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Bank Error in my favor! Must I repay?

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Arizona is where I'm located, FirstUSA is the credit card company, they are located in Delaware.
Situation: Paid off and closed a secured credit card. Was told to expect a check for the original security deposit plus interest accrued. They couldn't tell me the exact amount the check would be, as interest would still compound until the check was actually cut.
Received check which was about 2,000 more than I thought it would be. I happily went to bank and cashed it.
Never heard a word from the bank. Eventually recv'd a normal statement from them which i assumed would indicate my 0.0 balance and that the account was closed.
To my surprise, it instead indicated a charge for the amount of the check, plus over the limit fees! This, on a closed account, which, IMO, no longer existed! (The original credit line was $1,000) In other words, they charged me for the entire check + penalties and 20% interest!!
Now, all morals aside.... is there a precedent for this? Surely banks have made errors in the past, so who's deemed responsible? Incidentally, I only received the erroneous check, never the legitimate one. I am, of course, perfectly willing to let them keep the legit original deposit, lick their wounds, learn from it and eat the 2k they screwed up on. They, of course, don't want to hear any of it. Folks, I'm looking for the LEGAL answers, not necessarily the moral ones...yes, I know what the "right" thing to do is....just curious what the courts would say. Thanks!!!


The courts would say that you have commited a federal offense called bank larceny, punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment for refusing to pay back money that belongs to the bank. Banks don't "lick their wounds" when it comes to accidentally overpaying. They have their lawyers do their licking for them.



That's kinda what I figured...
I just don't agree with their ability to charge an account that no longer was open....AND...charge me over the limit fees (which I've since gotten them to dismiss) AND 20 % interest on $3,000 on what WAS a 1,000 limited card that I never charged to begin with!!! (Does that make any sense?)
Anyway... I've planned on paying them back... I would like to negotiate a plan to pay off over time with little or no interest, since this was their mistake after all, which they have admitted.
Does anyone know of any laws, regs, techniques, etc. I can use to negotiate this?
Would also still be interested in hearing of any similar cases where the little guy actually came out on top....I mean..other than in Hollywood!
Thanks J !!



Senior Member
Simple answer.... you knowingly deposited the erroneous check. That makes you guilty of fraud.

You now want them to give you repayment terms to pay back the money that you fraudulently accepted from them.... and you want no-interest terms!!!!

Give me a break!!!

When you got the check, you should have put that money aside for when it would have to be repaid. You could then at least keep the small amount of interest it had accrued in your account. Send them the FULL amount now.... and the next knock on the door might NOT be a sheriff with a warrant or a notice of lawsuit!

Would you have been this 'understanding' if the bank had made an error and CHARGED you $3000??

However, in seriousness, you might enjoy reading the following (but remember this does NOT apply to you since you obviously were intent on fraud!):


Yes, I had seen that guys story before!
Points well taken, although I didn't look at it as intentionally defrauding anyone... I honestly didn't know how much the check would be...I suspected it was a bit more than it should have been, but hey..the bank surely knows what it's doing and double checks the accuracy of their outgoing checks...right??!! ;-)

As far as getting better terms goes...I understand your point, but still disagree... This was THEIR mistake after all, so why should I be penalized any more than a reasonable interest rate... and why should they actually profit more from their mistake?

Ok, ok...granted..it was MY mistake for cashing the check without making sure they were doing their job right.

Thanks for the input... again, I'm still looking for helpful advice from folks on negotiating with banks...whether you agree with me or not, it never hurts to try and make the most out of a situation like this, or at least lessen the pain.

I'll update this thread when I've reached an agreement with them, good or bad.

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