Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks ago?

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SunnySideUp
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Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2021 10:48 am

Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks ago?

Post by SunnySideUp »

TL;DR: If you're an existing NFCU member, have you recently:
  • had a deposited check put on a 5-business-day hold?
  • had the same deposited check put on hold multiple times (causing deposited-check-$amount to be debited from the destination account's Available Balance multiple times)?
The full-length blow-by-blow story:

I'm a long-time NFCU member getting hit with some problems that appear to be systematic, and I'm wondering whether any other NFCU members at Bogleheads are experiencing the same issues:
  • until last week, I had never had a mobile deposited check (which describes all my deposits to my NFCU accounts these days) put on a 5-biz-day (effective 1 week) hold. It is within NFCU policy to impose such a hold, but over the course of many years it had never happened.
  • On the early afternoon of 5/31 (a business day) **edit 6/10/21: using the NFCU app on my iPhone** I deposited 5 checks; these were "received" and "approved" minutes later that day, according to emails from NFCU, as usual. Depositing this many checks in a single day was slightly unusual, but all of the deposited checks were "regular monthly checks" that I've been depositing for years.
  • Overnight, one of the checks (the only one for an amount less than $2000) was added to my Available Balance (i.e. it experienced a nominal 1-day hold).
  • the following day (6/1 also a business day) in the afternoon (approx 24 hours after performing the mobile deposits), I began receiving emails from NFCU indicating that a check I had deposited 5/31 was being put on a 5-biz-day hold "for my security".
  • I called NFCU's 800 voice number to inquire as to the cause of this extended hold being imposed for the first time ever (and how it increased "my security"). The first-line responder did not provide meaningful answers, so I escalated to the next level "supervisor".
  • while I was talking to the NFCU supervisor, I noticed that I was now receiving duplicate 5-day hold emails (i.e. for each distinct deposited check amount, I was receiving a second email telling me that a deposited check of that amount was being put on a 5-day hold "for my security". At first I assumed "an email processing screw-up".
  • however at the same time, I noticed that, on the NFCU website, the deposit destination account's Available Balance was now lower than it had been prior to any of the checks being deposited on 5/31 (no withdrawing transactions had cleared 5/31 or 6/1), so I asked the supervisor, who told me after a few minutes "it looks like they've actually debited the amount of the deposited check TWICE from your Available Balance". ... "don't worry, I will cancel one of the debits." In real time, the Available Balance of my account (according to the NFCU website) rose accordingly.
  • I asked the supervisor, since they were unable to provide any concrete explanation for why any of this was happening, if there was a next level of escalation available. They said there was, but they would not necessarily respond until 2 biz day later. I requested that they file an escalation on my behalf. They did so.
  • an hour later, I repeated the entire "call NFCU" experience again as a few more 5-day-hold email notices arrived, with duplicate hold notices arriving shortly thereafter. Each of the (now total of 5) duplicate debits was reversed by the supervisor. Even the sub-$2000 check which was earlier that day added to my Available Balance, was put on a 5-day hold (i.e. it was Available for perhaps 6 hours, then became unavailable due to hold imposition).
  • on 6/3 I received the following response from the "Escalation Team" via internal message: "Navy Federal Response 06/03/2022 : Mr. Sunnysideup,
    This message is regarding your recent concerns raised via phone call to our Contact Center. After you spoke with a Supervisor, your concerns were elevated to and thoroughly reviewed by our Escalation Case Management team. At this time, we do not have any other solutions to offer for your concerns and consider this escalation case closed."
  • today (6/7) I called NFCU again to see if there was any other escalation option, and hit particularly hard on the multiple debits of held check amounts being (obviously erroneously) taken from my Available Balance. I posed the question, "what if I had not noticed (only by inference, noticing that Available Balance was far lower than it should be) the multiple incorrect hold debits?" NFCU's response was "well, in 5 biz days the erroneous duplicate holds would also expire and be added/restored to your available balance"; I responded "and in the meantime, what if those erroneous debits had taken my account Available Balance negative for 5 biz days?" The supervisor had no response and basically hung up on me.
  • thereafter today (6/7) I finally drove to the closest NFCU branch (not close) and spoke to a supervisor. I was told that:
  • The practice of applying 5-day holds to perhaps all deposited checks (including government checks) started approx 2 weeks ago.
  • the customer who she was serving before me had had his held check amount debited from his Available Balance not merely twice but thrice!
  • she said that my 5/31 depositing of 5 checks (for a total $ amount > $10K) was not the cause of the imposition of the 5-day holds, but that the holds were being imposed on a wide spectrum of deposit checks, maybe all of them.
  • aside from a nonspecific statement that this new back-office behavior was a response to "check fraud is getting really bad lately", she said that she and peer branch supervisors within the same region that she's conferring with about this situation remain completely in the dark regarding why this policy is apparently being applied to all deposited checks, let alone why their systems are erroneously double- or triple debiting held-check amounts from Available Balances. The only way she and her peers knew these problematic practices are occurring is due to the (apparently large) flow of customers walking into their branches with complaints.
  • The only positive thing she was able to convey to me is that she would (presumably after review) be able to lift such a 5-day hold if I visit the NFCU branch in-person and make an appeal to the supervisor. Better than nothing, but only slightly.
I've been a happy customer and proponent of NFCU, but the tone-deaf non-response by NFCU ("corporate", "central", back-office) to both the mass imposition of 5-day holds, and erroneously (and apparently systematically) effectively withdrawing from availability 2x or 3x the amount of deposited checks (in some cases taking the available balance negative, resulting in bounced checks and other failed payments) has me considering other options. But I'm not sure whether any other bank/CU institution is likely to be any better (more professional, less hidebound).

