It has been two years since the start of the federal “Check 21” law and consumers are waiting for check hold times to be reduced. In fact, we’ve had the same long hold times for local and nonlocal checks since 1990! Your bank, savings and loan, or credit union can make you wait through a hold time lasting until the second day for a local check, and the fifth day for a nonlocal check – and weekends don’t count toward these time periods. The Federal Reserve Board has an obligation to reduce check hold times when check processing speeds up, and they are doing a study of check processing speeds right now. Today, six national consumer groups called on the Fed to make sure that study covers all the questions needed to follow the study with a change in regulations to reduce check holds:

Tell Consumers Union about your experience with check holds at:, or by filing a comment here. Protect yourself, don’t include private information like your account number in your comment.