THIRD PARTY CHECKS
What is a 'third-party check?'
An endorsed third-party check is a check payable to someone other than the drawer who in turn transfers the check to a third party by endorsing the back of the check by writing "pay to the order of" to name a new holder. This action transfers the instrument to a new holder who has the same legal rights as the endorser. The new holder can negotiate the check by endorsing the check and depositing it or cashing it.
Why do I need to bring in the payee of a third-party check to the credit union so the teller can witness their signature and obtain their photo identification?
The UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) gives the payee of the check three years to claim that they did not endorse the check. When a payee does this, the financial institution has to prove that the signature on the back of the check is that of the payee. The only way to prove this is for one of our employees to witness the signature and make a copy of photo identification to attach to the check.
This procedure is in place to protect our members. If you deposit or cash a third-party check and the original payee claims that they did not sign the back of the check and the Credit Union has to give them back the money for the check, then the law states that our member is now responsible to the Credit Union for the money. Our procedures are designed to protect you from claims of fraudulent endorsement.
When I deposit a check at the Credit Union, you always place a hold on it. That never happens when I deposit checks at my other Credit Union. Why is this?
First of all, you should be aware that you are personally responsible for any check that you deposit or cash at the Credit Union. If you give us a counterfeit check, an NSF check, a check drawn off of a closed account or any other check that is returned to us unpaid for any reason, you are required to pay us for that check.
So if you are trying to cash a check and don't have enough money in your account to cover the check if it is returned to us unpaid, we may exercise our right to place a hold on the check. If your other Credit Union or bank doesn't place holds on your checks, it may be because you maintain more of your business with them. If you only maintain a $25 savings account with us and bring us a personal check drawn on an out-of-state bank for $500, then yes, we'll probably place a hold on that check.
Members shouldn't take check holds personally. There are several things you should always remember:
- All financial institutions reserve the right to not accept any check. There is no law that requires us or anyone else to cash a check or accept a check for deposit.
- We're not judging you. We're making our decision primarily based on the check.
- Many large banks refuse to verify funds. If you bring us a check drawn off of a large bank, we can call them to ask them to verify that the check is good and the funds are currently available to pay us for the check. Very frequently, we're told by the large banks that they do not verify funds. If they refuse to do this, then we can place a hold on the check because we have reason to believe that the check may not be paid.
- You should NEVER write and give out checks drawn off of your account under the assumption that the check you plan to deposit tomorrow is going to cover these checks. When you do this, you're risking returned checks and overdraft fees. Until we see a check, we cannot guarantee that we won't place a hold on it. The hold keeps the checks you've already written from clearing your account.
- We see hundreds of thousands of dollars in counterfeit and bad checks each year. Sometimes we can recognize a counterfeit check and sometimes they're so well made that even we cannot tell the difference. Just because we accept your check, doesn't mean that the check is "good." And if the check is returned, you owe us the money according to law.
How do I access Bill Payer?
In order to have Bill Payer, you must also have AnyTime Access & e-Statements. Bill Payer can only be used with a checking account. Log on to AnyTime Access and click on the Bill Payer button on the left hand side of the screen.
How do I set up a payee?
You'll need the following information: the name and address of the merchant, the merchant's phone number, the name on the bill and the billing account number. Click on Add Payee and you can set up your payee. You can set up a one-time payment or recurring payments of a fixed amount. If you set up a recurring payment, you are responsible for deleting the payment if you stop using the merchant's service, pay off a loan, etc. Recurring payments will continue for 12 months. After 12 months, you must reset your recurring payments.
Are there any fees for Bill Payer?
There are no monthly fees for Bill Payer. However, if you request services such as a copy of a check, research, perform a telephone inquiry, or want to place a stop payment on a check, there are fees for these services. Please see our current fee schedule.
How far in advance of the due date do I need to schedule my payment?
You should schedule the payment to be withdrawn from your checking one week prior to the due date. For example, if your cable bill is due on the 15th, then you should schedule the bill payment to be withdrawn from your checking on the 8th.
How are the payments made?
