On Wed, 7 Dec 2005, Bill Stewart wrote:
| At 08:05 PM 12/2/2005, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
| >You know, I'd wonder how many people on this
| >list use or have used online banking.
| I've used it for about a decade at my credit union,
| and I've had my paychecks deposited directly for decades.
| There are things I absolutely won't do,
| like have a debit card attached to the account,
| or have companies authorized to take money out directly,
| or have electronic checks of various sorts taken out of the account.
Be aware that when you authorize direct deposit to your account, you are
also implicitly authorizing "direct withdrawal".  I found this out many
years ago when an employer accidentally issued paychecks for too much money.
My next bank statement showed the deposit, followed a day later by a
withdrawal to get back to the correct value.

Nothing on any direct deposit authorization form seems to mention this, and
I know of no way to block it - the authorizations are a unit, you can't
agree to one without the other.

Of course, first with check truncation by large institutions, and now
Check 21, the line between paper checks and electronic withdrawals has
rather difficult to define.  In theory, you do have the same recourse with
electronically transfered checks (Check 21) that you did with paper ones.
In practice, the copy you receive doesn't normally grant you that level of
recourse - you need an official copy (I forget the actual term in the law),
and unless you know to ask for it, your bank won't give it to you.

Check truncation - where you send a check to a credit card company, say, and
it turns it into a direct withdrawal, so you don't even get a copy of the
check back - is even more problematic.  If, as has happened to me more than
once, they misread the value on the check (typically, the error is to forget
to add .00), yes, the same amount is credited to your card bill as is
from your bank account - but you could be hit up for interest and various
penalties.  The only proof of what the check really said is in the hands of
the credit card company - and I'm not even sure what their obligations are
terms of retaining the image and making it available to you.

I wonder if these new processes have given the various financial
what they wanted, but could never get the courts to agree to, eliminate for
years:  Effectively destroying the legal enforceability of a mark of "In
payment" on a check.*
                                                        -- Jerry

* If there is a pre-existing dispute between you and another party about
what you owe them, and you give them a check for the amount you claim they
owe that is marked "In Full Payment", if they cash it, they have legally
agreed that that check settles the dispute.  I've only had to use this once,
years back, when a landlord had for months "not gotten 'round to" paying me
a referral fee:  I took the referral fee out of my next month's rent and
marked it "In Full Payment".  I pointed this out to them, because I didn't
really want to go to court about this issue!  They refused to cash the
but by an amazing coincidence delivered my referral check a day later and
then asked me to replace the rent check.  This right remains there - but if
you can't get your hands on the check, it's very difficult to enforce!

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