North Hollywood, CA asked in Banking and Consumer Law for California

Q: How long can a State of California/US treasury Check legally be held by a bank ?

I went inside the bank to deposit a check. Was told was gonna be held til next day. I get email stating it’s on a hold/freeze. That was 8/24. States it will be held til 9/2. Spoke with rep who said confidential hold. Read the reasons on why it could possibly invoke a hold. None of those reasons apply to me never written bad check or even been in negative . Been with bank 4+yrs and 6months prior have cashed same type of check &was able to get half up front and deposit check. Is this legal ? They also stated they have no authority to release a hold.?well who does? Who enforces the holds? It’s a State /government check shouldn’t a small fraction be available within days? It was a California state lottery check and both were issued to me. Never had a problem with the bank and I thought since it was a treasury check it wouldn’t be a problem as it was only for 1k.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Leon Bayer
Leon Bayer
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Was the check made out to you or to someone else and signed over to you?

Clearly there is something making the bank concerned. What could that possibly be?

You say you cashed a similar check 6 months ago.

That is what makes me ask if the check belonged to someone else. If these checks originally belonged to you there should be a transaction every two weeks right?

And if they were yours, you can arrange to get direct deposit or a debit card issued by the state and never have these worries again.

If they are not made out to you the bank has to worry that they will lose the money they give out to you.

Basically the bank can adopt rules that are reasonable. And unless the checks are made out to you I frankly think the bank is doing this correctly.

1 user found this answer helpful

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