ChexSystems is a consumer credit reporting agency which keeps a record of customers who have abused their banking privileges. You can be reported to ChexSystems for reasons such as writing too many checks that are returned for nonsufficient funds, not paying bank fees or attempting to perform some type of fraudulent banking activity. Once you are reported to ChexSystems, you remain in its database for five years and will find opening a bank account difficult.
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Attempt to open a bank account. Give the bank representative your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, home phone number, place of employment, workplace phone number and photo identification. When your information is keyed in to the bank's computer system for processing, the system automatically contacts ChexSystems to see if you are in its database.
Write a letter to ChexSystems. If you do not want to apply for a bank account until you find out your status, you can send written correspondence to ChexSystems, Attention: Consumer Relations, 7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100, Woodbury, MN 55125.
Include the appropriate information in your letter. The letter should have your name, Social Security number, driver's license number and state of issuance, mailing address and your phone number. Let the consumer relations department know you are trying to verify if you are in the company's records or database.
Fax your request to ChexSystems as an alternative to mailing it. The fax number is (602) 659-2197. Include all information previously mentioned.
Call ChexSystems at (800) 428-9623. Hit the number "2" on your phone. The voice prompt asks you to leave your name, Social Security number, driver's license number and the state of issuance, mailing address and your phone number.
Order your report online. Go to the Consumer Assistance page of the ChexSystems website (see References for a link) and click on "Order Consumer Report" near the top. Follow the prompts and enter the required information. You must be at least 18 to order your report.
Tips and warnings
- Some banks must contact ChexSystems by phone instead of relying on their computer system to see if you are in the records. The bank representative will speak directly to a representative at ChexSystems.
- The time frame for being reported to ChexSystems can vary from bank to bank. If you have a negative balance because of unpaid fees, contact the bank as soon as possible to make arrangements to pay.
- Some banks will allow you to open a bank account if you have paid the outstanding fees even though the five-year time frame has not passed.
- There are some lending institutions that do not check with ChexSystems before opening an account for consumers.
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