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I set up all my bills to pay thru ACH. They all go thru for the most part. However, I had 2 separate situations where my water bill got rejected. It would go thru one month and for some reason not go thru the next. The rejection code is bad account number. However, nothing changed. It was the same account number I originally set up the ACH payments with. My bank says they didn't reject it but the Water company says the bank denied it due to bad account number. Meanwhile I'm stuck with a fee. There was plenty of money in the account each time. What causes these rejections and how can I avoid them?

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    You'd really have to take it up with the utility, if the bank didn't reject it then the entity submitting must have something fouled up. – Hart CO Jan 15 '19 at 2:53
  • It's the City of Chicago. According to their letter the payment was "not honored by your bank". I tried it a second time. I populated the bank and routing info, triple checked it before submitting it and it still rejected. Now I have a second fee. The city says it's my bank. My bank says its not them. I had the same problem back in April and was told it was the federal reserve. Nothing changed either time. My husband can't transfer money to our joint account. He used to be able to and all of a sudden it didn't work due to the same issue. I appreciate any insight in solving this mystery. – Toni Jan 15 '19 at 3:16
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    If your bank isn't willing to contact the recipient and work it out with them, stop using them and find a bank that is willing to. This is a service routinely provided by competent, service-oriented banks. – David Schwartz Jan 15 '19 at 4:28
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    How exactly are you using ACH to pay your bills? There are two standard ways of doing this: (i) sign up on the utility website to have the utility withdraw the money (via ACH) from your bank account and (ii) tell your bank to send a paper check to the utility company unless the utility company has an account for receiving bill payments at your bank in which case the bank simply transfers the money from your account to the utility's account without any paper being involved. – Dilip Sarwate Jan 15 '19 at 15:17
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    My guess would be that behind the scenes some scrub who works for the city types in your info every month to make the withdrawal, and sometimes fouls it up. – Aravis Jan 16 '19 at 0:52

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