Most people know ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency just like the major credit bureaus, and the information contained in its database can keep you from opening a bank account.
But there are some things you may not know about ChexSystems like the fact that ChexSystems maintains banking information on over 300 million Americans.
Other interesting facts about ChexSystems may surprise and perhaps help you or a family member if you are currently in ChexSystems.
1. If you have filed bankruptcy, ChexSystems can remove you.
When you file bankruptcy any ChexSystems debts should be included. Unsecured debts will be eliminated, including any fees and overdraft charges to any financial institutions. Chexsystems has a department to handle consumers that have filed a bankruptcy. Even if your ChexSystems record indicates fraud, they will clear your record. But it is up to you to contact ChexSystem’s Bankruptcy department directly. They will not automatically remove you just because you have filed bankruptcy. The direct number to ChexSystems Consumer Relations is 800-513-7125.
You simply need to fax the bankruptcy documents to 602-659-2197 and include the following:
- A letter with your Social Security Number requesting removal of negative information.
- A copy of the “Notice of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case”if your bankruptcy is still in progress; or,
- A copy of the “Discharge of Debtor” documents if your debts have been discharged
2. Too many inquiries can hurt you.
When you apply at a bank that uses ChexSystems an inquiry appears on your ChexSystems report. Too many inquiries on your report can cause Chexsystems to “flag” your account for suspicious activity. Many consumers do not know they are in ChexSystems and continue to apply at bank after bank after they have been denied. Applying at multiple banks only hurts your chances of opening an account.
3. ChexSystems has a scoring system.
If you currently have a bank account or have had one in the past, you have a ChexSystems Consumer Score. Chexsystems produces a score based on the information contained in your ChexSystems file. The score can range from 100 to 899. The higher the score, the lower the risk to a bank. A ChexSystems Consumer Score will cost you $10.50 and your request and payment must be submitted by mail.
4. ChexSystems may not automatically remove you after five years.
Each negative item reported to ChexSystems can remain for five years unless the source of the information requests its removal. After five years ChexSystems does not necessarily remove the negative listing automatically. It is up to you to check your report to make sure outdated information is deleted. You are entitled to a free ChexSystems report once every 12 months. You can also order a report for fee if you want to review your ChexSystems file more frequently.
5. ChexSystems can sell your information.
Unless you opt-out, ChexSystems can make a profit from your information. Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumer reporting agency like ChexSystems is permitted to sell your name to potential creditors so you can receive prescreened offers. You may opt-out with ChexSystems at 1-877-OPTOUT 5 (1-877-678-6885).