Anybody else in Boglehead-land experiencing these problems?

P.S. to preempt a likely question: I cannot receive these funds by direct/ACH deposit; they must be paid to me by mailed paper check.

Edit: added TL;DR at top.
Last edited by SunnySideUp on Fri Jun 10, 2022 10:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
SemperFi79
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SemperFi79 »

I’m not sure why you’re getting a five day hold when just did a mobile deposit with the standard two day hold:

“ Mobile Deposit* Details
Your mobile deposit of $3,341.04, check number xxxxxxxx was accepted for processing with a 2-business-day hold. You'll be able to withdraw up to $225 cash immediately. Anything over $225 will be available in 2 business days.”

Are the checks you’re depositing personal checks or checks with a business name/business check? That’s the only thing I can think of. Or is there a correlation with your account? Funds held? Daily average balance?

I’ve been with them 40+ years and usually the 800# gets better results than local. My mobile deposit was a corporate check but gave deposited varying categories of checks and amounts with the two day hold. I think I had a five and maybe ten day which the released early as they were over $25k.

Anyway instead of writing you a check they could do an intra bank transfer? That’s what I’ve used for some business transactions. Much easier than writing a check. That’s how I paid my contractor.

Good luck.

Good luck.
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starboi
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by starboi »

Longer Delays May Apply
Funds you deposit by check may be delayed for a longer period if: • we believe a check you deposit will not be paid;
• you deposit checks totaling more than $5,525 on any one day;


https://www.navyfederal.org/content/dam ... cu-668.pdf
Topic Author
SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

Thanks for the reply!
SemperFi79 wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 5:07 pm “ Mobile Deposit* Details
Your mobile deposit of $3,341.04, check number xxxxxxxx was accepted for processing with a 2-business-day hold. You'll be able to withdraw up to $225 cash immediately. Anything over $225 will be available in 2 business days.”
I got the same for 4 of the 5 affected checks: these are the "Approved" emails I referenced. 4 of the checks received a 2-day hold approval same as yours. The 5th, having amount < $2000, received what I call a "Hooray Approval" (signifying a 1-day hold is being applied):
NFCU wrote:Hooray! Your Deposit Is Approved.
Your recent mobile deposit of $1,325.00, check number xxxxxx is approved! Any amount you deposited up to $225 will be accessible immediately. The rest of your deposit over that $225 will be available in 1 business day.