That depends on the merchant. We have relationships with thousands of merchants such as utilities, credit card companies, etc. If you set up a merchant as a payee and we have an established e-payment relationship with them, then your payment will be sent electronically.
You may notice that the address we send your payment to is different from the address on your monthly bill that you entered when you set up the payee. If we can send a payment electronically, we will automatically change the address and electronically make your payment. You do not need to be concerned when this happens.
How will I know if my bill has been paid?
By accessing Payment History, you'll be able to see if the payment was sent. If your payment was sent electronically, you will see the message E-Payment Sent. If your payment was sent by paper check, then the date the check cleared will be listed once the payment is received by the merchant.
What happens when a payment is returned or rejected?
We will credit your account for the amount of the payment and send you a notice in the mail explaining the reason for the return. When a payment is rejected, the status of the rejected payment will be reflected on the Payment History page.
What are the most common reasons a payment is rejected or returned?
Invalid payee account numbers, invalid payee names (inputting 'ABC' rather than 'Acme Business Corporation'), and incorrect remittance addresses.
Can I use Bill Payer for any payments?
No. You cannot use Bill Payer for alimony, child support or other court ordered payments, to pay any type of taxes, or to make any payments outside the United States.
What is Quick Pay?
Quick Pay is a feature of Bill Payer that permits you to view all of your Payees on one screen and set up multiple payments to those payees rather that accessing several individual Payees.
Can I tie Bill Payer to more than one checking suffix?
You can use Bill Payer with only one checking account suffix per account. You can use Bill Payer on a second checking suffix that is tied to a different account number.
What is the significance of a Payee Nickname?
A Payee Nickname is something you set up to help you quickly identify a payee. Your payee nickname is not shared with others. You only can use a Payee Nickname once. For example, you cannot use "Auto Loan" for two payees. You should use "Auto Loan 1" and "Auto Loan 2."
How many payees can I have?
You can have up to 45 Payees.
How long is the information available?
Bill Payer history is available for 364 days.
Businesses are not eligible to use Bill Payer.
VISA Credit Cards:
At what age does a member qualify for a Visa Credit Card?
Minors at least age 14 will be permitted to apply for a Visa Credit Card with a qualifying member parent or guardian. The parent or guardian must have their own membership account at the credit union.
The maximum limit for a credit card for a minor younger than 16 is $500.
At age 16, maximum limit increases to $1,000.
Please call the credit union for details.
Can I make automatic payments on my Central Maine FCU Visa Credit Card?
Yes. Come to our Card Services Department. We can set up your fixed amount automatic payments for any business day of the week, such as every Friday, or once a month on the 18th.
Can I review my Central Maine Visa Credit Card history and payments on the Internet?
Yes. Just log onto AnyTime Access Online Banking.
Can I use my Central Maine Visa Credit Card to pay off another credit card?
Yes. You may call or come into the Card Services Department at the Credit Union and we can issue Visa Convenience Checks for payoffs.
Can I have Credit Life and Credit Disability insurance on my Central Maine Visa Credit Card?
Yes. Central Maine FCU offers a Credit Life/ Disability insurance for our Visa program. Call or come in to the Card Services Department and we will explain the program to you.
How much of my Visa line can I use for cash advances?
You can use 100% of your credit line for cash advances.
How do I report my Central Maine Visa Credit Card lost or stolen?
If you believe that your card has been lost or stolen, or that someone has performed a transaction without your permission, call us at (207) 783-1475 during business hours and ask for our Card Services Department. During non-business hours, call 1-855-553-1061.
If my Central Maine Visa Credit Card is worn and not working correctly, can I get a new one?
Yes. It takes approximately 10 to 14 business days to obtain a new card.
If you need to replace a lost or damaged Central Maine FCU Visa Card, there is a $10 fee charged that will be refunded when the damaged card is returned to the Credit Union.
What can I do to prevent credit card fraud?
- Sign your card with permanent ink immediately upon receipt.
- Carry only the cards you plan to use. Cards you are not carrying should be
safely stored and inaccessible to others.
- Open your statements promptly and reconcile your account.
- Review all credit card transactions carefully and immediately report anything you find unusual, or transactions you don't recognize, to our Card Services Department.
