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Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

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  • Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

    I am a student and I have a checking account at Washington Mutual in California. My mom makes monthly deposit into my account for a total of 1,200 each month. During one month, she accidentally wrote Twelve Thousand instead of Twelve Hundred in the written part of the check (still show 1,200 in numeric part). The bank credit me with 1,200 but later took out 12,000 from my account when the check bounced. I brought the issue to the bank and they promised to fix it. Couple days later I got a 12,000 credit and a 1,200 debit (to balance it out) to my account. To my surprise, they also gave me another credit of 10,800. I happily used this money to pay off my credit card debt. Couple month later, they found the mistake and took 10,800 from my account. So now I have a negative 10,000 balance on my account. A lady called me from Washington Mutual corporate investigation and told me that they can collect the amount from me even though it was a bank mistake, she then offer me a very nice 2 year payment plan interest free and wants me to sign the promissionary note.

    Here is my question before I sign the note, am I legally liable for this debt even though it was their mistake? If I don't pay off the debt, what can they do to me?
    Please help, I am totally lost.
    Thanks for your time

  • #2
    Re: Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

    No you are not liable and i would find a good law firm not affiliated with that particular bank. Sue them for professional misconduct, negligence,harassment, get copies of everything from the bank in writing via snail mail and DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING! See Citibank lawsuit from Barry Kramer atty in LA. hope this helps!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

      If you know it was an error you are liable--i don't agree with the other poster.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

        Technically yes you do need to repay if you agree it is an error; you can however argue hardship in having to pay all or any substantial portion--saying that it was their mistake after all, and you spent it w/o realizing it was in error, and paying back now would be difficult...they often will not sue or take any further court action in these cases but will try to work something out. They may even settle on a partial amount.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

          I agree, it needs to be paid back; i had the same situation

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

            Hello people,

            So unfortunately the bank deposited 5000$ into my account by mistake. This happened on 11/19/2007, and I checked today, and sure enough on 02/06/08 The 5000$ was still there!. Are they going to find out that the money ? or is it mine for the keeping lol. The bank has not called or sent mail about this at all. Online I can see who deposited the money into my account a and the amount. I dont know what to do. I am with Bankofamerica, and I hear there are laws from the FDIC where it states they cannot remove the money??? People tell me one thing and some others tell me other things, please advise.

            Thanks,
            Vj

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

              This happend to me in 1997, only 2500.00 for me. Long story short, you are 100% responsible. I now have a police record for knowingly taking $ that was not mine and ended up paying 3250.00. They garnished my wages, and to this day have no checking account or CC because I am on the list of dead beats for every bank in North America. I was young and dumb. Learned my lesson the hard way. You know full well it was not your money. Pay it back.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

                This comes up all the time, and in every single situation the bank always wins. rightly so too. A simple accounting error does not give you the right to knowingly take THIER money. You are lucky they offered you a 2 year plan. Under the law you could be charged with theft. If anything you will be taken to court and will lose. My coworker did the same thing with less money and ended up owing $4,286 more than the original amount. And has a nice credit scour of 480 now. So PAY UP!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

                  I hate to say so, but yes you will end up paying. You can either accept the courtesy of the terms offered, or the bank (through its team of lawyers) will make it stick in Court. That is just the reality. The law does not provide a "loophole" to walk away with monry on account of an oversight, clerical error, etc. Hope it works out for you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

                    Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                    Hello people,

                    So unfortunately the bank deposited 5000$ into my account by mistake. This happened on 11/19/2007, and I checked today, and sure enough on 02/06/08 The 5000$ was still there!. Are they going to find out that the money ? or is it mine for the keeping lol. The bank has not called or sent mail about this at all. Online I can see who deposited the money into my account a and the amount. I dont know what to do. I am with Bankofamerica, and I hear there are laws from the FDIC where it states they cannot remove the money??? People tell me one thing and some others tell me other things, please advise.

                    Thanks,
                    Vj
                    Well honesty is still the best policy..But you must check it first maybe someone really did deposit something in your account. Confirm it to the bank where the money came from.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

                      Yes, you ARE liable for using the money, bank mistake or not. Since the bank agreed to a repayment plan that would be the best win-win option for you. In similar cases banks have brought grand theft charges -- and prevailed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Am I liable for bank's mistake? Please help!

                        Originally posted by oaknet View Post
                        I am a student and I have a checking account at Washington Mutual in California. My mom makes monthly deposit into my account for a total of 1,200 each month. During one month, she accidentally wrote Twelve Thousand instead of Twelve Hundred in the written part of the check (still show 1,200 in numeric part). The bank credit me with 1,200 but later took out 12,000 from my account when the check bounced. I brought the issue to the bank and they promised to fix it. Couple days later I got a 12,000 credit and a 1,200 debit (to balance it out) to my account. To my surprise, they also gave me another credit of 10,800. I happily used this money to pay off my credit card debt. Couple month later, they found the mistake and took 10,800 from my account. So now I have a negative 10,000 balance on my account. A lady called me from Washington Mutual corporate investigation and told me that they can collect the amount from me even though it was a bank mistake, she then offer me a very nice 2 year payment plan interest free and wants me to sign the promissionary note.

                        Here is my question before I sign the note, am I legally liable for this debt even though it was their mistake? If I don't pay off the debt, what can they do to me?
                        Please help, I am totally lost.
                        Thanks for your time
                        You told them originally that you knew you weren't supposed to have that much money in there and then you went and spent it and now you want to say it's their fault? Sorry, you are liable for the money.

                        Comment

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