So I write a check for $1M...

… to myself.

What happens if I try to deposit it into my checking account? Obviously I don’t have one million (one MIL-lion) dollars in my checking account, so does it bounce and I have to pay the bank a $100,000 bounced check fee (is it 10%? I don’t really know what’s standard), or do they sort of laugh?

Er… this is way more interesting inside of my head, I think.

But what if I just write it for $20, which I can clear because I’m not that poor. I deposit the check, they take $20 out of my account, put the $20 back in. Do I not have the $20 for a few seconds/minutes/days?

Ok, that’s all.


WAG – you wouldn’t be able to have the use of the $20 for the amount of time it takes to normally clear a cheque where you are. Probably 3 to 5 working days.

Interesting question, though.

A cheque does not clear immediately - it takes a few days - but most banks will give you X dollars of draw on any deposit before the cheque clears. However, no real bank will give you a million bucks’ worth of draw on deposits. Mine gives me $500 per deposit and I had to fight hard to get it; at my previous bank it was just $400 for the length of the bank’s imaginary “week” (Thursday to Thursday, for some reason. One of the many reasons I switched banks.)

IF you do find a bank that lets you withdraw a million bucks on a million-dollar cheque, you can try it, but I suggest that the first thing you should buy with your newfound wealth is an airline ticket to a remote country without an extradition treaty.

Even if the bank is your own bank, it sometimes takes up to 2 days for a check to clear.

Example: my ex-wife and I were out of money, like really really out, no food, almost no gas, and payday wasn’t until the day after next.

So we wrote a check for forty dollars to ourselves, deposited it and withdrew the money right then (not all banks let you do this, mores the pity).

We beat the check trying to clear with my paycheck deposit, so when they went to put the check through, it cleared just fine.

A few times this didn’t work out so well. Caveat Emptor.

You’re very lucky Tristan. My old roommate did this & the bank pressed fraud charges against her.

Yeah, banks really don’t like kiting one little bit. Most will prosecute.

I hope that’s not in reference to me. I would never do anything like that! :wink:

So that’s what check kiting is? I’ve heard the term before, but never knew what it meant.

I was working for a Rental Car company when it came out that the owner of the franchaise had been kiting cheques between the rental company and his used car company… worked out to about $4 Million :eek:

Impressive… till he got caught, so I wouldn’t suggest it… bastard put me out of a job!

Aha! So it turns out that my innocent little scheme actually has a name, and a case history. Verrrry interesting…

Is it considered a “bad thing” to write checks to yourself, or only if you try to withdraw the money that they give you right away? (My bank also does this, I think $300 or so of the check goes to you right away, the rest waits in limbo until the check clears.)

The latter. Writing a check to yourself is a common method of tranferring money to accounts in your name with different banks. It’s when you start taking advantage of the ‘float’ time between the deposit at bank A and the debit from bank B that you’re on shaky legal ground. The wisest course is not to withdraw or write checks on the deposit at bank A until the check from your account on bank B actually clears. (If you’re depositing a check from bank A to your account at bank A, and follow this advice, you are in fact simply depriving yourself of the money for several days. Or, more accurately, loaning the money to the bank interest-free for a few days. “Hey, thanks!” the bank will say. :stuck_out_tongue: )

Can I turn this into a f**k Wells Fargo thread???

I deposited my payroll check on the 10th, via ATM. I received a letter from “loss control” on the 14th saying they were holding my deposit, and not to write any checks against it until the 12th.
(I repeat, I received the letter on the 14th). The reason for the hold - they either believed that the check would not be payable from my employer, or they were basing it on my record of overdrafts and returned checks. I have no returned checks on my account in the past 10 years. And the company I work for is solid financially, besides the fact that I have been depositing checks for this amount (or larger) for the past year, at the same ATM, every other Friday. WTF??? Luckily, I did not write any checks all that week, but they would have lost a customer if I had written checks, and then been charged because they bounced. I phoned the customer service number after I received the letter and spoke with a “banker” (no doubt named Jason and approx. 20 years old), and he was clueless as to why any of this happened.

There. I feel a bit better. Not rant-worthy, but I had to rag on WF
for their stupid judgement call.

Anyone here really really like their bank???

The Expedited Funds Availability Act, enacted in 1987, lays down the rules on the availability and collection of monies for all state and nationally chartered banks, thrifts, credit unions, and savings and loans. In accordance with that law, there are three standard hold periods: one, two and five business days. For example, the act allows banks to hold local checks up to two business days, and out-of-state checks and ATM deposits up to five.

Banks are required to tell you when money is tied up beyond normal limits in the following cases:

  • You are a new account holder.
  • You have deposited more than $5,000 in the same day.
  • You are redepositing a check because it was returned unpaid, lacked an endorsement or was postdated.
  • You have a history of overdrawing your account.
  • The bank has “reasonable cause” to doubt the collectibility of a check.
  • Bank emergencies such as computer breakdowns.

In these exceptions, the bank must tell a customer – either at the time the deposit is made or via a notice mailed the following business day – how much is being held, the reason an exception is being invoked and a time frame for when the money will be available.

No. No. No. No. No. Maybe.

But why couldn’t the phone “banker” give me any details? And if the letter notifying me of the hold on the money doesn’t get delivered to me for 4 days, then how do I know that I shouldn’t write checks against the amount that was deposited? Grrrrrrrr.