Please keep your check for 5 days after depositing.
The hold email notices started appearing in my email inbox 24 hours after the 5 Approval emails were received...
SemperFi79 wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 5:07 pm Are the checks you’re depositing personal checks or checks with a business name/business check?
Business name. Same check source for many years.
SemperFi79 wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 5:07 pm That’s the only thing I can think of. Or is there a correlation with your account? Funds held? Daily average balance?
Never had any funds held, none of the checks received from these sources (for over a decade now) has ever bounced. Daily average balance for past month is low six figures. As noted my original post, the NFCU branch manger/supervisor says this is happening across the board, without regard to check source or accountholder attributes (at least, as far as she can tell).
SemperFi79 wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 5:07 pm Anyway instead of writing you a check they could do an intra bank transfer? That’s what I’ve used for some business transactions. Much easier than writing a check. That’s how I paid my contractor.
Covered this one in the P.S. of my first msg.
Topic Author
SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

starboi wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 5:16 pm Longer Delays May Apply
Funds you deposit by check may be delayed for a longer period if: • we believe a check you deposit will not be paid;
• you deposit checks totaling more than $5,525 on any one day;


https://www.navyfederal.org/content/dam ... cu-668.pdf
Yes, seeking to explain what was happening, I found that policy document. A quick search revealed that I had exceeded the $5525 daily deposit threshold 2 months earlier with no 5-day hold being imposed. Clearly the policy does not require that the 5-day hold be applied should the threshold be exceeded. And the NFCU branch manager informed me that what was happening had nothing in particular to do with my account, or the # of checks deposited, or the total amount of all checks deposited, on that one day.

Anyway, as noted in my first post, the NFCU branch manager I spoke to today said that many customers (not just me) were up in arms about getting hit with 5-day holds for the first time, and IMO more egregiously, having the 5-day hold check $ amount deducted from their account balance multiple times, so I'm just looking for confirmation/refutation amongst the Boglehead population to comprehend extent of this problem, if any.
Topic Author
SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

BTW: in yesterday's USPS mail I received 10 letters from NFCU, one for each of the 5-day holds placed on (and corresponding debits withdrawn from) my destination account: 2 for each deposited check.
cowbman
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by cowbman »

Sounds like they're concerned about structuring.
Topic Author
SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

cowbman wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 7:42 pm Sounds like they're concerned about structuring.
I assume you're talking about my deposit-day sum exceeding $10,000? I was suspicious of this possibility from the beginning (as it was the first time the stars (well, USPS deliveries) ever aligned to allow me to deposit such a large total $ amount in a single day, even though the monthly amount deposited has been very stable), and I gave every NFCU rep I spoke to a wide opening to bring up this possibility, but none of them did. Now, they may be prevented by law from even mentioning the possibility. And perhaps all the anecdotes the branch manager conveyed to me today about many other customers being similarly impacted, upset, etc. starting 2 weeks ago were preplanned deceptive deflections ... ?

Anyway, we'll see what other first-hand experiences this thread elicits (if any).
Last edited by SunnySideUp on Tue Jun 07, 2022 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Many NFCU members view NFCU with the same rose colored glasses that many Vanguard members view Vanguard. As a member of both institutions, I am convinced that neither institution lives up to its lofty reputation for putting customer interests ahead of corporate interests.

Full disclosure: I have been an NFCU member since 1974.
tomd37
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by tomd37 »

In the 61 years that I have had a checking account with NFCU I have never had any issues with them, and their customer service department has always provided outstanding service when I have made contact with them. :D
Tom D.
Topic Author
SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 8:12 pm Many NFCU members view NFCU with the same rose colored glasses that many Vanguard members view Vanguard. As a member of both institutions, I am convinced that neither institution lives up to its lofty reputation for putting customer interests ahead of corporate interests.
I may have fallen into that trap myself, largely due to having spent time being a customer of less competent Credit Unions (forget about banks! :happy ). My bubble-bursting experience with NFCU came perhaps 2 years ago when they broke their Android App and left it broken for approximately 6 weeks: the app would crash on startup, and there was no fix available; during that time Google Play Store reviews for NFCU app were endlessly bad due to this problem (3rd party proof that this problem was not specific to my setup). My phone was running a version of Android OS well above that stated as minimum supported version in Google Play Store. I called NFCU and complained repeatedly, but got nowhere. This blew me away as I figured that more than most CU's, NFCU members being more geographically distributed relied more on the app. Finally I was able to implement a "if all else fails" suggestion made by one of the NFCU reps I spoke to, that I replace my Android phone with an iPhone; now I'll probably never actually use any Apple product aside from this one, but I did manage to dig up an iPhone 6S+ with a defective but usable screen, whose only purpose is to run the NFCU app. This 6+ year old phone is capable of running iOS 15 (the latest), and has run the NFCU app reliably for the last 2 years; I hope it'll keep serving its role for quite awhile longer :happy .
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SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

