FINANCIAL QUERY….I just got a call from my mother. She says that she recently paid her telephone bill by check, but when her monthly statement arrived the canceled check was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the amount of the bill had been electronically deducted from her checking account.

So she called her bank, and was told that legislation passed in 2004 allowed companies to do this ? without asking permission from the consumer. Has this happened to anyone else? Does anyone know what this legislation is? What’s going on?

UPDATE: And the answer is: the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act! I don’t really have an opinion about whether this is good or bad, but when mom asks a question you’re obligated to hustle up an answer, right?

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