- Take receipts with you or tear them up before they are thrown away.
- Notify the post office to put a hold on your mail when you are out of town, or arrange for a trusted person to collect your mail each day.
- Never loan your credit card to anyone.
- Do not keep your Social Security Card in your wallet.
- Do not keep personal information on your desk at work.
- Never give your card, card number, Social Security number or PIN to anyone.
- Do not allow your credit card out of sight during a sales transaction.
- Never give personal information, such as account numbers, your Social Security number or PIN over the phone, or respond to any email requesting personal or account information.
VISA Debit Cards:
Can my child have a Visa Debit Card?
Yes. We may issue debit cards to a minor if the minor is at least 13 years of age, a parent or guardian is joint on the account that the debit card is tied to, and the parent or guardian signs on the debit card application. Please be aware that we pull credit when considering whether or not to issue a debit card.
How can I avoid surcharges?
You can avoid surcharges by using your Central Maine FCU Debit Card at any ATM owned by a Maine Credit Union that participates in the SurF Alliance. You can recognize an ATM machine that is a member of the alliance by the SurF logo on the machine. Click here for a list of SurF ATMs in Maine
- You can also avoid surcharges by using one of 33,000 ATMs in the CO-OP Network. Click here to find CO-OP ATMs.
I would like to change my PIN (Personal Identification Number) to something other than the PIN sent to me. Can I do this?
You may change your Central Maine FCU Debit Card PIN number at our ATM located at 1000 Lisbon Street in Lewiston. You will need your current PIN number for this change option.
1. Simply insert your card and enter your current PIN number.
2. Select PIN change.
3. Enter your new 4-digit PIN.
4. Re-enter your new PIN for verification.
5. Your transaction will read PIN change completed.
6. You may then proceed with your transaction.
NOTICE: You may choose to change it yourself at the Central Maine FCU ATM by following the directions above, or see one of our Card Services Representatives to assist you. There is no fee for our staff to change your PIN. You can also change your PIN yourself at our ATM.
If I lose my PIN, how do I get another one?
Call or come into the Card Services Department and we can order the same PIN or have another PIN number issued.
I performed a transaction using my Debit Card and the withdrawal from my account does not appear on my statement until several days after the transaction.
Some merchants have what is known as ''real time'' functionality for their debit card transactions. This means that the withdrawal from your account occurs immediately after the transaction. Other merchants only submit their debit card transactions to payments once each day, every few days, or even once a month. This causes a delay between the time the transaction is performed by you and the time the withdrawal from your account occurs.
You should always assume that the withdrawal for your transaction will occur immediately and record this in your checkbook register. This will help you to avoid overdrafts on your account. Remember, never write a check or use your debit card unless you already have the money for the transaction in your account at the time of the transaction.
What is the difference between a debit and a credit transaction?
Both purchases will be deducted from your checking account.
When you select debit, the transaction is processed through an ATM network that requires you to use a PIN. When you select credit, the transaction is processed through the Visa network and you must sign for the purchase. Using the "Credit" option helps your credit union because Visa transactions cost less and preserve your charge back rights.
Should I select 'Credit' or 'Debit' at the point of sale?
You should select credit. If the merchant machine prompts you for a PIN, tell the store clerk you want to use the "Credit" option.
How do automated fuel dispensers work?
When you use your Central Maine Debit or Credit Card at an automated fuel dispenser (gas pump), the fuel dispenser merchant will try to authorize a hold up to $75.00 even if you are only planning to purchase $25.00 worth of fuel. This hold is then released. The $75.00 is then checked against the account for availability before an approval is made. You need to have $75.00 in your account to purchase fuel from an automated fuel dispenser. If you want to purchase more than $75.00 in fuel with your debit or credit card, you will need to stop at $75.00 and re-authorize for more. Some fuel merchants may only authorize $1.00 and release the hold.
What is a pinless debit transaction?
We allow non-Visa debit transaction processing. This means you may use your Visa Debit Card on a PIN-Debit Network (a non-Visa network) without using a PIN to authenticate your transactions.
The non-Visa debit network for which such transactions are allowed is NYCE.
