Foreign check deposits have no maximum hold limitations.  Checks drawn on financial institutions located outside the U.S., or foreign checks, are not covered by Regulation CC of the Federal Reserve.  Regulation CC establishes the funds availability time frame for deposits but excludes foreign checks.  U.S. banks are not required to accept for deposit checks that are drawn on a non-U.S. bank or payable in a foreign currency.  Each bank sets their own policy regarding the acceptance and hold times for foreign check deposits of they accept the check at all.

Some banks deal with international checks more than others and will accept the checks with well established policies while others may not accept the checks at all.  With most banks, customers will find that if a foreign check is accepted, the deposit is handled on a collection basis. 

When a bank accepts a check in this manner, it is sent for collection with the foreign bank instead of being deposited directly into the account holder’s checking account.  The account is then credited after the bank receives payment for the check from the bank on which it is drawn.  The process of collecting on foreign checks can take several days at a minimum and can be as long as several weeks.  Often, these checks have to be mailed overseas for collection and are not processed electronically as in the U.S.

Customers that do deposit foreign checks should also be aware that once the check clears, the amount credited to their account will be determined by the exchange rate for that item that is in effect when the bank is paid on the check by the bank the check is drawn on.  Bank customers will also find that there is generally an added fee imposed by the bank for accepting and processing foreign checks.

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