If you have had insufficient funds in your account or written several bad checks, chances are good that you have been reported to the ChexSystems. This system is used to keep track of customers with delinquent or mismanaged accounts, and all banks use the system. That means if you have a problem at one bank, you can’t simple go open another account. They will check the ChexSystems and will see that you have had issues in the past. While there are some banks that will offer second chance checking accounts, many would prefer that you have satisfied old obligations as noted in the ChexSystems.
The ChexSystems records account problems such as insufficient funds and fraudulent deposits. Once your account is reported, it will be noted on the ChexSystems for five years. You can request your ChexSystems report for free annually and are allowed to argue against errors on the report.
Clearing an Error From Your ChexSystems Report
To clear an error off your report, follow these steps:
- Order your report at the ChexSystems’ website. You will be asked a number of questions and will also have to give your full name, any previous names, and your social security number. They also ask for your driver’s license number for additional verification, but that information is optional, so you don’t have to include it if it makes you uncomfortable.
- If there is an error, submit a Consumer Request for Reinvestigation form. This form is quite simple and asks for your personal information such as name, driver’s license number and social security number. Then you are given up to five different transactions you would like to dispute as well as a place to explain why these items are in error. This form will need to be mailed to the ChexSystems office in Minnesota. (The address can be found on their website.)
Clearing Your ChexSystems Report If You Are Delinquent
Before you attempt to open a new checking or savings account, you will need to make sure that your ChexSystems report is accurate and that all accounts have been satisfied. Banks that offer second chance accounts are willing to give you another chance, but it is best to have your report show that your accounts are once again in good standing.
- Pay your balance and retain proof of payment.
- Have the bank document your payment. Ask the bank manager to write a letter stating that your account has been satisfied and paid in full and that you can now be removed from ChexSystems.
- Send the letter and proof of payment to ChexSystem. Even if you pay your account in full, you will remain in ChexSystems for five years unless the bank specifically states in the letter that you can be removed from ChexSystems. You can only be removed if the one who reported you also requests your removal.
Many people run into financial difficulties and may have their accounts reported to ChexSystems. However, once you are reported, there are ways that you can fix the error if you were reported incorrectly or have your name removed if you settle your account. Having your name removed from ChexSystem is the best strategy to move ahead in your financial life
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