Chesterfield parent: Credit union kept check on hold for 11 days - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Chesterfield parent: Credit union kept check on hold for 11 days

(Source: Richard Hamilton) (Source: Richard Hamilton)

A South Chesterfield man says his credit union's hold time to deposit certain checks is too much and nearly cost him hundreds of dollars.

Richard Hamilton has five adopted children. He receives adoption assistance from the federal government and the commonwealth for a few of those children who are special needs. It's financial support to help the family budget.

“We've kept them in the family and took them out of foster care, which has been a real blessing to us,” Hamilton said of his children.

Hamilton says for two children, he receives direct deposit and for one child he gets an adoption assistance paper check every month in the mail. Whenever he deposits that paper check directly into Chesterfield Federal Credit Union he runs into serious issues.

“I can't do anything with it at the credit union,” Hamilton said. “I take it over there to deposit it, and it ends up having a hold on it.”

Because of this, Hamilton started paying a fee at Walmart to deposit the money and then to deposit the cash into Chesterfield Federal Credit Union. However, a few weeks ago, Hamilton didn’t have the time to do that. Instead, deposited the check directly into his account with the credit union. Hamilton expected a hold but then says the check cleared so he began paying bills.

Hamilton said he didn’t realize his check was actually still on hold and was on hold for 11 days.

“We expect the hold and usually when the check is cleared, they make the funds available, but this time that did not happen,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton was charged $348 in overdraft fees. 

Hamilton said this is not the first time this has happened to him with these checks, which is why he typically cashes the check first and then puts the money into his credit union.

Hamilton emailed the credit union to complain to NBC12. 

Hamilton says he got a vague answer back and told the credit union we were doing a story.

“Within about an hour and a half, I had an email from members relations explaining the situation, returning the funds to our account,” Hamilton said. “They said it was a human error and it should have been available right after [the] check cleared.”

But Hamilton wanted to speak out in hopes of getting the credit union to change their procedures when it comes to government-issued checks.

“It’s a shame it took a television station's name,” Hamilton said. “I’m grateful for what you all do but it’s a shame it took a TV station's name to get action.”

Chesterfield Federal Credit Union released this statement to NBC12:

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience our member experienced regarding a check hold that was not removed from his recent ATM deposit.  We researched the incident and responded within one business day. We discovered a human error had occurred and the check hold should have been released by staff once his deposit was verified.  We corrected the issue and refunded all fees to our member. 

Our member did indicate that he had experienced a similar issue approximately three years ago. Since that time, we have updated our systems and revised our procedures to provide better consistency in our hold process and believe this to be an isolated incident.  This circumstance is not reflective of our policy or normal procedure.

We have spoken to our member regarding his past and future deposits and he expressed understanding and relief at our resolution. We appreciate this mistake was brought to our attention and we will review procedures with all staff to prevent this from recurring in the future.

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