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How long for a foreign check to clear?
Thread poster: Mireille K
Mireille K  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:40
French to English
+ ...
Jul 29, 2006

Dear colleagues,

I live in New York state, and a company sends me checks from France in euros on a regular basis. Up until yesterday my Bank will send them to collection and I have the money in my account within 4 to 5 days. The last check I received, took to the Bank on July 18th, and yesterday still no money in my account. I go to the bank and after some research, and calling, they tell me that my check needs between 4 to 8 weeks to clear, and that before they made a mistake by sending the wrong forms blah blah. I was very surprised and upset by that, this is the 21st century after all, do they send their checks for collection on foot! but they assured me this is normal procedure. So now,I have to wait to the end of the month to bill the agency in France, wait another six weeks for them to send the check, and another 4 to 8 weeks to get the money. Is this normal, or better yet is it worth it?
What is your experience?

Thanks
Mireille


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Guy Bray  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:40
Member (2002)
French to English
Wire Transfer or PayPal Jul 29, 2006

I would never accept a foreign check for deposit in the US. The delays and charges are outrageous. You should insist on wire transfer or PayPal, etc.

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Veli-Matti Valimaa
United States
Local time: 02:40
Member (2005)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Suggestion, ask your client to send you wire transfer Jul 29, 2006

Mireille,
checks work in the US between US companies. For international payment, ask your client to pay you via wire transfer. Depending on the bank, there is a transaction fee, e..g $25, but that is your business expense. I guess they charge for international checks, too.

Rita Rinttila
Technical Translations, VM Valimaa

maboumra wrote:

Dear colleagues,

I live in New York state, and a company sends me checks from France in euros on a regular basis. Up until yesterday my Bank will send them to collection and I have the money in my account within 4 to 5 days. The last check I received, took to the Bank on July 18th, and yesterday still no money in my account. I go to the bank and after some research, and calling, they tell me that my check needs between 4 to 8 weeks to clear, and that before they made a mistake by sending the wrong forms blah blah. I was very surprised and upset by that, this is the 21st century after all, do they send their checks for collection on foot! but they assured me this is normal procedure. So now,I have to wait to the end of the month to bill the agency in France, wait another six weeks for them to send the check, and another 4 to 8 weeks to get the money. Is this normal, or better yet is it worth it?
What is your experience?

Thanks
Mireille


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Mireille K  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:40
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I did Jul 30, 2006

I did ask once but they ignored my request. Yesterday I e-mailed asking again and eplaining the situation. Hopefully they will understand, otherwise I am going to have to drop them.

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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 08:40
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Actually, all banks should do that! Jul 30, 2006

Usually banks put the money in you account right away or after a few days, but this is actually wrong of them. It DOES take like forever to clear a foreign check - perhaps because they do send a man on foot to check it out ;o)

In light of the many scammers taking advantage of the banks' check policy, all banks should actually wait till the check has been cleared before putting the money into your account. This way the scammers would have no scam anymore!


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:40
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
A wire transfer will cost them Jul 30, 2006

Insist on PayPal payment. Surely, they will not do a wire transfer because it costs money.

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Dr Sue Levy
Local time: 08:40
French to English
+ ...
I'm not surprised! Jul 30, 2006

Mireille, when I deposit a cheque in euros drawn on a French bank into my bank account in Luxembourg, also in euros, it takes 3-4 weeks for the money to arrive in my account. It also costs 10 euros (fixed charge), so I only do this for nice big cheques! (Otherwise I deposit them in my husband's French account). I suspect the banks deliberately delay payment so they can play around with our money, making interest that we will never see.

Cheques are a major payment method in France. People often use cheques to pay at the supermarket checkout, buying fuel, etc. It's going to take a while before they get used to internet payment.


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:40
German to English
+ ...
Open a euro account in France Jul 30, 2006

Mireille, why don't you open a euro account in France and have your client (and any other clients paying in euro) transfer the money to that account. Then, after a sizable amount accumulates, make a W/T to yourself in the States. That's probably the most cost-effective solution.

I have a euro account in Germany and -- unlike what Sue said -- money transferred by my Austrian clients arrives very quickly. I never had to wait 3-4 weeks.

Trudy


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Mireille K  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:40
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How? Jul 30, 2006

Trudy Peters wrote:

Mireille, why don't you open a euro account in France and have your client (and any other clients paying in euro) transfer the money to that account. Then, after a sizable amount accumulates, make a W/T to yourself in the States. That's probably the most cost-effective solution.

I have a euro account in Germany and -- unlike what Sue said -- money transferred by my Austrian clients arrives very quickly. I never had to wait 3-4 weeks.

Trudy


Hi Trudy,

Can this be done from the US?


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Sherey Gould  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:40
German to English
There's always the possibility of finagling a special arrangement Aug 1, 2006

Hi, Mireille - I moved back to the US in 2002 after living 12 years in Germany and was appalled at how "behind the times" we still were here as far as electronic banking (not to mention recycling - and I live in oh-so-liberal California to boot!).

I had the exact same problem as far as depositing foreign (Euro+British pound) checks. Every bank was quoting me 4-6 weeks and a charge of $40 to credit each one. I had so stupidly closed out my German bank account before leaving (yes, still kicking myself for THAT one four years down the road!).

I've since got most of my clients accustomed to either PayPal or Moneybookers but there are still a few hold-outs who only want to send checks.

Well, after making the rounds of all the various banks in my town and being told the same 4-6 week/$40 spiel, I actually went back to my own bank and sat down with the manager.
This has been my bank for about 20 years (never closed out two very minimal accounts when I left for Germany).

They actually worked out a special deal for me, I am thinking because I have a far more regular occurance of such checks than say someone with just one or two a year. They take my checks and credit them overnight for just $1.50 each.
But I have stood there as the process is explained to a new teller and heard the manager say to the new trainee, "But this is only for her - anyone else you have to process it the other way." (Talk about making one feel special!)

So perhaps you could work out such a special deal with your own bank as well?

Sherey


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Mireille K  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:40
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Probelm solved Aug 1, 2006

The company I work with in France told me that they will do a wire transfer and they are currently working on a Paypal arrangement.
But still, 4 to 6 weeks and outrageous fees!!!


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