Can a smartphone-deposited check return with penalty?

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If I deposit a check with a smartphone (remote deposit capture) and the check is returned for whatever reason (insufficient funds, etc.) can the check be returned with a penalty charge (even though the check is not physically deposited)?

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Yes, why would you think otherwise?

Not sure if my case applies to your question. I once uploaded my check using a credit union's mobile app. The next day, I got an email telling me that the check was unclear. So the deposit was unsuccessful. I was not charged any fee. The deposit process goes through from the mobile app though. NSF fee would apply I believe.

Sorry if I was not clear, but my question is the penalty charges. I understand that check could return for deposit fail, but what about return fees?

You can still be charged NSF or any other fee that would apply to a returned check when using a smartphone to deposit. The fees will depend on the bank and what type of checking account you have. If you received a check from a craigslist buyer it is a scam, do not deposit it. If you know the account the check was drawn on does not have enough money do not deposit the check.

Are you talking about a fee to return you a bad check, separate from an insufficient funds fee?

Sure. No different than a paper check presented in person. Returned deposit items fees aren't nearly as much as a NSF charge to the maker though. Maybe $3-5. Check your fee schedule.

You won't get the check back, since the bank never had it. You'll get a copy of it in the mail.

I had this happen to me. Check (money order actually) deposited with smartphone was returned as "altered/fictitious". I was charged a returned check fee, which was reversed when I politely asked them to. It then took two months to get my money back from Western Union. I still don't know what really happened.

Once you take a picture of the check to deposit it you agree to certain terms, one of which is that the check image becomes the legal check you were attempting to deposit.

What will happen, at least for the couple banks I use, is you will get a letter in the mail stating whatever the issue was along with a printed copy of the scanned "bad check" with a printed line about how this 'instrument it is suitable for deposit.'

Other than being faster, there is not difference between scanned deposits and physical deposits. Good read below.

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