The Expedited Funds Availability Act (EFAA) imposes a duty on banks to make funds, which you deposited, available for withdrawal within prescribed timeframes established by federal regulators.
What Does "Available for Withdrawal" Mean?
"Available for withdrawal" means that funds deposited by a customer are available for all uses generally permitted to the customer, including: writing checks, electronic payments, cash withdrawals, and fund transfers between accounts.
When Does a Bank Have to Make My Deposit Available for Withdrawal?
Usually, if you make your deposit in-person to a bank employee, before the bank's business cut-off time, then your recently deposited funds will be available to you no later than the next business day. However, there are exceptions to the next business day rule. Funds may be held longer if:
- Your account was opened in the previous 30 days
- Your deposits are in excess of $5,000 for a single day
- The bank has to deposit a check that was returned earlier
- There were emergency conditions, such as a natural disaster or communications failure
When Does a Bank Have to Acknowledge My Deposit?
The timeframes vary for banks to recognize your deposit. Normally, your deposit will be recognized on the next business day and not on the same day you made the deposit, when it is made:
- On a non-business day
- At the end of a business day
- After an established cut-off time, such as 2 p.m.
If your deposit is recognized on the next business day, it is possible the funds will not be available until the following day. For example, if you make a deposit at the end of business on Monday, the bank may acknowledge your deposit on Tuesday, and then make the funds available on Wednesday.
What If I Make a Deposit with a Teller on a Saturday?
Although the bank branch you used may be open to customers, Saturdays are not considered "business days." A "business day" is any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday when banks are normally closed, such as Christmas or New Year's Day.
What If I Deposit My Money at an ATM or a Lock Box?
Funds deposited at an ATM or lock box may have an earlier cut-off time than an open branch. If your deposit is made using an ATM not run by your bank, the timeframes for your bank to acknowledge your deposit and make it available for withdrawal may be longer.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
The laws which govern the availability of your funds are complex. A qualified attorney experienced in banking laws and regulations can determine when funds should be made available to you. If you believe your bank did not make your funds available as prescribed by banking regulations, an attorney experienced in banking laws can help you determine your rights and remedies.