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  Ask Dr. Don By Don Taylor, Ph.D., CFA, Bankrate.com    

Correct the wreck caused by TeleCheck

Dear Dr. Don,
I was reported to TeleCheck, but I don't know why. The IRS levied my business and personal checking accounts for $17,000 in error. I went to write a check and was turned down with a code 4. How do I fix this?
-- Vexed Vivian

Dear Vivian,
According to TeleCheck's Web site, "Code 4 means that TeleCheck has information on file that prevents warranty of any check from this check writer or company at this time." When you're turned down with a TeleCheck Code 4, the merchant is supposed to provide you with a record number on a courtesy card that you can reference when calling TeleCheck's Check Writer department to find out why your check was declined.

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You can call TeleCheck at 1-800-366-2425 to discuss the declined check and see if you can correct the problem.

Under provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to receive a free copy of your consumer information held in TeleCheck's files within 60 days of the date your check was refused. Your right to dispute the information in this consumer report is also protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FTC's Facts for Consumers guide, How to Dispute Credit Report Errors, gives more details, as does this Bankrate feature, 7 steps to fixing your credit report.

If the problem does stem from the IRS error, then a letter from the service explaining the error should be sufficient to clear your TeleCheck consumer report.

-- Posted: July 22, 2004

  More questions from Dr. Don

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