Proposal Would Share Check 21’sBenefits With Consumers

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WASHINGTON - (02/16/05) – A leading Democratic member ofCongress introduced a bill Tuesday that would require credit unionsand banks to share the advantages of the new Check 21 law byshortening the hold time on checks. The bill, introduced by Rep.Carolyn Maloney, one of the senior Democrats on the House FinancialServices Committee, is aimed at giving consumers quicker access tothe money they deposit now that checks will clear faster under thenew law. The Consumer Checking Account Fairness Act would reducethe hold time on checks up to $7,500 to two business days; countSaturdays as a business day toward the check hold period if thecredit union or bank debits the check on Saturday; prevent creditunions and banks from charging bounced check fees when the deposithas cleared but the hold period has not been completed; and requirecredit unions and banks who charge a fee for bounce protection toget the consumer to ask for the protection first. The bill comes ascredit unions and banks are poised to reap millions of dollars ininterest by the faster clearing time afforded under Check21.

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