(Columbia) Oct. 20, 2004 - Paying by check is going to be a whole new deal with new banking rules that are about to go into effect. Consumer Reports says people need to be aware the checks that you write may clear in a matter of hours instead of days and that means the "float" time many people count on won't exist anymore.
There's no guarantee the checks you deposit into your account will show up any faster.
Consumer Reports says you can also probably forget about trying to stop payment on a check.
You'll probably have to say so long to canceled checks. Instead, you'll likely get check images, but Consumer Reports says these are not a legal record of a payment. So if you do have a dispute over a payment, you'll need something called a substitute check. And the new rules don't make it clear whether or not banks have to provide them to you.
The bottom line on Check 21 changes: you've got to be sure to have sufficient funds in your account when you write a check.
Also, request substitute checks if your bank does not provide them and, if you don't already, be sure to direct deposit your paycheck.
Consumer reports says taking these measures will help save you money and a lot of hassle.
The Check 21 regulations go into effect October 28th.