sleepy06 wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 8:34 pm Is there a TLDR; version? :-)
TL;DR:

If you're an existing NFCU member, have you recently:
  • had a deposited check put on a 5-business-day hold?
  • had the same deposited check put on hold multiple times (causing deposited-check-$amount to be debited from the destination account's Available Balance multiple times)?
sleepy06
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by sleepy06 »

SunnySideUp wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 8:48 pm
sleepy06 wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 8:34 pm Is there a TLDR; version? :-)
TL;DR:

If you're an existing NFCU member, have you recently:
  • had a deposited check put on a 5-business-day hold?
  • had the same deposited check put on hold multiple times (causing deposited-check-$amount to be debited from the destination account's Available Balance multiple times)?
Thank you. My apologies, I am not a member and have nothing helpful to say :-) I have not experienced this with other banks. Best wishes with a speedy resolution.
Joe Public
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by Joe Public »

Maybe there was a back-end IT update/change that has some bugs? I’m a member but haven’t deposited a paper check in a year or more. Best of luck; I’ll be watching the thread.
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SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

sleepy06 wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 8:51 pm Thank you. My apologies, I am not a member and have nothing helpful to say :-) I have not experienced this with other banks. Best wishes with a speedy resolution.
No, thank you! Yours was a constructive question. I've inserted the TL;DR to the top of my thread-starting post where more readers will (hopefully) immediately see it.
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SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

Joe Public wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 10:08 pm Maybe there was a back-end IT update/change that has some bugs?
That's what I was thinking, certainly about putting the same deposited check on hold multiple times; pretty basic stuff!

I guess I'm living in dreamland if I'm hoping for them to fess up about it and not just circle the wagons in a ring of see-no-evil denial and ignorance. :oops:

P.S. I did have a problem a few months ago with NFCU rejecting checks being deposited to a trust account with only one trustee's endorsement, claiming "bad endorsement" (the name of the trust (check payee) has both my and DW's name in it, but for all trust accounts, any one trustee's endorsement alone is sufficient, and had been sufficient for years). When I chased them down (including calling their dedicated "Trust Department") about this, asking: "what am I supposed to do when I've endorsed the check correctly but it's being rejected?", they answered "try again" (sounds a lot like "reboot your phone/PC, maybe that will help"); when I asked "why should the second try deliver a different outcome than the first?" they did actually fess up that the initial rejection was human error.
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SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

I'm running an experiment today:
  • deposited 1 and only 1 check ($1100=1-day-hold-eligible) today (6/7) at approx 1033 hours local (AZ) time to the same account under previous discussion using NFCU app on iPhone.
  • received "Deposit received" email within a couple of minutes
  • received "Hooray Approved" email @ 1036 hours local time (same minute as "Deposit received" email).
  • at 2100 hours local time today (6/7), mere minutes ago, the deposited check's amount had been added to my Available Balance according to NFCU's website.
The above sequence is absolutely typical for a deposited "Hooray-Approved" check. I'll reply back circa 2100 hours tomorrow (6/8) to tell whether this check was put on a 5-day hold (or not).
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by oldcomputerguy »

This topic is now in the Personal Finance forum.
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SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

SunnySideUp wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 11:14 pm I'm running an experiment today:
  • deposited 1 and only 1 check ($1100=1-day-hold-eligible) today (6/7) at approx 1033 hours local (AZ) time to the same account under previous discussion using NFCU app on iPhone.
  • received "Deposit received" email within a couple of minutes
  • received "Hooray Approved" email @ 1036 hours local time (same minute as "Deposit received" email).
  • at 2100 hours local time today (6/7), mere minutes ago, the deposited check's amount had been added to my Available Balance according to NFCU's website.
The above sequence is absolutely typical for a deposited "Hooray-Approved" check. I'll reply back circa 2100 hours tomorrow (6/8) to tell whether this check was put on a 5-day hold (or not).
Follow-up: as of 2100 hours local time 6/8, the deposited check's amount remains added to the destination account's Available Balance. I've received no email notices informing me the check has been put on a 5-biz-day hold.

