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Handling Bank Errors In Your Favor

Jonathan at MyMoneyBlog [3] just wrote about a PA couple that spent a windfall of a bank error [4] that made me shake my head. Apparently the PA couple deposited $1,772.50 and the bank erroneously recorded it as a $177,250 deposit. They withdrew the money, quit their jobs, and moved to Florida… they’ve now been arrested. Clearly they knew what they were doing was wrong, otherwise they wouldn’t have skipped town, but bank errors happen all the time, what are you supposed to do?

The answer is easy: call the bank. Whether it’s in your favor or in the bank’s favor, the answer is to call the bank and ask for clarification on the error. Banks have sophisticated tracking systems that will have the records required to resolve the problem. If you deposited deposited $20 and the bank recorded $200, they will find out whenever they service the ATM and audit the records. On the flip side, let’s say you deposited $200 and they recorded $20, a simple phone call should resolve the issue or at least open an investigation. In the end, banks will figure it out and make things right.

I see this issue as pretty black and white, do you agree or disagree with my thoughts on this? Have you had an experience where the bank messed up and the situation stayed messed up?