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Sec. 229.55 - Expedited recredit for banks.


(a) Circumstances giving rise to a claim. A bank that has an indemnity claim under § 229.53 with respect to a substitute check may make an expedited recredit claim against an indemnifying bank if—

(1) The claimant bank or a bank that the claimant bank has indemnified—

(i) Has received a claim for expedited recredit from a consumer under § 229.54; or

(ii) Would have been subject to such a claim if the consumer account had been charged for the substitute check;

(2) The claimant bank is obligated to provide an expedited recredit with respect to such substitute check under § 229.54 or otherwise has suffered a resulting loss; and

(3) The production of the original check or a sufficient copy is necessary to determine the validity of the charge to the consumer account or the validity of any warranty claim connected with such substitute check.

Official Interpretation

XXXIV. §229.55 Expedited Recredit Procedures for Banks

A. 229.55(a) Circumstances Giving Rise to a Claim

1. This section allows a bank to make an expedited recredit claim under two sets of circumstances: first, because it is obligated to provide a recredit, either to the consumer or to another bank that is obligated to provide a recredit in connection with the consumer's claim; and second, because the bank detected a problem with the substitute check that, if uncaught, could have given rise to a consumer claim.

2. The loss giving rise to an interbank recredit claim could be the recredit that the claimant bank provided directly to its consumer customer under §229.54 or a loss incurred because the claimant bank was required to indemnify another bank that provided an expedited recredit to either a consumer or a bank.

Examples.

a. A paying bank charged a consumer's account based on a substitute check that contained a blurry image of a legible original check, and the consumer whose account was charged made an expedited recredit claim against the paying bank because the consumer suffered a loss and needed the original check or a sufficient copy to determine the validity of his or her claim. The paying bank would have a warranty claim against the presenting bank that transferred the defective substitute check to it and against any previous transferring bank(s) that handled that substitute check or another paper or electronic representation of the check. The paying bank therefore would meet each of the requirements necessary to bring an interbank expedited recredit claim.

b. Continuing with the example in paragraph a, if the presenting bank determined that the paying bank's claim was valid and provided a recredit, the presenting bank would have suffered a loss in the amount of the recredit it provided and could, in turn, make an expedited recredit claim against the bank that transferred the defective substitute check to it.

(b) Procedures for making claims. A claimant bank shall send its claim to the indemnifying bank, subject to the timing, content, and form requirements of this section.

(1) Timing of claim. The claimant bank shall submit its claim such that the indemnifying bank receives the claim by the end of the 120th calendar day after the date of the transaction that gave rise to the claim.

(2) Content of claim. The claimant bank’s claim shall include the following information—

(i) A description of the consumer’s claim or the warranty claim related to the substitute check, including why the bank believes that the substitute check may not be properly charged to the consumer account;

(ii) A statement that the claimant bank is obligated to recredit a consumer account under § 229.54 or otherwise has suffered a loss and an estimate of the amount of that recredit or loss, including interest if applicable;

(iii) The reason why production of the original check or a sufficient copy is necessary to determine the validity of the charge to the consumer account or the warranty claim; and

(iv) Sufficient information to allow the indemnifying bank to identify the substitute check and investigate the claim.

(3) Requirements relating to copies of substitute checks. If the information submitted by a claimant bank under paragraph (b)(2) of this section includes a copy of any substitute check, the claimant bank shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the copy cannot be mistaken for the legal equivalent of the check under § 229.51(a) or sent or handled by any bank, including the indemnifying bank, for forward collection or return.

(4) Form and submission of claim; computation of time. The indemnifying bank may, in its discretion, require the claimant bank to submit the information required by this section in writing, including a copy of the paper or electronic claim submitted by the consumer, if any. An indemnifying bank that requires a written submission—

(i) May permit the claimant bank to submit the written claim electronically;

(ii) Shall inform a claimant bank that submits a claim orally of the written claim requirement at the time of the oral claim; and

(iii) Shall compute the 10-day time period for acting on the claim described in paragraph (c) of this section from the date on which the bank received the written claim.

Official Interpretation

B. 229.55(b) Procedures for Making Claims

1. An interbank recredit claim under this section must be brought within 120 calendar days of the transaction giving rise to the claim. For purposes of computing this period, the transaction giving rise to the claim is the claimant bank's settlement for the substitute check in question.

2. When estimating the amount of its loss, §229.55(b)(2)(ii) states that the claimant bank should include “interest if applicable.” The quoted phrase refers to any interest that the claimant bank or a bank that the claimant bank indemnified paid to a consumer who has an interest-bearing account in connection with an expedited recredit under §229.54.

3. The information that the claimant bank is required to provide under §229.55(b)(2)(iv) to facilitate investigation of the claim could include, for example, a copy of any written claim that a consumer submitted under §229.54 or any written record the bank may have of a claim the consumer submitted orally. The information also could include a copy of the defective substitute check or information relating to that check, such as the number, amount, and payee of the check. However, a claimant bank that provides a copy of the substitute check must take reasonable steps to ensure that the copy is not mistaken for a legal equivalent of the original check or handled for forward collection or return.

4. The indemnifying bank's right to require a claimant bank to submit a claim in writing and the computation of time from the date of the written submission parallel the corresponding provision in the consumer recredit section (§229.54(b)(3)). However, the indemnifying bank also may require the claimant bank to submit a copy of the written or electronic claim submitted by the consumer under that section, if any.

(c) Action on claims. No later than the 10th business day after the banking day on which the indemnifying bank receives a claim that meets the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, the indemnifying bank shall

(1) Recredit the claimant bank for the amount of the claim, up to the amount of the substitute check, plus interest if applicable;

(2) Provide to the claimant bank the original check or a sufficient copy; or

(3) Provide information to the claimant bank regarding why the indemnifying bank is not obligated to comply with paragraph (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this section.

Official Interpretation

C. 229.55(c) Action on Claims

1. An indemnifying bank that responds to an interbank expedited recredit claim by providing the original check or a sufficient copy of the original check need not demonstrate why that claim or the underlying consumer expedited recredit claim is or is not valid.

(d) Recredit does not abrogate other liabilities. Providing a recredit to a claimant bank under this section does not absolve the indemnifying bank from liability for claims brought under any other law or from additional damages under § 229.53 or § 229.56.

(e) Indemnifying bank’s right to a refund.

(1) If a claimant bank reverses a recredit it previously made to a consumer account under § 229.54 or otherwise receives reimbursement for a substitute check that formed the basis of its claim under this section, the claimant bank shall provide a refund promptly to any indemnifying bank that previously advanced funds to the claimant bank. The amount of the refund to the indemnifying bank shall be the amount of the reversal or reimbursement obtained by the claimant bank, up to the amount previously advanced by the indemnifying bank.

(2) If the indemnifying bank provides the claimant bank with the original check or a sufficient copy under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, § 229.53(b)(3) governs the indemnifying bank’s entitlement to repayment of any amount provided to the claimant bank that exceeds the amount of losses the claimant bank incurred up to that time.

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