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I am using Bill Pay at my local credit union. It works well in general. The big catch to me is, the money is removed from my account on the day the payee is to receive the check. Other than the payee contacting me, I have no idea if the check is ever cashed. The money disappears from my account. So, if I'm giving to a charity or someone with poor bookkeeping the check could never be cashed and whoever is holding the money - does what? Keeps it? I am not allowed to view the canceled checks and this sounds very fishy to me.

  • It does seem very suspicious. What does the CU say? (The web bill payment system I use mails checks made out in my name, so the money doesn't come out of the account until the recipient cashes it.) – RonJohn Dec 4 '17 at 17:04
  • Is there a question in all of this? – Nathan L Dec 4 '17 at 17:18
  • The CU says these transactions are handled by another company. This company removes the money from my account on the day the check is suppose to arrive. They say that for some transactions, if the check is not cashed in 30 days I will get notified. But the "some" meant not all and he could not tell me when I would be notified for the ones not in the some list nor even who was in the some list. For those companies that do ebill, the money comes directly from my account and is not mailed. I like the sound of the web bill system that you have. – lda Dec 4 '17 at 17:50
  • Sorry, the question is - do people have any experience with this kind of transaction? – lda Dec 4 '17 at 18:00
  • With my bank too, the money disappears from my account as soon as the Bill Pay check is cut. But, on the Bill Pay page, it also shows the check image (both sides) after the check is cashed. My bank too no longer returns cashed checks (whether written on actual checks or sent via the Bill Pay service), but makes all the images available. So this might be a difference between the services provided by a credit union_ as opposed to those provided by a commercial bank. See this answer re "checking accounts" provided by non-banks (e.g. credit unions) money.stackexchange.com/a/86608/5760 – Dilip Sarwate Dec 4 '17 at 22:00
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I had a bank that did this, and had to move on to a different bank. I attempted to pay my mortgage through them, and the check got "lost". The money came out, and no mortgage payment was made. Technically it was a web service call that was failing.

I was fortunate that the mortgage company and the checking account people talked and all fees were waived while it was figured out. However, it took three months or something ridiculous like that. In the end I never used that checking account again.

When doing automatic bill pay, I would only do a bank that pulls from your account when the check gets cashed. If I was in your shoes, I would find another bank. inconvenient I know, but probably the best course of action.

In the meantime I would not use their system to make bill payments. Either have the payee pull from your checking account or issue paper checks.

  • I go a step further and go to the destination and use their online payment system to pull funds from my account at my direction and approval. No automatic pulls. No automatic pushes. The advantage is that most failure modes leave the money in my account. Another advantage is that all transactions use ACH this way. Two or three day turnaround. The disadvantage is that I browse to multiple sites to pay the bills. One to two hours every two weeks keeps me on top of all my bills though. – Xalorous Dec 4 '17 at 18:02
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My CU removes the money from my account either on the day I submit the request or on the day they need to send the check depending on the timing I select.

I have had one occurrence where the company didn't cash the check within 30 days. The CU contacted me 30 days after the due date. I contacted the small company and they cashed it the next day. The message from the CU said that if they didn't cash the check by 90 days they would void the check and return the money to my account.

Contact your institution for their procedures.

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