My best guess at this point is that
cowbman wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 7:42 pm Sounds like they're concerned about structuring.
is correct and last week's deposit triggered AML procedures,
One rule in place to foil layering is the AML holding period, which requires deposits to remain in an account for a minimum of five trading days before they can be transferred elsewhere.
and that "the first rule of [AML procedures] is that nobody at banks admits to the existence of AML or actions caused by AML", with all instead denying even the possibility to my face while pleading ignorance of bank operations in general. The double-debiting (double-holding) of the deposited amounts can be either chalked up to independent SW development incompetence at NFCU, or worse.
lgerla
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by lgerla »

As a long time NFCU account holder, I appreciate your experiment and report. Sorry this happened to you, and I expect it could have happened at any credit union or bank in the right circumstances.

Regarding the double debit, possible software glitch, it's possible bugs were introduced when making changes due to new regulatory requirements of the law passed in 2021 mentioned in your link.
cowbman
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by cowbman »

SunnySideUp wrote: Wed Jun 08, 2022 11:35 pm
SunnySideUp wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 11:14 pm I'm running an experiment today:
  • deposited 1 and only 1 check ($1100=1-day-hold-eligible) today (6/7) at approx 1033 hours local (AZ) time to the same account under previous discussion using NFCU app on iPhone.
  • received "Deposit received" email within a couple of minutes
  • received "Hooray Approved" email @ 1036 hours local time (same minute as "Deposit received" email).
  • at 2100 hours local time today (6/7), mere minutes ago, the deposited check's amount had been added to my Available Balance according to NFCU's website.
The above sequence is absolutely typical for a deposited "Hooray-Approved" check. I'll reply back circa 2100 hours tomorrow (6/8) to tell whether this check was put on a 5-day hold (or not).
Follow-up: as of 2100 hours local time 6/8, the deposited check's amount remains added to the destination account's Available Balance. I've received no email notices informing me the check has been put on a 5-biz-day hold.

My best guess at this point is that
cowbman wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 7:42 pm Sounds like they're concerned about structuring.
is correct and last week's deposit triggered AML procedures,
One rule in place to foil layering is the AML holding period, which requires deposits to remain in an account for a minimum of five trading days before they can be transferred elsewhere.
and that "the first rule of [AML procedures] is that nobody at banks admits to the existence of AML or actions caused by AML", with all instead denying even the possibility to my face while pleading ignorance of bank operations in general. The double-debiting (double-holding) of the deposited amounts can be either chalked up to independent SW development incompetence at NFCU, or worse.
Correct. When a bank suspects structuring or other factors outlined by FinCEN, the bank isn't allowed to tell you. It's basically FIGHT Club.
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SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

update 6/14: the preceding described episode appears not to be (solely) a case of a single days' combined deposits summing to > $10K.

The most recent episode:
  • 6/11 (Sat): deposited 2 checks using NFCU iPhone App.; total amount < $1,500
  • 6/11 (Sat): 5 minutes later, received 2x "Received" and "Hooray Approved" (deposit pending 1-day-hold) emails, 1 for each deposited check.
  • 6/13 (Mon 2216 hours): receive "Account Balance Notification" email showing daily Current Balance (which is useless because it includes held-fund $ amounts). Login to NFCU website to view Available Balance (which does not include held-fund $ amounts): it reflects the addition of both checks.
  • 6/14 (Tues 0221 hours): receive 2x "Mobile Deposit is Delayed" emails explaining that
    Info About Your Recent Mobile Deposit
    For your security, we withheld $6xy.00 from your $6xy.00 mobile deposit made on 06/11/2022. This was done to ensure the check will be paid by the paying financial institution.

