Iowans who drop a check in the mail with hopes the money will be in their account within a few days will soon have to quit the practice — or face late penalties for bouncing checks. A new federal law kicks in October 28th that will virtually end the practice of “floating” checks. Dodie Bauman, compliance manager for the Iowa Bankers Association, explains what the new “Check 21” plan means. Instead of banks putting the checks on planes or in trucks and shipping them cross-country can now use electronic representations of the checks, greatly speeding up the process. Bauman says the process will eliminate the need for banks to shuttle the actual checks around. Instead they can zap them like e-mail instantaneously. While it takes three-to-five days now for the money to “turn around,” the new system should make the funds available within one to three days. While this is troubling news for people who routinely float checks, Bauman says it will help other folks who are waiting on checks to “clear,” as the money should be there much faster.
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