Individual banks elect to become members of ChexSystems, and to use their services.
Those individual banks are the ones who decides what is sufficient cause to close your account and report you to ChexSystems.
It can be what they consider to be frequent overdrafts, ATM card misuse, an intentional act of fraud, etc.
When that person attempts to open an account at another member bank a ChexSystems inquiry is made.
Once you become one of the over 8 million names on the ChexSystems “black list” your information stays in their database for 5 years.
During this period, whenever you try to open a new banking account, either personal or business, with a bank that runs ChexSystems inquiries, you will most likely be denied.
If you are listed on ChexSystems it can be a major inconvenience in your life, but you do have some choices if you would like open a new checking or savings account.
Here are some options, and/or alternatives:
o ChexSystems Removal – Obviously this is the best solution. Getting removed from ChexSystems is not hopeless. ChexSystems is a Consumer Reporting Agency, just like Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. ChexSystems is subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA). These laws can work in your favor. If they contain inaccurate information, misleading information, or if they are unable to verify the information the law states it must be removed.
o Non ChexSystems Banks – If you’re unable to be removed, you can find a bank or credit union that does not subscribe to ChexSystems Reporting Systems. Nearly 80% of Banks are members of ChexSystems. So it does take some effort, but it is not impossible to find a Non ChexSystems Bank. There are companies that provide lists of Non Check Systems Banks
o Banks that do not automatically deny due to ChexSystems – You can find a bank or credit union that does use ChexSystems. However they have been shown to look at each case individually. Unlike other banks they will not automatically reject you solely because you are in ChexSystems systems. They will allow you to open a new bank account if you give a brief explanation as to what happened, and have documentation to support your side of things and/or can prove to them that the amounts have been settled… or it is clear that the information reported to ChexSystems was inaccurate.
o Secured Bank Accounts – Just like secured credit cards there are secured bank accounts. In order to open a checking or savings account you will need to deposit funds in a separate account like a Certificate of Deposit (CD) that can be used as collateral.
o International Bank Account – There are many banks and financial institutions that reside outside U.S. borders. It is legal to have a Non-U.S. Bank Account. Of course you want to choose a bank that is set up to handle U.S. currency. For instance, you can do an online search for Canadian banks, banks in the Caribbean, or UK.
o Money Market Account – Many financial institutions will allow you to open a money market account with an check writing privileges and ATM Credit Card. Since money market accounts are considered an investment product they are less likely to run a ChexSystems inquiry. Especially if you open the account with an investment broker like Merrill Lynch, Dean Witter, Charles Scwaab etc. instead of a bank.
o Skip the traditional banks all together – If you have direct deposit available from your employer (which most employers prefer you to use) then you can get a debit card provided by a variety of providers at very reasonable monthly fee. Wired Plastic, and Directo are a couple of choices.
You will be provided with an account and a routing number just as with any bank. Your paycheck can be automatically deposited. And you will have a bankcard that can be used at any ATM machine for 24-hour access to your account. You can also get online bill pay and more. This is really the main thing you need.
Unless you just absolutely have to have paper checks and a checkbook, this can be the easiest and quickest way to go.
These are a few of your alternatives if you have been denied from opening a checking account due to a negative ChexSystems report.