Types of actions required to initiate a Visa transaction on your Visa Check Card include: signing a receipt; providing a debit card number over the phone or via the Internet; or swiping the debit card through a point-of-sale terminal.
VISA Gift Cards:
Can I get cash back from a merchant?
No. Cash back is not an option on your Gift Card.
Does my gift card have an expiration date?
Yes. It expires when the remaining balance is $0 or on the expiration date shown on the front of the card. There is a monthly service fee of $2.50 waived for the first six months. This fee will be deducted from your card balance the first of the month beginning in month seven until the balance is $0 or the card expires.
How do I check the balance on my gift card?
Go to www.harlandclarkegiftcard.com or call 1-866-244-5360.
What happens if there is a balance remaining after my gift card expires?
You may request that a new card be issued and the remaining balance transferred to the new card. A balance/transfer fee of $5.00 will be deducted from the balance and a new card issuance fee may also apply. Once the card expires, a $10 monthly fee will be assessed until the balance is $0, or until you request a new card. You may terminate your card and receive the funds via a check. Within six to eight weeks of a written request, a check will be sent less the $25.00 service fee.
What if my purchase is denied?
The card's available balance is probably less than the purchase amount. Call 1-866-244-5360 for the remaining balance on the card and use another form of payment to pay the difference, subject to the policy of the merchant.
What happens if my gift card is lost or stolen?
You should immediately report any problems or a lost or stolen card by calling our 24-hour toll-free support line at 1-866-244-5360. A replacement card will be issued and any available balance will be transferred to the new card, less the $5.00 lost/stolen fee that will be deducted from your card's available balance (a new card issuance fee may also apply). As long as the lost or stolen card is reported immediately, you are not responsible for any unauthorized merchant charges.
What is the fee for purchasing a gift card at the Credit Union?
If you use the link on our web site, the fees are: $5.95 for $25.00 - $750.00
If you would like to have the person's name embossed on the Gift Card that you are purchasing, you will have to purchase the Gift Card online. The card cannot be reloaded.
To purchase Visa Gift Cards at the Credit Union:
There is a $4 fee for each
How are disputes handled?
Simply call our toll-free customer service number, 1-866-244-5360, and they will walk you through the process.
What is Central Maine Federal Credit Union's Routing Number?
Our number is: 211287926. You may need this when wiring money or setting up direct deposit with your employer.
What is Overdraft Protection?
Overdraft Protection transfers money from a savings or a line of credit loan to your checking account to cover a check, debit card transaction, ACH Debit, etc., if you do not have enough money in your checking account.
How can I stop payment on a Credit Union Money Order?
You must come into the Credit Union to place a Stop Payment on a lost or stolen money order. Because money orders are guaranteed funds, if we place a Stop Payment on a money order, we must reissue the money order to the original payee. This means we cannot give you cash for the money order. You will need to complete a form to place a Stop Payment and have a money order reissued to the original payee. If there was no payee on the money order, we would be unable to reissue it.
Maine's Uniform Commercial Code requires that we wait 90 days before reissuing a money order. There is a fee for placing a stop payment on a money order, if the stop payment is permitted.
Fee is $20
When I am purchasing a Money Order, the Members Service Representative asks me if I would like the payee typed on the Money Order. Why do they do this?
If you should lose the money order, we will be unable to re-issue another to replace it and you will lose the money you used to buy it. Money orders are ''guaranteed funds'', which means that the person who has the money order is guaranteed to collect on it. If you do not place a payee on a money order, then you have no opportunity to place a Stop Payment. The person in possession of the money order is entitled by law to the cash.
Why do I need to show identification at the teller window, especially when I've been a member for so long?
For your protection Central Maine FCU requires identification that you are the authorized owner of an account prior to conducting business. This is to ensure the security and privacy of our members.
Did you know that when you place an alert on your credit history, that it could affect you when you are travelling?
If you are planning to rent a car, they may pull your credit before approving the car rental. If they cannot pull your credit, they will give you an "advisory information brochure" letting you know why and you will have to call another car rental service. It is always good to check out your car rental companies before you make your reservations.