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Making Sense of Holds

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Transcript: Wells Fargo Presents - Making Sense of Holds

Just about everyone has deposited a check. Sometimes when you deposit a check, the bank may place a Hold, which means it can take a few extra days before you can access that money. If that happens, we’ll tell you. But why is access to the money delayed? Most of the time, this is because we have information from the paying bank that the deposited check is at risk of bouncing.

For example, let’s say you sell something online and receive a $500 check from the buyer. When you deposit the check, if it turns out the buyer’s account does not have enough money, the check will be returned unpaid. If that happens, the bank will reverse your deposit and, because the funds were on hold, you avoid the problem of having to repay money you might have already spent.

We understand a hold may be inconvenient. Wells Fargo will tell you a hold is needed when you make the deposit. We’ll tell you how much of the check we are holding and when the funds will be available. Occasionally, we may get information after you’ve left the bank and need to place a hold. When this happens, we’ll send you an email, or notify you by letter.

There are a couple of reasons a hold is placed. First, as mentioned, if we have information a deposited check won’t be paid, a hold will be placed on the funds. This can happen when the check writer doesn’t have enough money in his account.

Second, large check deposits require a little extra caution. A hold may be placed on the amount over $5000 in a day.

And third, we may place a hold whenever a check is being deposited that has already been returned unpaid. The hold is necessary because the check already came back once, and we don’t know if the account now has enough money to cover the check.

Holds are not common. But, when needed, they help protect you, so you only spend money you actually have in your account.

Have more questions about this or any other banking topic? Stop by your local Wells Fargo for a conversation with your neighborhood banker.