Instructions for Issuing a Subpoena to The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C.

Instructions

Your subpoena must be issued to our full, legal name: The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C.

If your subpoena does not comply with this requirement, it will be returned for re-issuance. Please make your subpoena to the attention of Subpoena Compliance.


Email Address—Preferred Method of Service

TCH accepts service of subpoenas via email at subpoenas@theclearinghouse.org. Email is the preferred method of service.

 

Mailing Address

You may send your subpoena via US Mail, FedEx or other carrier.

Mailing or shipping address:

115 Business Park Drive
Winston-Salem, NC  27107

Phone and Fax

  • You may contact The Clearing House regarding subpoenas at 212-613-0198.

  • Service of subpoenas is also accepted via fax at 212-612-9253.

The Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS)

The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C. (“TCH”) operates the Clearing House Interbank Payments System (“CHIPS”), a funds-transfer (“wire”) system. The Clearing House is not a bank and does not hold accounts. As a funds-transfer system, CHIPS processes “payment messages,” which are an instruction from a sending bank to a receiving bank to pay (or cause another bank to pay) a specified sum of money to a beneficiary. A CHIPS payment message is typically one transaction within a series of transactions (together the series of transactions is a “funds transfer”) between banks made for the purpose of making a payment from an originator to a beneficiary. All CHIPS payment messages are denominated in U.S. dollars. 

Upon receipt of a payment message, The Clearing House reviews the payment message for compliance with technical system requirements (rejecting the payment message if it is noncompliant). For most payment messages the sending bank uses a code (the CHIPS Universal Identification Number or “UID”) that identifies another commercial party to the funds transfer. When a payment message contains a CHIPS UID, The Clearing House will extract additional information regarding that party from a database we maintain and will add that information to the payment message that The Clearing House sends to the receiving bank. Finally, CHIPS provides a mechanism for the settlement of the payment messages it receives.

The records that The Clearing House has that would be responsive to a subpoena seeking funds transfer data are the records of CHIPS payment messages. There are no account files, correspondence, or memoranda involved with these payment messages. 

 

TCH Response to Subpoenas

Our preferred method for responding to subpoenas is by email. Responsive data will be encrypted and a password will be emailed in a separate message. Please provide in your subpoena an email address to which we can respond.

Our standard response time is 12-16 weeks. Based on volume received, we are unable to expedite responses.

We search the names of businesses and individuals, addresses, and account numbers, which correspond to defined fields within a CHIPS payment message. CHIPS payment messages do not include fields for social security numbers, EIN or tax ID numbers, dates of birth, passport numbers, drivers’ license numbers, and the like, so we cannot search by those identifiers. Due to privacy issues, we prefer that you not provide that information in your subpoena.

If there is responsive information regarding your subpoena, you will receive an Excel spreadsheet containing the payment messages that appear responsive to your subpoena. You will also receive an executed copy of a Declaration of Authenticity of Business Records for the spreadsheet we are providing.

Please note that The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C. retains CHIPS payment message records for only seven (7) years from the date of the transaction. CHIPS transaction data that is older than seven (7) years is automatically deleted from our systems. Please be advised that TCH will not retain copies of the Excel spreadsheet that is provided in response to a subpoena.

If you have any additional questions, please email your inquiry or call 212-613-0198.


Issuing Subpoenas for Other TCH Payment System Records 


Electronic Payments Network (EPN)

The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C. operates the Electronic Payments Network (EPN), an automated clearing house (ACH). TCH holds EPN records for two (2) years. The trace number, processing date of the transaction, and RDFI RT number are required to search EPN records. In order to facilitate a search, we also ask that you provide the dollar amount of the transaction, the receiver’s name and account number, and ODFI RT number.

TCH Image Exchange Network (or SVPCO)

The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C. operates the TCH Image Exchange Network, a check image clearing house. Our check image network is a peer-to-peer network, which means that participants exchange images directly with one another and TCH only has visibility into certain summary (“cash letter”) information necessary to enable settlement. Therefore, TCH cannot provide records of check images that were exchanged over our network. TCH retains records of the summary information for seven (7) years. In response to a subpoena for TCH Image Exchange Network records, we can provide only a confirmation that a check image was settled by TCH. In order to search the settlement records, we require the business date, the file ID, and the amount of the Cash Letter in which the particular check is included.