More than two years after the Check 21 law, designed to ease and speed banking transactions, was passed, frustrated consumers are faced with the fact that while money is flowing out of their accounts more rapidly, deposits don’t seem to be clearing any more quickly.
"Congress sped up how fast money flies out of bank accounts when it enacted Check 21, and as the industry has adopted new technology. But nothing has sped up how fast deposited money goes into a checking account," says Jean Ann Fox, director of consumer protection at Consumer Federation of America.
The number of checks clearing electronically is growing dramatically. NetDeposit, a Salt Lake City company that creates Check 21 software for banks, reports that more than 24 million Check 21 payments were processed during the first quarter of 2006, a 1466-percent increase from the first quarter in 2005.
It’s also known that the dollar volume of fees for nonsufficient funds and overdrafts is growing, but experts caution that it’s extremely difficult to draw a correlation between the two trends