I am hoping someone can point me in the right direction… Yesterday, my mom called me and told me that she went to get her taxes done and tried to pay with a check and it was declined. They ran it through one of those little check approval machines. She said that she THOUGHT the name of the company was Econocheck or “something like that”, but I didn’t find anything during a google search.
The clerk tried to call the company then, as they were trying to figure out why the check was not approved. They person at the check company asked to speak with my mom. She said he asked her to “Spell her address” (assuming he meant verify – English was not his first language) and she verified her personal information. Still denied with no reason given. My mom is not that confrontational, so she didn’t push the issue like we all would.
My mom, of course, was horrified. Thankfully for small towns, she was able to go directly to her bank, get cash and return and pay the bill on the honor system. She did speak with the bank and they state that there are no problems with her account. Sufficient cash, etc…
They have lived in the same house/small town for 40 years. They parents have always had good credit in the past…though she admitted she has never ordered a credit report!!! She did say that she had a couple of 30 day lates within the past 6 months, but they were just anomalies and she could probably get a good-will delete on those if she asked. I wouldn’t think that would have an impact anyway, but I figured I’d mention it.
My parents don’t have a computer and they’re not tech savvy, so that doesn’t help.
I tried to sign her up for a credit karma account, just for a “big picture” look at her file seeing as she has never looked at it, but she had frozen her credit a few months ago as there was concern her information had been compromised.
Is there a way for her to get a copy of her credit report with her credit frozen? I would have no idea which bureau credit karma would check. Would hate to have to unfreeze/freeze all three as there would be a $20 - $25 cost to do this.
Should I reach out to Chexsystems to see if they can provide more insight? Could this just be a one-off issue with that specific check company or is this likely evidence of something shady going on with her account – like maybe fraud??
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
This same thing happened to my mother when she attempted to pay a car repair bill. We checked with the bank and there was no problem with her bank account.. the problem was with Chexsystem. Apparently they have all kinds of reasons for not approving a check that have nothing to do with funds in the account. I would check with Chexsystem.
Thanks for the response. We ordered a copy of her Chexsytems report yesterday and once it's mailed to her, hopefully we'll have a better idea.
I used to work at bestbuy a few decades ago, back when people regularly paid with checks. We would get denials very often. The problem was the amount of the check. First time anyone tried to write a check for more than X amount it would auto decline. We would put their goods on hold and tell them to come back in 2 days. We'd run the same check through again, and the payment would be approved.
Not sure the exact details of what caused the declines, and the banks never knew anything about it.
There are many CRAs that specialize in issues related to checking and savings accounts. ChexSystems is one. Early Warning Services is another. Take a look at this document (pages 22-25) for the full list:
Wait... so she thought her identity was compromised and froze her reports without ever checking if there was any fraud on the reports?
Get the annualcreditreport.com reports ASAP.