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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Bank Error in My Favor - Can I Keep the Money?

    last month i was suprised to see my checking account balance mysteriously rise by $3000. after a week i called my bank to find out why, and they said that a check for $300 that i had deposited had been mistakenly credited to my account as $3000. to rectify the situation, they said they would deduct $2700 from my account by the following thursday. well, the next time i checked my balance, i was $5700 over. the bank CREDITED my account the difference instead of deducting it.

    they sent an explanatory statement in the mail which reads "We have credited your account $2700 for an encoding error. An item for $300 was posted to your account as $3000." enclosed is a copy of the check for $300 and a copy of my deposit slip, also for $300. from my deposit slip, i can see how the error was made. i wrote the appropriate number of zeros in the "total" field but they are out of line with the grid of decimals making it look like $3000 (although the detail amount above obviously says $300).

    so, even if i was partially responsible for the inital mistake, i did my best to rectify it, and it's entirely their mistake (as detailed by the letter!) that they credited my account instead of debiting it. i've been just sitting on the balance, wondering what will happen and expecting it to vanish at any moment. it's been 3 weeks and no change. i'm aware that laws in this case probably don't favor the consumer, so i'm not about to go and spend the money, but i am curious: are there statue of limitations on this type of thing? if a certain amount of time goes by and they don't come after the money and fix the mistake, am i off the hook for not saying anything? (legally speaking, not morally).


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Bank Error

    If you were to withdraw the money or spend it, you would be responsible to return it. And you might also be subject to prosecution.

    There may well be a limitations period that applies - but it would typically be a matter of years. Limitations periods vary by state.

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