, bank policy may require that checks from another state or bank be held for 10 days or more because the bank must wait for the other institution to release the funds and clear the check. You can reduce or stop the hold on a cashier's check you're depositing by understanding the Check 21 Act, federal legislation that took effect in 2004 and set forth procedures for checks to clear near immediately through electronic means.
Review the provisions of the Check Clearing for the 21st Century (Check 21) Act. This legislation enabled banks to clear checks electronically, rather than sending them to the institution that wrote them. This greatly expedited the process of funds being transferred between institutions. Read your bank's "Account Agreement," which outlines procedures for placing holds on checks and the maximum time a check can be held. Banks do this to protect themselves from bad checks and other fraud.
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Go to your bank and speak with a bank representative. Explain that you have a cashier's check you need to deposit and would like to have no hold placed on the check.
Provide the representative with your identification and account information. Fill out a deposit slip with all pertinent information. Inquire about the bank's Check 21 procedures--the representative will likely explain that while the check may "clear," the system is not perfect and discrepancies arise, which is why the bank still places a hold on checks.
Ask the bank representative to call the institution that issued the cashier's check to verify the amount and the payee on the check. Once the funds are verified, the hold should be lifted.
If a bank teller or customer service representative is unable to help you, speak with a branch manager. As long as the bank can prove that the funds have cleared, there's no reason to maintain a hold on the account.
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