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Items to watch when closing a checking account

So old Mega-Super Bank has merged one too many times and you've decided to take your business elsewhere, or you're moving to a new town and will be opening a new bank account. Leaving suddenly may make you feel better -- but if you don't plan your departure and follow some common-sense steps, the bank you're leaving could have the last laugh.

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What to do before saying bye-bye to your bank
Balance your checkbook to make sure all outstanding checks have cleared before you close your account.
Open an account at your new bank before leaving your old bank.
If you've arranged for direct deposit of your paycheck or benefits, don't close the old account until you're sure the next scheduled payment will be going into the new account.
Check with your employer to arrange stoppage of direct deposit of your paycheck in your old account. Start the process at least a month before moving.
If you've arranged for automatic deductions from your account, such as mortgage payments, make arrangements for future payments through your bank and the biller. Don't forget automated payments made through Check Free, Quicken or other online banking programs.
Make sure your old bank has your new address and phone number -- put it in writing.
Clean out your safe-deposit box and return the keys.
It helps to know the names and telephone numbers of a good teller, branch manager, customer service representative, loan officer or supervisor just in case you run into an emergency.
Source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s FDIC Consumer News


-- Posted: July 7, 2004

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