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What can I do about a check that was encoded incorrectly?

You should notify your bank promptly so they can investigate the error. Before you call, take a look at your deposit account agreement for policies specific to your bank and your account.

Encoding errors are generally handled by adjustments sent between banks. Encoding involves the computer-readable codes that are applied to the bottom of checks to facilitate their processing.

Keep in mind that the time period for prompt notification regarding a suspected error may vary by bank and by state.

Last Reviewed: April 2021

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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