When Do Bank Deposits Clear?

When a check deposit is walked into a bank branch, it is processed the same as an ATM machine deposit, meaning that at many banks, only $ 100 is immediately available for withdrawal or a credit towards pending debts (except it is a business account, or the customer has some other arrangement with the bank).

One of many sentence articles: I am not a lawyer, and this article is my opinion based on my experience, please consult with a lawyer if you need legal advice.

The only difference between a "walked-in" check deposit and an ATM deposit is the posting cut-off time. Checks are not usually processed at the individual bank they were deposited at. Many banks have a cut-off time of 4 PM for posting walked-in deposits because the bank sends by courier, all the checks received to their contracted scanning company (called a clearinghouse, in California, see commercial code 4104) for processing.

If one deposits a check at their ATM, the ATM screen typically shows the cut-off time for posting deposits (or one can ask a bank employee), often 8 or 9 PM. The reason for the later cut-off time for ATM deposits is because the deposited checks are scanned at the ATM machine, whereas the walked-in deposits are not scanned until they are processed at an off-site clearinghouse.

If one wants immediate access to the full amount of their deposited check, one must usually cash that check at the issuing (payor) bank and then deposit the cash into their own account.

With a walk-in deposit, one can ask the bank teller to credit the entire check instantly, however the teller will do that only if the check has the same payor bank as where the check is being deposited. However, even at the same bank, each branch is considered a separate bank, in regard to being a payor and depositary bank. In California, see commercial codes 4105 and 4107.

Of course, the other way to get full credit for a deposited check is when the customer has enough funds already on deposit, to cover the check if it is returned; or if the account is connected to a line of credit.

A typical bank credits all ATM deposits made before 9 PM, and all walk-in deposits made before 4 PM. The funds are usually available at 12:01 AM the following business day. If deposits are made after either cut-off times, the funds are usually available at 12:01 AM on the second business day.

Although deposits will be entered in the bank's general ledger right away, the full value of check deposits often are not available on the date of the deposit. The full value of a check is usually available 1-3 days later.

If one is trying to recover a large judgment and they know their debtor's bank, they can go to any branch of that bank (or the bank's website). Then, they can visit the new accounts desk, and ask for a disclosure statement as a potential new customer, and talk with the representative. One can ask questions to get information to help plan a future levy attack. Each financial institution has its own procedures, but must comply with the overall laws.