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For consumers confused about their bank statements, things will only get worse. Late last year, Congress passed the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check 21). It allows checks to be routed electronically and permits banks to substitute digital facsimiles for paper checks for processing through the clearance system. Still, Check 21, which takes effect on Oct. 28, 2004, is not the same as check conversion. For the most part, the Uniform Commercial Code will still govern such substitute checks, and a customer’s bank will receive an image copy of the front and back of his checks. Additional information about check conversion may be found in the 2003 Supplement to Consumer Banking and Payments Law, published by the National Consumer Law Center ( www.nclc.org). Information about Check 21 will be available in the 2004 Supplement. — James H. Johnston

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