Flash Points
By Stephanie D. Smith

(MONEY Magazine) – »CHECKING OUT Starting Oct. 28, your checks will be processed much more quickly, thanks to a federal law allowing banks to use electronic images of checks instead of waiting days to receive paper versions. That means your access to funds will be quicker. But those who write checks before the money is deposited may get a shock: the float, or time it takes your bank to post your deposits and withdrawals, could shrink to as short as the next business day.

»FRAUD FODDER A Federal Trade Commission poll finds that more than one in 10 adults say they were victims of fraud in the past year. Those hauling heavy debt loads were more likely to be burned: Three of the top four categories of fraud (such as unnecessary credit-card insurance) targeted high-debt consumers. —STEPHANIE D. SMITH