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 May 14, 2005
Are Your Checks in the Mail?
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The check�s in the mail well not anymore.  Banks are no longer required to send back your cashed checks. Instead, you get a photo copy of them. But thousands of consumers don't like this new policy and many have Called For Action.


"How many checks do you write each year?  25? 50? 100?  Once they're cleared you get them back, but now financial institutions are keeping them and giving you a photocopy.


Barbara Wehby from Warren doesn't feel banks have the right to keep your cashed checks, and she's not alone.  Our Call For Action center has received a number of complaints from consumers all saying they want their checks back.  That's because often times in a dispute, companies, including the IRS won't accept a photocopy of a cancelled check.




�When you call them they say, well, this, we find it faster, what do you mean you find it faster?"


Dennis Ziroli, RI Department of Business Regulation:


Yes, I believe that there are a lot of individuals that are concerned in this electronic age; however, with the advent of electronics, along with that comes convenience.


Financial institutions do find it to be an enormous cost savings alternative, but customers like the Wehby's don't like it.  As Call For Action found they don't have to like it and can do something about it. Many banks and credit card companies will allow customers to "opt out" of this electronic system, but often times you have to be the one to ask and as Barbara found they don't make it easy.




�I said, I want to opt out and the person I spoke to was giving me such a hard time.�


Barbara called for action after she felt she was getting the runaround from her credit card company.  We called them and they apologized for Barbara�s troubles, and agreed to send her her cashed checks.




�I don't know what you did but whatever you did, it was marvelous."


So what do the financial institutions actually do with your checks?  After a few days, they get destroyed. By the way, not all companies allow you to "opt out", and by law, they don't have to. 



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