Certegy Check Services made an error. You suffered the consequences. Can you sue?
Businesses rely on Certegy Check Services, Inc. to verify customers who want to pay with personal checks. Those businesses need to know your check is good. But is Certegy good? When they fail at their job you suffer the consequences - you lose time, you lose the transaction, you lose the opportunity, and you suffer reputational damage. Here’s what to do about it.
Certegy Check Services files can have errors, denying you opportunities you otherwise would've had. Consumer Attorneys can help fix that. Contact us today and talk to a skilled credit report attorney.
When a consumer has been wronged by a business, it's only right to fix it. This holds true for Certegy Check Services, Inc., which may have contributed to denying a legitimate check you attempted to cash. Certegy is a check risk management service responsible for alerting businesses that a given check may be suspicious. When Certegy determines a suspicious check based on its risk analytics models, it provides the merchant (its client) with one of several scenarios.
Certegy Check Services utilizes three categories of decline codes when a check is deemed questionable by the Certegy system. Perhaps you attempted to cash a check at Walmart, Costco, Target, Kroger, or another store only to have the store decline your check. You knew the integrity of your check(s) was rock solid, so what could have gone wrong? The answer begins with Certegy's three decline codes:
- Negative Information on File – This often means one or more previous checks with the same routing number and account number had been deemed questionable by Certegy.
- High-Risk Transaction – If fraud trends are relevant to a particular merchant or area, it would raise a red flag with Certegy’s system. Also, the dollar amount on the check may have prompted Certegy to alert the business that the check should be viewed as bad or suspicious.
- Validity and Edit Errors – Insufficient lookup information regarding a check would lead to a check being regarded as contestable by Certegy.
Any one of these three decline codes by Certegy provides the check owner with very limited insight as to why the check was questioned and refused by the retailer. Note that Certegy does not have the legal authority to tell a merchant it must deny or approve a check-cashing transaction, according to Certegy's mandated compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
In the end, regardless of the Certegy code alert, the merchant has the final say whether or not to cash a customer's check.
How to Get Around Certegy
If you have had it with the AskCertegy declined transaction messages, you can shop at stores that do not use Certegy. But there are days when you don’t have that luxury and you just need to go shopping. You don’t have time to research the question, “Does Kroger use Certegy?” (As of the date of publication of this article, Kroger does use Certegy.) If a store near you or on the bus route you take to get your groceries relies on Certegy then you may not have a choice.
You can pay with an alternate form of payment like cash or a debit card. But sometimes you use checks because you need to.
When you have to shop at a store that relies on Certegy and you have to pay with a personal check you sometimes have to ask…
How to Beat Certegy
Here are some ways that you can potentially overcome Certegy's restrictions.
- Talk to the merchant or retailer. When Certegy declines a personal check they are really just recommending that the merchant or retailer deny the check. The merchant or retailer can ignore Certegy’s recommendation. You will likely need to talk to the manager of the store. Propose and engage in a polite and professional conversation. Ask the reason for the denial. Sometimes, Certegy's decision will be based on outdated or incorrect information. By discussing the issue with the merchant, you may be able to provide additional information to resolve the issue and correct any misunderstandings.
- Update personal information. Certegy relies on personal information to assess the risk of cashing someone’s personal check. If you use personal checks with enough frequency, contact Certegy and confirm they have your correct name, address, SSN, and other pertinent information. While this step will not remedy past denials, it is something you can do to prevent future denials.
- Use alternative payment methods. If the problem is so frequent and Certegy is so noncompliant with your request to correct information, then you may need to use credit cards, debit cards, or electronic payment platforms. Of course if this happens, you should call Consumer Attorneys to discuss why Certegy is not listening to you.
- Establish check writing history. Building a consistent and positive check-writing history should improve your standing with Certegy. Thi includes paying bills on time and maintaining a relationship with the bank that issues your checks. Again, this will not remedy past denials, but over time, this can enhance your chances of having personal checks accepted by Certegy.
So, What in the World Might Be Going On?
As mentioned, Certegy doesn’t allow or prohibit a business from denying or approving a check – its decline recommendations are as far as it can go. But these businesses use Certegy for a reason - they value and rely on the information they get from Certegy. Certegy collects consumer files, and those files can contain inaccuracies that diminish your check cashing chances. You should fix false and damaging information as quickly as possible since the negative consequences can go far beyond being unable to cash a check.
Detrimental information in a consumer's file can include outdated data that should have been modified or removed, mixed information from someone else with a duplicate name, incorrect criminal background information, and other adverse errors.
If you suspect Certegy's file on you may contain illegitimately harmful information, the issue needs to be adjusted quickly, and Consumer Attorneys can help! Here's the bottom line: if Certegy does not correct or remove errors on your Certegy consumer report in a timely or responsible manner and does not adhere to FCRA guidelines, you have the right to sue!
Your Certegy Report
To obtain your Certegy report from a Certegy credit inquiry and identify potential problems, follow these steps:
- Request your report. You can contact Certegy directly yourself and request they send you a copy of your report. You can do this over the phone or over their website. Certegy must provide you with a free copy of your report every year.
