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Holds on Out of State Checks

What is the typical number of days out of state checks can be held?

The length of holds on deposited checks depends on whether the branch bank where the check is deposited is located in the same check processing region as the bank the check is drawn on, and on the policies of the bank accepting the deposit. For example, the six New England states are all in the same check processing district. Banks in New England are "local" to one another. Banks in New England are "non-local" to banks in New York or Arkansas, or California.

When the check is drawn on a local bank, the funds are normally available by the second business day following the day of deposit (Monday deposit, Wednesday availability). If it's drawn on a non-local bank, funds should be available by the fifth business day (Monday deposit, availability next Monday). Two and five days are the normal hold maximums. Funds may be made available sooner (and for some checks, funds must be available on the first business day following deposit (Monday deposit, Tuesday availability).

There are some exceptions, and banks can place longer exception holds under those circumstances. For example, if checks totaling more than $5,000 are deposited on the same day, the bank can extend the hold on the amount above the first $5,000 to seven days for local checks (deposit Monday, availability Wednesday of following week), or 11 days for non-local checks (availability Tuesday of second week following Monday deposit). Similar extended holds can be placed if your account is repeatedly overdrawn, if you're redepositing a bounced check, if yours is a new account (less than 30 days), or if the bank has reason to believe a deposited check is unlikely to be collected.

Published on 6/27/07