How Do I Correct a Mistake or Unauthorized Withdrawal on My Bank Account?
The Electronic Fund Transfer Act establishes protections and procedures for consumers who have experienced mistakes or unauthorized withdrawals on their bank account.
If You Feel your Bank Account Has a Mistake on It, You Must Follow These Procedures to Be Legally Protected under the Act
- Write or call your financial institution within 60 days of discovering the mistake and describe the error.
- The financial institution is then required to investigate the error and resolve it within 45 days. If the bank takes longer than 10 days to resolve the matter, however, it generally must put the amount in question back into your account. For some matters, such as an error in opening a new account or in an international transaction, the bank may be afforded 90 days to investigate the error.
- At the end of its investigation, the financial institution must explain its results to you, regardless of whether it found an error. If the bank did find an error, it must immediately work to fix the error.
If Your ATM/Debit Card Has Been Stolen or Has Been Used for Identity Fraud, You Must Take the Following Steps to Stop and Limit Your Resulting Financial Loss
- Notify your financial institution within 2 business days. If you do this within those 2 days your loss will be limited to $50.
- Even if you did not notify your financial institution within 2 business days, you should still notify your financial institution because your loss will be limited to $500. If you do not notify your financial institution within 60 days of receiving the statement that contains an illegal withdrawal, your potential loss will not be limited by the bank.
What Should I Do if I Feel My Financial Institution Has Violated My Consumer Rights Under the EFTA?
In addition to reporting the financial institution to the proper authorities (usually the FDIC), you may want to consult a financial attorney. You may be entitled to money damages in a lawsuit against your financial institution, and your attorney would be able to advise you of your rights and of the best way to proceed.