Asked in Consumer Law and Banking for Ohio

Q: I went to deposit 2 checks into my bank. I’ve had the account for at least 10 months. They’re holding my checks 10 days.

Is this even legal? I’ve got bills to pay. Family to feed. I deposited 3/25/22 and was told there’s a hold on it until 4/4/22.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Holds on checks are not uncommon and legal, particularly if the check is out of the ordinary for the account. A check is not money, it is a promise to deliver money. When you give a bank a check, it has to clear through the federal reserve system before your bank actually gets the money from the other bank. So to give you the money right away, your bank is actually extending you credit on a the promise that the check will clear. This they will do for smaller amounts, regular deposits, and accounts with a long history. But if you have an account that's 10 months old and has never had more than a few hundred dollars in it and you suddenly dump a $10,000 in check into it, the bank is going to wait to see if the money is really there.

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