How to Get Out of the Telecheck System

Being in the TeleCheck system can hinder your ability to use checks for payment.

Being in the TeleCheck system can hinder your ability to use checks for payment.

TeleCheck is a check processing and risk evaluation company that provides information on consumers’ check writing and electric funds transfer history. If you pay for goods or services with a check or EFT payment that is later declined, the store, as well your bank or credit union, can report the incident to TeleCheck.This can make it difficult or even impossible for you to pay with a check in the future to retailers who subscribe to the TeleCheck system. Once you are in the TeleCheck system, you must pay the debt you owe to remove the entry. Retailers and banks have been known to mistakenly report derogatory information to TeleCheck, so if you believe an entry was placed on your file by mistake, you will have to dispute it to remove yourself from TeleCheck’s system.

Paying The Debt

Contact the financial institution or retailer that reported you to TeleCheck.

Request the amount necessary to clear the entry. This is usually the amount of the check or EFT transaction, plus any fees the company imposes

Offer a lump-sum that you can afford or ask if you can work out a payment if you cannot make the full payment.

Make the payment by money order, debit or credit card. Most companies will not allow you to use a check to pay TeleCheck debts. Send mailed payments by certified mail and request a return receipt so you have a record of when the payment reaches the company.

Contact the company five to 10 business days after it receives your payment to ensure they have removed you from the TeleCheck sytem.

Disputing Inaccurate Entries

Review your TeleCheck report for inaccuracies. You cannot dispute accurate information, but federal law requires TeleCheck remove information it cannot verify.

Download the TeleCheck dispute form from the TeleCheck website.

Fill out the first section which asks for your name, date of birth, Social Security number, address, previous addresses, driver’s license number and state, and your phone number.

Detail the mistake that was made in the next section. Although it may seem counterproductive, do not provide the correct information in your dispute. If you do, the TeleCheck representative may simply change the information in your report without investigating and verifying it, leaving you in the TeleCheck system.

Send the dispute form by certified mail and request a return receipt. The post office will mail you a notice containing the date TeleCheck received your dispute. This is the date the 30-day clock starts ticking.

Wait 30 days for TeleCheck to send you notification of the investigation results and its subsequent actions. If TeleCheck cannot verify incorrect information in the report, it must delete the entry, taking you out of the Telecheck system. If it does verify the inaccurate entry, you must contact the financial institution or retailer that furnished the information.

Dispute With the Reporting Company

Type a short letter to the financial institution or retailer to dispute the TeleCheck entry. Include your name, address, and your account number, if applicable. Describe the information that was mistakenly reported to TeleCheck. Give as much detail as possible and include the exact dates, amounts and items involved in the dispute. Tell the company to contact TeleCheck and have the entry removed.

Make copies of statements or bills that reflect the correct information as proof of the mistake. Include them in the envelope with the letter.

Send the letter by certified mail and request a return receipt so you know when the financial institution or retailer receives your letter. They do not have to adhere to a 30-day time limit, but the receipt serves as a paper trail.

Wait for the company to mail you a response. Usually, they will realize the mistake and request the entry be deleted by TeleCheck.

Request validation of the debt if the company continues to claim that you owe. Documents that serve as validation include bills, statements, canceled checks and agreements you signed. The company is legally required to furnish these documents, and if it cannot, it must tell TeleCheck to remove the entry.

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About the Author

Lauren Treadwell studied finance at Western Governors University and is an associate of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Treadwell provides content to a number of prominent organizations, including Wise Bread, FindLaw and Discover Financial. As a high school student, she offered financial literacy lessons to fellow students.

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