Demystifying Regulation CC Holds: Understanding the Impact on Your Finances

April 28, 2024

Introduction to Regulation CC Holds

Regulation CC, also known as the Expedited Funds Availability Act, is a federal regulation in the United States that governs the availability of funds deposited in transaction accounts. An important aspect of Regulation CC is the provision for holds on deposited funds. A hold, often referred to as a “Regulation CC hold,” is a temporary delay imposed by a financial institution before making funds available for withdrawal or use. This article is intended to provide a comprehensive understanding of Regulation CC holds, including their purpose, duration, and the rights and responsibilities of both financial institutions and consumers.

Purpose of Regulation CC Holds

The primary purpose of Regulation CC holds is to protect financial institutions against the risk of loss resulting from checks or electronic deposits that may be returned for insufficient funds or other reasons. By placing a hold on deposited funds, the institution ensures that the funds are available before allowing the customer to withdraw or use them. This helps prevent situations in which customers spend funds that have not yet been collected, leading to potential overdrafts or returned checks.

Regulation CC holds also serve as a safeguard against fraudulent activity. They allow financial institutions to verify the authenticity of a deposit and detect potential check fraud or other illegal activity before releasing funds to the customer.

Types of Regulation CC Holds

There are two main types of Regulation CC holds: case-by-case holds and exception holds. Case-by-case holds are applied to individual deposits that raise concerns, such as large or out-of-state checks, while exception holds are imposed based on specific criteria outlined in Regulation CC.

Case-by-case holds are typically used when a financial institution has reason to doubt the collectability of a particular check or deposit. This may be the case if the institution has experienced problems with the customer’s account in the past, or if there are discrepancies or irregularities with the deposited item. In such cases, the institution may place a hold on the deposit and conduct further investigation before releasing the funds.

Exceptional holds, on the other hand, are prescribed by Regulation CC and apply to certain types of deposits. For example, a new account hold may be placed on funds deposited into a new account opened within the past 30 days. Similarly, a large deposit hold may be triggered when the total amount of deposits exceeds a certain threshold, typically $5,000.

Duration of Regulation CC Holds

Regulation CC specifies the maximum length of time a financial institution may place a hold on deposited funds. The length of time varies depending on the type of deposit and the circumstances surrounding it. For most case-by-case holds, the maximum hold period is generally two business days. However, in certain situations, the hold may extend up to seven business days.

Exceptional holds have different maximum hold periods. For example, a new account hold can be up to 30 calendar days, while a large deposit hold can be up to nine business days. It’s important to note that these are the maximum periods allowed by Regulation CC, and financial institutions may release funds earlier if they determine that the risk of loss has sufficiently diminished.

Rights and Responsibilities of Financial Institutions and Consumers

Regulation CC outlines the rights and responsibilities of both financial institutions and consumers with respect to holds on deposited funds. Financial institutions are required to provide clear and timely disclosures to their customers about their funds availability policies, including any applicable hold periods. They must also promptly notify customers when a hold is placed on a deposit and provide an explanation for the hold.

Consumers, on the other hand, have a right to know the policies and procedures regarding holds on deposited funds. They should carefully review the funds availability disclosures provided by their financial institutions and understand the potential impact of holds on their ability to access deposited funds. If there are concerns about a hold or its duration, consumers can contact their financial institution for further clarification and assistance.
In summary, Regulation CC holds play a critical role in ensuring the stability and security of the financial system by protecting financial institutions from potential losses and identifying fraudulent activity. By understanding the purpose, types, duration, and rights and responsibilities associated with Regulation CC holds, consumers can more effectively navigate the funds availability process and make informed financial decisions.


What is a Regulation CC hold?

A Regulation CC hold, also known as a check hold, is a practice employed by banks and financial institutions in the United States to ensure that funds deposited via checks are available before they can be withdrawn or used. It is governed by Regulation CC, which is a federal regulation implemented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

How does a Regulation CC hold work?

When a customer deposits a check into their account, the bank may place a hold on the funds for a specific period of time. During this hold period, the customer is not allowed to withdraw the funds or use them for payments. The purpose of the hold is to provide the bank with enough time to verify the authenticity of the check and ensure that it will be honored by the issuing bank.

Why do banks place Regulation CC holds?

Banks place Regulation CC holds to manage the risk associated with check deposits. Checks can be returned unpaid for various reasons, such as insufficient funds, stop payment orders, or suspected fraud. By placing a hold on the funds, the bank reduces the likelihood of honoring a check that may be returned, protecting itself from potential losses.

How long can a Regulation CC hold last?

The duration of a Regulation CC hold may vary depending on several factors, including the type of check deposited, the amount of the deposit, and the customer’s account history. The regulation provides specific guidelines regarding the maximum hold periods for different types of checks. In general, holds can range from one to several business days.

Are there any exceptions to Regulation CC holds?

Yes, there are exceptions to Regulation CC holds. The regulation includes certain circumstances where banks are required to make funds available to customers more quickly. For example, there are shorter hold periods for checks drawn on the same bank or for certain government checks, such as Treasury checks or electronic federal benefit payments. Additionally, if the customer has an established relationship with the bank and has a history of good account standing, the bank may choose to reduce or eliminate the hold period.