When you balance your checkbook you may discover that you have a large discrepancy. You may be missing money or you may discover that you have extra money. This does happen, and it is important to address the problem quickly. You may also find that you have withdrawals that have not been authorized, and it is important to address those issues as well. You can also put a stop payment on a check that has been stolen. You need to handle these matters as quickly as you can, and in a professional manner.
Time Required: 1 hour
First, you should gather the information that will support your claim. If you are missing a deposit, you should find your receipt for it. It is a good idea to hold onto the receipt until your deposit is posted online. If you are questioning specific transactions you should highlight them on your statement. Often you can go online and find out more about the transaction, as well.
Second, it is important to address these matters in person if possible. You can call a customer service line, but generally speaking people at the branch are more willing to work with you. When you speak to the person at the bank you need to be very calm. The customer service agents and account representatives are there to help you resolve any problems. However, if you come in very upset, they are not as likely to go out of their way to help resolve your concerns and questions.
Third, you need to be patient. If there is a missing deposit or an unauthorized transaction, it may take the bank awhile to track it down. Your initial meeting may simply start the research to resolve the problem. The bank will have to go back through and see the teller’s transactions for the day and then determine what went wrong. If you made a deposit at the ATM, then the ATM records will need to be accessed and analyzed.
Fourth, follow up with any paperwork or other steps that need to be taken. If you have unauthorized transactions, you may need to file a police report before the bank will do anything. Additionally, you should close the account to prevent any future occurrences of this happening. If you do this be sure to change all of your automatic transfers and payment options, as well as your direct deposit.
Be sure that you balance your account to your statement regularly. This helps you to track mistakes and find the errors much quicker. Many banks allow you to download the information straight into your money management software and it does it automatically for you. There really is no reason not to do it.
Additionally, you should keep a running total of your account. Never go off of the balance that you receive at the ATM or on a deposit slip. It does not including outstanding debit card transaction, and checks. If you just assume that you have money you will likely overdraw your account.
If your bank continues to have discrepancies and problems, then remember you are not trapped at your bank. You can switch banks and find a bank that does not have any problems.
What You Need:
- Your Bank Account Statements
- Receipts of Deposits and Other Transactions
- A Copy of your Current Checkbook Ledger or Printout of Your Transactions