    The withheld amount will be available in your account after 5 business days of your deposit.
    (This is exactly the same boilerplate text as for the original thread-starting (5/31) episode).
  • 6/14 (Tues, 0800 hours): A check of NFCU's website confirms that the 2 deposited checks are (minus $225 per day which NFCU so courteously "fronts" you when you perform any mobile deposit) no longer contributing to my account's Available Balance.
  • 6/14: calls to NFCU phone support (first line and "supervisor") receive the now expected response: "we are sorry, but 'the system' has decided... and we are unable to change the situation".
So either there is some other (AML or internal) blacklist onto which I've been put (because I [mobile] deposit a certain # of checks per month, or over a certain $ amount per month), or indeed NFCU has instituted in their "system" a much more draconian deposit-hold-maximization scheme (presumably affecting more members than just myself).

Regarding check-clearing mechanics: these 5-biz-day-hold rules strike me as being a holdover from a time when some part of the check-clearing process was done via snail-mail: does anyone know under what circumstance a check being processed for payment between 2 fully-ACH-participating USA banking institutions (which I assume they all are) would NOT clear within 1-2 biz days, assuming the paying account contained sufficient funds?

Relevant contemporaneous anecdote: 6/13 (Mon 0830 hours), I handed a check (for < $2,000) written against this same NFCU account to a contractor, who deposited it. When I checked my NFCU Account via website 6/13 (Mon 2216 hours), the check had cleared (its amount debited from my account's Available Balance) and NFCU offered me the usual photo showing both sides of the deposited check. So in every possible sense of the word, that check cleared, and did so on the very same day (or at least, < 24 hours after) it was presented for payment. The point being that, when I deposit a check with e.g. NFCU, and they reply with a "Hooray Approved [1-day-hold]" email, and the next biz day those funds are (until this thread topic arose in 22.06) available in my account, this is almost certainly happening because the deposited check actually cleared, not because NFCU is "being nice" and fronting me the nominally deposited funds while a longer check clearing process grinds slowly to completion invisibly in the background.
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SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

Update: the 5-day holds stopped as of deposits made effective 6/21. A total of 7 checks have been deposited between 6/21 and today with normal (1- or 2-day, depending on check amount) holds being applied. To date there has been no communication from NFCU about the imposition of the 5-day holds or their cessation.

My strong suspicion remains that my depositing of > $10K in the form of multiple checks on 5/31 triggered a FinCen "investigation" which entailed imposition of the 5-day holds while the "investigation" ran its course (in between 16 and 21 days).

Hopefully this is the one and only time I'll get hit by this.
GuyInFL
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by GuyInFL »

Nice job with the analysis. Thanks for the update.
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SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

Update: on Monday 7/12 I deposited 5 checks, total amount < $5100; these were all, at least 1 day after their funds were made available in my account, put on 5-biz-day-hold w/o email hold notices being sent to me (I was not monitoring balances daily after the deposited funds became available as no transactions were anticipated during the week following these deposits and I mistakenly thought I was past all the late-arriving 5-biz-day hold crap); this AM I stumbled across a major difference between Current and Available Balances, downloaded recent-history CSV, ran it thru my "hold detector" filter; yep all 5 checks (including one for $300) are held). I called NFCU, was told by first line support that the holds were because [paraphrasing] "the system indicated that these deposits have an above average likelihood of not being paid" (this is the typical "factual basis" I'm provided by NFCU for their 5-biz-day holds). As usual, I requested a supervisor... this time I got one who was slightly more illuminating than those in the past:
  • This is "the NFCU System [back-end] doing its thing". (Not a new claim. The relatively small amount involved this time, and the fact that this is the first 5-check-deposit-day I've made since the thread-starter, makes me think the trigger in this case was more about # of checks than total $ amount, therefore it's less likely to be FinCEN related. But I have no way of confirming this theory).
  • Admitted that in almost 6 years of large numbers of repeating monthly deposits, not a single deposited check has "bounced" on this or any of my accounts. And that implicitly this admitted fact is irrelevant to "the NFCU System" in its check hold imposition decisions.
    Aside: (maybe I'm the last to realize this, but) if fundamental transaction history such as this does not matter, the idea of a customer having a "relationship" with a banking institution strikes me as void.
  • That ACH payments (i.e. a deposited check being honored) have no associated payment confirmation component, therefore it is impossible for any financial institution to implement a "hold until check is actually paid" policy.
  • The 5-biz-day hold supposedly encompasses more commonly encountered ACH transaction rejection (return) causes (e.g. insufficient funds) deadlines (see "How ACH works: A developer perspective-Part 3" below).
In an attempt to verify what the NFCU supervisor told me, I attempted to delve into the semi-impenetrable mess/mass of ACH. My research indicates that long after 5 biz days, an ACH transaction can be returned (rejected, clawed back): there are multiple ACH Return reasons having a 60-day deadline (and 60 days is not the longest deadline)!

