Mis-deposited a check, what to do?
May 28, 2021 6:04 AM   Subscribe

I deposited a $1,000 check on my phone but keyed it in as $600. Is there anything I can do?

One of my kids got a few checks as gifts and I did a deposit on my phone a little too quickly. I mixed up one of the checks, which was for $1,000, and keyed it in as $600. I realized my mistake immediately and called the place where I was depositing them (Fidelity), and they assured me that "the system" would reject the deposit "in an hour" because the face of the check does not match what I keyed in. But it is now 3 days later and the check is showing in the account as deposited and available funds, at the wrong amount.

The amount of the discrepancy is not the end of the world, but this is nagging at me. For one thing, I suppose the check deduction is going to show up as the wrong amount in the gift-giver's account. Should I tell them? They may feel obligated to write a new check for the difference, which seems weird. Also, maybe "the system" will catch up and reject the check? Maybe it's already rejected somewhere in the system but just hasn't gotten back to my account? I don't want the gift-giver to write a new check only to have the first check rejected and cause more hassle for them.

I imagine part of the problem is that the check processing system is not under the control of Fidelity - i.e., you put data into some kind of quasi-governmental check clearing system (I think it is SWIFT or something like that) and it isn't like a flexible consumer-oriented system such as getting a refund from a retailer through credit card.

Anyway, any thoughts? Let it go? Tell the gift-giver? Call the broker again? (2 calls already both 30 minutes, no help.)
posted by Mid to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You should call them again. It got past the initial automated checks, but at some point it'll be caught in an audit. If you call them, they can flag the transaction and start that rectification process sooner.
posted by rockindata at 6:09 AM on May 28, 2021 [10 favorites]

I have a different bank, but I think what I'm sharing is standard. When I've put in the wrong amount (and I've done it more than once - d'oh!), I've gotten a letter in the mail 2-3 weeks later saying that the amount has been corrected. In one case I was charged a "wrong amount" fee, but was able to get the bank to drop it. You can also call to let them know, but my understanding is that there is a part of the process that confirms the amount with the bank the check is written from.
posted by Toddles at 6:11 AM on May 28, 2021 [6 favorites]

To add, they won't just take the amount that you entered out of the giver's bank account, because then you could write any amount you wanted - $1 million!
posted by Toddles at 6:12 AM on May 28, 2021 [4 favorites]

It's happened to me with Bank of America, and the "immediate resolution" took about a week and a half of business days to clear up, so I expect it'll eventually be resolved, but I'd call them again just to make sure there's a record of you letting them know the error, in case there's some sort of charge that'll be applied for keying it in incorrectly.
posted by xingcat at 6:39 AM on May 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I also once goofed on a check deposit, and what Toddles describes above is exactly what happened in my case as well (the bank fixed it and then let me know later "hey, we caught this error and fixed it").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:42 AM on May 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I've done this multiple times (duh) and each time the bank catches it and corrects it, but never as quickly as I'd like.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 7:15 AM on May 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Just wait. The bank *does* verify the deposit amount and you'll see an adjustment later.
posted by kschang at 11:47 AM on May 28, 2021

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