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Forgeries and Check 21

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We are not currently participating in Check 21 and converting documents. We have had customers claim that a check is a forgery. The check cleared as an IRD and all we have is the replacement document sent to us from the depository bank. When the customer files a police report the police are asking for the original check back so they can test for fingerprints. When we contact the depository bank we are told that the original check has been destroyed. I understand that they have to truncate the check for 14 days then it can be destroyed. After 14 days, what suggestions do you have when the police want the original check to prove forgery and press charges and have you had this come up on previous questions?

A number of banks, police departments and district attorney's offices are running into this problem as more and more checks are being imaged rather than processed in their original form. In fact, there is no 14-day retention period in regulations, but there may be a contractual obligation to use that period in some cases. I believe that as more forgery claims are frustrated by the absence of original checks, more pressure will be brought to develop and adopt additional security features that will survive the imaging and reconversion processes.

First published on 3/05/07

First published on 03/05/2007

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