The best one-line summary of ACH that I stumbled across is "[T]he ACH network[:] where nothing is ever confirmed settled, it just hasn't come back returned yet."[0]

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7636610 part of a discussion about...

2014 article series "How ACH works: A developer perspective": Anyway, I'm going to be depositing some checks elsewhere; I have no hope that anywhere else will have "better" hold policies, but in the past few months, like many I am chasing higher deposit account interest rates that NFCU does not offer, so why not (at least try to) deposit some funds directly there (and see how much worse the experience is: my experience with business phone apps is they can be VERY poor)? We'll see whether I can tolerate Ally and Vanguard's check-depositing apps... :happy

edit1: cleanup presentation of article links and related forum discussion.
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wabbott
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by wabbott »

JPM Chase. I had a significant ($250K) cd mature yesterday at a large regional credit union - Barksdale Federal CU. I drove to the local branch and had them issue me a cashier's check. I would have done ACH, but was told that 10K per day was max. My intent was to reinvest promptly to take advantage of the attractive rates.

JPM Chase, who I've done biz with for 20 years promptly placed a hold on the entire deposit until 9/30. This was a complete surprise to me and now cannot buy another cd until the issue is resolved. This morning I've messaged the bank and all I'm getting is boilerplate. I have an 800 number to call at 9AM EDT, that allegedly can help me.
neverpanic
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by neverpanic »

SunnySideUp wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 4:25 pm I cannot receive these funds by direct/ACH deposit; they must be paid to me by mailed paper check.
It sounds like they're telling you how much they hate dealing with checks and are trying to move customers away from them, but that's just my guess. It's in the same vein as regular banks eliminating in-person teller positions.
I am not a financial professional or guru. I'm a schmuck who got lucky 10 times. Such is the life of the trader.
rooms222
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by rooms222 »

Just saw that Navy Federal is delaying funds availability starting next month. https://www.navyfederal.org/campaigns/e ... otice.html

I think they are working to deal with fraud issues on check deposits.
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SunnySideUp
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Re: Navy Federal Credit Union check deposits: 5-day holds and multiple debiting of held check amounts starting 2 weeks a

Post by SunnySideUp »

rooms222 wrote: Wed Sep 28, 2022 8:48 am Just saw that Navy Federal is delaying funds availability starting next month. https://www.navyfederal.org/campaigns/e ... otice.html
Thanks for noticing and sharing this!

My reading is that they are simply delaying the availability of up to $225 of a deposit which they unconditionally make available in ("front to") the destination account regardless of the hold to which the overall deposit is otherwise subjected.

Aside: in my most recent calls to NFCU on this (thread) subject, I asked if this fronting of up to $225 could be disabled in my account (it can make independent analysis of how NFCU arrived at the current Available Balance very difficult since at times such "fronted" funds are completely invisible in the online account register); of course the answer was "no"...
rooms222 wrote: Wed Sep 28, 2022 8:48 am I think they are working to deal with fraud issues on check deposits.
That's what they keep saying, but $225 per day per account seems like a relatively small exposure, and an account with otherwise zero balance which immediately withdraws this "fronted" amount followed by the associated deposited check(s) bouncing (which appears to be the only scenario in which NFCU suffers a loss of the fronted funds) seems like it would be immediately targeted for freezing or closure.
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