How to Get Out of the TeleCheck System

How to Get Out of the TeleCheck System
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TeleCheck reports on bounced and fraudulent checks so merchants can decide whether or not to accept a check from a consumer. A single bounced check can affect your ability to write checks for years, though, and you could be entered into the TeleCheck system through no fault of your own. You won't typically be able to write checks at TeleCheck-participating merchants until you get out of the TeleCheck system.

Filing Police Report for Theft

File an immediate police report if your checks have been stolen. Fraudulent use of your checks may cause TeleCheck to decline you. After you've filed a police report, send a copy of it directly to TeleCheck, then ask the company if it needs any more information to verify the theft.

Requesting a Check Decline Code

Ask the merchant that declined your check for a check decline code. This code gives TeleCheck important information about why your check was declined. The reason could range from too many checks written in one day to a previous history of bounced checks. If you don't have a code, order a copy of your report directly from TeleCheck instead.

Contacting Merchants and Paying

Contact any merchants to whom you still owe money. Bounced checks are among the most common reasons for ending up on the Telecheck system. Pay the merchant and request that the merchant report the updated information directly to TeleCheck. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, merchants are legally required to update information to credit reporting agencies such as Telecheck when you pay a debt.

Correcting System Errors

Contact TeleCheck directly if you did not bounce a check and do not know why you are in the system. Keep a written record of all communications with TeleCheck, and dispute any bad check reports in writing.

The system may decline check writers who have little or no credit or about whom TeleCheck has no information. By providing Telecheck with the information it requests or taking specific actions TeleCheck requires, you can get out of the system.

Requesting Your TeleCheck File

If you're not sure whether you're in the TeleCheck system or which merchant put you there, you can order a copy of your file. TeleCheck allows consumers to order a copy of their file — just like a credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles you to one free copy of your TeleCheck file within 60 days of one of your checks being declined.

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