Why does Bank of America hold checks?

Some people get their paychecks via wire transfers. But almost all companies pay their employees via checks. So, checks need to be deposited into your account. And banks tend to put holds on your check for various kinds of reasons.

And if you are wondering why Bank of America holds your checks, you are on the right webpage. Read on to know all about it.

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Image Source: Bank of America

Why does Bank of America hold checks?

Here are the reasons Bank of America holds your checks.

Reason 1: Recent customer

If you have opened your account with Bank of America recently, then they will definitely hold your checks. Once you build a rapport with the bank and they deem you trustworthy, then they will no longer put your checks under hold.

That is exactly why older customers of the bank do not have checks on hold frequently as other people do. Also, older customers have the option to ask the teller to speed things up. So that the hold can be removed faster than usual.

Reason 2: History of overdrafts

A long history of overdrafts with the bank can put your checks on hold for longer than usual. And if you have unpaid overdrafts that are still pending on the date of your deposit, your check will be delayed.

If you are making overdrafts then you obviously do not have enough funds in your account. So, the banks take more time to ensure that the check you are trying to deposit is valid and has enough money. This is the case for checks to self.

Also, it is important to note that even if you do not have a history of overdrafts, but the sender does – the check will still be put on hold.

Reason 3: Check cashed

If the check you are trying to deposit has already been cashed, then the bank will hold the check and put your account under review. If this has been done by mistake, you can contact and talk to your local branch.

Or if you have done it intentionally, you will have to deal with the consequences. Trying to deposit a check that has already been cashed is a felony. You can be punished, asked to pay a fine, and also might be put in prison.

Reason 4: Large amounts

If the check you have deposited contains an unusually large amount of money for your account, the bank will hold it. Although, they will not hold all of the money. By law, they should at least give you a minimum amount of $200 to you.

And if you are wondering what is considered large, an amount greater than or equal to $5000 is considered large. So, anything in that ballpark will be flagged and scrutinized carefully.

Reason 5: Foreign check

The checks from foreign banks need more time to be deposited into your account. Because of the time zones, the currency of that foreign country, and other reasons, banks need more time to process foreign checks.

Your bank personnel needs to talk to the foreign bank’s representatives. And check if the amount is present in the check writer’s account to make the deposit. Once they verify that, your bank will remove the hold and the money will be in your account.

Reason 6: Suspicious activity

If the check is either from a fraudulent source or if they find anything illegal from the sender’s side, they will hold the check that is in your name. Until the case is reviewed and the bank is sure that everything is legal, the check will not be released.

For the check to be deposited the sender and receiver should not have any suspicious or illegal background to their accounts. If they find any incriminating evidence, the check will not be deposited and your account will be locked.

Reason 6: Incorrect details

The check should be filled out very carefully. Any mismatch of the details will cause the checks to be put on hold or worse, they will bounce.

  • The signature should match the original signature in the official documents.
  • The amount (in alphabets and numbers) should be written out clearly and neatly. Overwriting and scratching are things you need to avoid.

Reason 7: Old or Postdated check

Checks older than 180 days or 6 months are not accepted by the banks and you need to ask the check writer to write another one. Old or stale checks might be held or even bounced, since the due date has already passed.

Postdated checks, on the other hand, are the checks which are written with a future date. Regularly, they are treated like normal checks. It is at a later date and let us say that you are trying to cash it early. The check will be held if the check writer does not have enough money on the day you are depositing it.

You can inform the teller at the bank to deposit on the date written on the check so that the check will not be held. And your money will be deposited in a timely manner as intended.

Reason 8: Server/Technical issues

Sometimes the errors are not human. This means that issues or any other glitches (errors) in the bank’s systems might cause your check to be held. And obviously, the deposit will be delayed due to that.

Also, the servers of this large bank also need maintenance and tending. For example, updates or maintenance of the server will delay your check.


Q1. How long can Bank of America hold my check?

Bank of America can hold your check for 2-7 business days.

They will inform you about the reason for the hold and the expected deposit date. If the amount is not deposited to your account within the given date, you can contact customer support or your local branch and ask them to release the check.

Final Words

This article gives you all the possible reasons Bank of America (BoA) holds your check deposits. I hope this article has given you some awareness and also helped you get the answer you were looking for.

That is all folks!

Don’t have a good day, have a great day!