Give me my money, Take my money
June 25, 2010 6:26 AM   Subscribe

I am expecting an ACH deposit of money on Monday. I need to pay a bill using an electronic check (also ACH) today. Will I have any problems if I initiate the bill pay using ACH today?
posted by dyno04 to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would not attempt this.
posted by An algorithmic dog at 6:33 AM on June 25, 2010

Best answer: I would say don't do that. I have a couple of bills that I pay via eCheck that clear immediately, and a couple that don't, and a couple that say it will take four days but it ends up clearing in two, and it's best just to stick to the standard rule of: don't write checks unless you have the money in your account.

I'd recommend calling the company you need to pay, and letting them know you'll be paying on Monday. Perhaps instead of an echeck you can pay directly over the phone or something, but in any case if you call you may be able to avoid any fees or dings to your history with them.
posted by padraigin at 6:34 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

If the bill is due today, you mostly cannot pay by ACH because it will take about three biz days to process. If you do not have the money today and you initiate the transfer today, and for some reason the transaction goes through today, it will bounce. Furthermore, if you are initiating transactions against money you don't have -- even if it's that you don't have it YET -- you are kiting. Don't do that.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:34 AM on June 25, 2010

As discussed above, this is not likely to work. Most banks will not initiate an ACH transaction unless you have adequate funds. Even if your deposit hits on time on Monday, the funds aren't likely to be available until Tuesday at the earliest.

I don't think this is kiting as such, but it's still likely to result in a declined transaction.
posted by valkyryn at 6:40 AM on June 25, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the info...
posted by dyno04 at 6:47 AM on June 25, 2010

Unless you have overdraft protection enabled and want to pay the $20 fee or what not. Then this might work. (Note after the change in law you have to explicitly opt in to overdraft protection. If you have not turned it on yet... you may not be able to do so same day).
posted by An algorithmic dog at 6:56 AM on June 25, 2010

Generally, companies do not check your balance before initiating an ACH debit, they simply send it through to your bank. So, it would probably go through if you did it today. (assuming you haven't already passed the time deadline)

If both transactions come in Monday, you should be fine. Unless your bank posts debits to your account before posting credits, then you may be hit with overdraft or unavailable fund fees.

If for some reason the credit is not made Monday, then you'll have to worry about the payment bouncing. Some banks give you an overdraft protection, where you'll still be charged fees, but the items will not be returned to the company. Even if you don't have OD protection, you may be able to talk to your bank about paying the item anyway, especially if they can see that a credit will be processing within a day or two and you're in good standing with the bank.

You may also be able to get OD fees waived if you've been a good customer.

also: An algorithmic dog, I think the recent law changes just apply to debit card and ATM uses. My banks overdraft procedures for checks and ACH are not changing.
posted by saffry at 2:54 PM on June 25, 2010

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