The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (or Check 21 Act) is a United States federal law, Pub.L. 108-100, that was enacted on October 28, 2003 by the 108th Congress. The Check 21 Act took effect one year later on October 28, 2004. The law allows the recipient of the original paper check to create a digital version of the original check (called a "substitute check"), thereby eliminating the need for further handling of the physical document.
Consumers are most likely to see the effects of this act when they notice that certain checks (or image of) are no longer being returned to them with their monthly statement, even though other checks are still being returned. Another side effect of the law is that it is now legal for anyone to use a computer scanner or mobile phone to capture images of checks and deposit them electronically, a process known as remote deposit.
Check 21 is not subject to ACH (Automated Clearing House) rules, therefore transactions are not subject to NACHA (The Electronic Payments Association) rules, regulations, fees and fines.
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