- Verify your information. When you receive your report, review it. Carefully. Verify that everything is accurate and spelled correctly. Your name, your address, your everything. Make sure all the accounts are accurate and up to date.
- Expunge criminal history. If you have a criminal record, talk to an attorney about which crimes might be eligible for expungement. Expungement means that those crimes will be deleted from your criminal record.
- Check for negative entries. In addition to making sure that everything on your report is accurate, look for any negative entries on the Certegy report. Should there be any negative entries on the report, make sure they are accurate reflections of what really happened. If not, you may be able to talk to whatever institutions provided those negative entries to clarify.
- Identify fraudulent activity. Examine your check history for any signs of fraud - like or theft, or unauthorized checks, or anything that looks unfamiliar. If you see anything suspicious, it could be a sign of identity theft or some other unauthorized use of your checks.
- Dispute inaccurate information. If you detect any inaccuracies or errors on your report, you should dispute them immediately. Collect supporting evidence that proves what is on the Certegy report is inaccurate, write a letter to Certegy, and mail that letter and copies of the supporting documents to Certegy, By law, they must investigate and respond to you.
You can identify and prevent potential problems by requesting and reviewing your Certegy report.
Certegy: In Hot Water with the Federal Trade Commission
Even though Certegy serves clients throughout the United States and Canada, its expansive scope of services does not mean it is immune to making costly mistakes or even a Certegy scam. In response to Certegy complaints, the Federal Trade Commission charged Certegy with two shocking allegations: 1) failing to resolve consumer disputes; and 2) failing to keep accurate records. These irresponsible behaviors resulted in Certegy class action wherein they agreed to a $3.5 million settlement.
Through Consumer Attorneys, you have access to powerhouse legal experts who can assist you with Certegy-related issues. If you desire to contact Certegy Check Services:
- Address: P.O. Box 30046 – Tampa, Florida 33630-3046
- Phone: 1-800-237-3826
- Fax: 727-570-4936
- Website: www.AskCertegy.com
Consumer Attorneys Will Fight for You!
If Certegy denied your check, you have the right to request a free copy of your file. The FCRA allows you the right to view your reports for free once every 12 months. Through Consumer Attorneys, our consumer lawyers fight for maximized financial compensations when consumers' good faith efforts to initiate disputes with Certegy are ignored or handled inappropriately.
Consumer Attorneys serves consumers nationwide and represents them in state and federal courts. We will connect you with a lawyer nearby who will assess your situation as part of a free case review. You can also take advantage of a free credit report analysis. Your situation's circumstances may entitle you to financial compensation.
As a leading national consumer protection law firm, Consumer Attorneys offers its clients more than 10 years of consumer protection expertise. Our lawyers' efforts have secured more than $100 million in monetary recoveries for our clients.
Our Reputation is Your Assurance
Consumer Attorneys is featured in a variety of prominent media outlets, including Super Lawyers, CR Consumer Reports, Bankrate, The New York Times, Daily News, Reuters, and Law Street. Super Lawyers, for instance, has a long-standing reputation for excellence and includes only qualified lawyers chosen from a pool of candidates who have been peer-reviewed and independently researched.
Also, as a client, you will pay no out-of-pocket fees. Our legal teams receive a fee only if they win on their clients' behalf! We're ready to become your powerful legal ally!
It's Time to Act – Contact Our Legal Team!
If your file with Certegy includes damaging errors or if your errors have not been rectified after a proper dispute, Consumer Attorneys wants to know!
- Call +1 877-615-1725 for immediate assistance and a free case review.
- Fill out our brief Contact Us form or initiate a LIVE CHAT – share your concerns.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions at any time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to sue Certegy?
The best way to begin legal action against Certegy Check Services, Inc. is to contact Consumer Attorneys. Our consumer credit attorneys have a proven track record of working hard for our clients. As a result, our clients have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars from giant credit and check review companies who have been negligent or not followed the law. There are laws to protect you. We know those laws well and we know how to recover for you. Contact us so we can assess your case.
What is Certegy Reason 1?
Certegy Reason 1 is Negative Information on File. You are standing in the grocery store or the Target or the Best Buy trying to pay for your merchandise with a check and Certegy denies your check with a message that says “Negative Information on File.” Sometimes Certegy does not contact the financial institution that issued the check to verify the funds are there. Sometimes they rely on your history. A financial history with some negative activity can prompt Certegy to tell the business to deny your check. If you have a criminal history involving fraud or stolen checks, Certegy may flag you. Whether or not their denial of your check is warranted depends on the circumstances.
What is Certegy Reason 2?
Certegy Reason 2 is High-Risk Transaction. Sometimes Certegy relies on geography and trends in your area as a basis to deny a check transaction. If your check is of a certain amount and the business at which you are shopping is in an area where certain fraud trends are happening, Certegy will deny your payment.
What is Certegy Reason 3?
Certegy Reason 3 is Validity and Edit Errors. This means Certegy does not have enough information to make a recommendation on whether the business should accept your check. Despite the vast automation of things today, companies like Certegy still rely on humans for some aspects of their business. A misspelling, a typo, some unfortunate keystrokes could create real problems for you. When Certegy relies too much on systems and does not review their reports with the ordinary care they should, you suffer the consequences.