Check 21: Personal

To make check processing faster, a new federal law took effect October 28, 2004, permitting banks to replace original checks with “substitute checks,” which are similar in size to original checks, contain an image of the front and back of the original check, and can be used as proof of payment just like the original check.

To learn more about how Check 21 impacts you and what Huntington has done to prepare, read our Check 21 fact sheet and the following answers to frequently asked questions about Check 21.

If you believe that an error has been made on your account due to a substitute check, you can print a copy of Huntington’s Check 21 Re-Credit Request Form and return it to us.

Frequently Asked Questions About Check 21

Can I get my cancelled check back once it’s been converted to a substitute check?

No, Huntington does not receive the original check as part of the clearing process. We may receive an image of the check or a substitute check. We can produce an image of the check from either the substitute check or the image file. Huntington customers can view substitute checks drawn on their account through Huntington Online Banking.

Is a substitute check acceptable as proof of payment?

Yes, a substitute check is the legal equivalent of the original check and can be used for any purpose that the original check can be used, including proof of payment.

What if I need a copy of a substitute check for proof of payment?

Huntington can print a copy of a substitute check for you. If you need a copy, stop by a nearby Huntington banking office or call us at 1-800-480-BANK (2265) Monday to Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. ET or Saturday and Sunday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET.

How can I tell which checks I’ve written that have been converted to substitute checks?

We will mark substitute checks with an “S” next to the check number that appears on your checking and money market account statement(s).

What can I do if an error has been made on my account due to a substitute check?

You can file a Check 21 Re-Credit Request with us if you feel that an error has been made on your account due to a substitute check. You can obtain a Check 21 Re-Credit Request Form at any Huntington banking office, by calling 1-800-480-BANK (2265) Monday to Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. ET or Saturday and Sunday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET, or you can print a copy of the Re-Credit Request Form on huntington.com.

Do I need to have the actual substitute check to file a re-credit request?

No, Huntington will accept your re-credit request without the substitute check.

Will the money to cover the check come out of my account faster with a substitute check?

Probably. Checks converted to substitute checks as part of the clearing process will probably be deducted from your account sooner. This may depend on where the check was deposited, the amount of the check, and various other factors. As always, you should make sure that you have enough money in your account to cover the checks you write.

What happens to my original check after my check is converted to a substitute check?

Typically, the bank that converts a check to a substitute check will hold the original check for a period of time before it is destroyed. This process varies by bank and the original check may be held for a shorter or longer period of time based on a number of factors, such as the dollar value of the check. Huntington has truncated checks and provided check safekeeping for hundreds of thousands of customers for many years. These checks are held in a secure environment until they are destroyed to prevent any possibility of misuse.

When a merchant scans a check that I’ve written for a purchase and returns the check to me, is this a substitute check?

No, This transaction has been converted by the merchant into an ACH transaction at the Point of Purchase (POP) with your (the customer’s) consent. Since the bank does not receive either a check or a substitute check, we cannot produce a copy of the check.

When I write a check to pay a monthly bill, sometimes I do not receive the check back. Is this a substitute check?

No. This transaction has been converted by the company that you are paying (biller) into an ACH transaction, sometimes referred to as an Account Receivable Check (ARC). The biller is authorized by you to convert the check based on an agreement that is contained as part of your monthly bill. Since the bank does not receive either a check or a substitute check, we cannot produce a copy of the check.

What happens if I deposit a check into my account and it gets returned to me unpaid as a substitute check?

You may want to contact the person who wrote the check and make other arrangements to receive your funds. Or, you may choose to redeposit the substitute check, if it is eligible for redeposit, and we will attempt to collect it for you. Substitute checks can only be redeposited one time, as is the case for original checks returned and charged back to you. They can generally be redeposited if returned for insufficient funds but not if they were returned for other reasons, such as a stop payment.

If I have an Estate Checking account and a check is converted to a substitute check, will I receive the substitute check back in my monthly statement?

Yes, you’ll receive any substitute checks along with any cancelled checks that may have cleared on your account during the statement period.

Does Huntington offer other services that may help me better manage my account considering the changes that will occur with Check 21?

Yes, Huntington offers numerous services that can help you better manage your finances. For more information on any of these services, contact us at 1-800-480-BANK (2265) Monday to Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. ET or Saturday and Sunday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET.


Additional Resources

Federal Reserve Board Consumer FAQ

View and print a complete copy of the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act.