Check 21 law to process checks faster

Every night, millions of cashed checks fly around the country, headed for their home bank. Starting Thursday, technology will begin grounding many of those flights. And it may ground some consumers, too — those who try to sneak an extra day or two of "float" out of their checking accounts.

A new era in banking has begun as the &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, commonly known as Check 21, takes effect. Banks will slowly get away from the business of flying checks around the country each night. Instead, checks will be cleared electronically, and often destroyed when they are cashed, reported MSNBC News.

The Check 21 law allows banks to process checks faster, using electronic images. Although many &to=http:// ' target=_blank>banks won't switch immediately, customers will lose the ability to "float" checks, writing payments to be covered by a later deposit.

The banks will see an estimated $2 billion in savings, plus a potential boost in fees from more overdrawn checks, at least until customers get used to the change. Check 21 gives consumers some rights to refunds on mistakes, but the protections have many exceptions, wrote Seattle Post.

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