Require Police Reports for EFT Disputes?
Answers by - Randy Carey, Ken Golliher, Brian Crow and John Burnett Guru Bios
Question: Is it OK to require police reports when consumers file EFT disputes?
Answer by Randy Carey: No. There has been at least one pretty hefty fined levied against a bank for requiring police reports.
Answer by Ken Golliher: In short, the law requires your bank to do some very specific things in response to a claim. You cannot effectively say, "We will comply with the law if you do this..."
Answer by Brian Crow: Reg E 1005.11(b) allows you to require that the customer provide enough information so that you can determine their name, account number, and why they believe an error exists. You may not require anything in addition to this. You may ask for additional documentation to assist in your investigation, but you may not condition your investigation on whether or not you receive it.
Answer by John Burnett: I have never really understood why some banks have taken the stance that claims of unauthorized EFT activity needed to be bolstered by police reports. Most police departments don't have the time or resources to pursue most of these reports unless the dollars involved are substantial. Whether or not a report of this kind actually results in charges against a thief, there's no change in the bank's responsibility to adhere to the requirements of §1005.11. So I guess that the purpose of asking for a police report might be to discourage frivolous claims; that would be a slippery slope, indeed!
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