Answer: You will need to dispute the fraud notation. There are several strategies you can try:
1. Dispute with ChexSystems. In order to dispute ChexSystems you must first have your ChexSystems Report. Disputes to ChexSystems can be done over the telephone directly with their representatives but I strongly suggest you dispute by U.S. Mail.
Disputing ChexSystems by sending a letter creates a paper trail in case you need it down the road some time later. It’s always better to have written documentation when dealing with any consumer reporting agency.
In the article “How to Dispute ChexSystems” you can get more information on the dispute process and find out how to order you ChexSystems report online.
ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency which means they are governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. ChexSystems has 30 days in which to investigate a dispute. If the dispute is not verified by the bank which reported the fraud notation, it must be removed.
2. Dispute Directly with the Bank. Under the FACT Act, you can also dispute directly with the furnisher of information, meaning the bank. They are under the same 30-day timeframe in which to investigate the dispute or delete it from your ChexSystems report. But before you do this I suggest disputing with ChexSystems first, the item may be removed with that dispute and if so, your work is done.
Fraud is a very serious notation in ChexSystems and negative information in ChexSystems can remain 5 years. Banks often make vague and ambiguous notations such as “fraud” or “account abuse” in consumer’s ChexSystems reports. If you did nothing illegal, request the bank prove and justify their fraud notation.
3. File a Complaint with the OCC. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency supervises all national banks and federal savings associations. The OCC can help resolve issues with your bank. In some instances they may refer your complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which also handles complaints against banks.
If you have documentation or can support your complaint with facts make an online consumer complaint with the OCC. You will discover the OCC process moves quickly and efficiently. Banks do not like when complaints are made to the OCC. You may find the issue resolved, in your favor, with little effort.
If you are unable to get a bank account due to Chexsystems there are options. One alternative is a Cash Management Account with a brokerage firm. TD Ameritrade primarily offers customers online brokerage tools for trading and investing. But they also offer a Cash Management Account that works like a checking account and ChexSystems is not used to open accounts. Direct deposit can be set up along with online bill pay. Customers get reimbursed for any ATM charges nationwide. There are no fees associated with the Cash Management checking account, no minimum to open an account and unlimited check writing with 100 free checks. Open online today, it takes about 15 minutes.
Cash management accounts work just like checking accounts. It is always good to have something to fall back on until you are able to open a traditional bank account.