My bank accidentally deposited $10K in my account. I reported it, then moved it to my savings account. Have I done enough?

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Dear Quentin,

Last month, I deposited a check into my checking account. The bank teller accidentally put a very high zero on the check amount, leaving me with a deposit of about $10,000 instead of about $1,000.

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When I came to know about the error the next day, I called the customer care number of the bank and reported it. I also reported the error to the branch manager, who assured me that it would be rectified in a day or two. A month later, the money was still in my account, so I transferred it to my savings account so I wouldn’t spend it by mistake.

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I have nothing against the bank recovering the extra money; It’s theirs, and I only have it because of an accident. Also, if the situation reverses, I want the money back.

However, I have made a serious effort to get their money back to the bank, so I was wondering if at any point or time the money would be legally mine.

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concerned depositor

You can email The Manitist at [email protected] for any financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus, and follow Quentin Fotrell Twitter.

dear worried,

Your attempt to return the money was serious, but was it thorough? If the end result was transferring $9,000 to your savings account for safekeeping, I’m afraid it’s hard to argue with the latter. Would you have left the bank if the money was accidentally withdrawn instead of being deposited in your bank account? Come back to your branch, and don’t leave until they withdraw the money.

Even if your effort was serious, your question is less diligent about how long the money can stay in your account before it’s in your account. There have been rare occasions of “unjust enrichment” when the recipient of money sent in error was allowed to keep the money because The person owed money to the lender, But I don’t see how you can justify this case falling into this category.

You are right not to spend this money. In 2015, an 18-year-old man was 10 years probation sentence for spending $31,000 wrongfully credited to his account, and was ordered by the court to pay damages to a 70-year-old victim who shared his name and whose account was the intended recipient of the funds. He is not alone.

There are some offenses and statutes of limitations on personal loans that vary by state, but there are no offenses committed, and you haven’t broken a contract with the bank on the money owed. These funds belong to the bank, so you would have a very hard time convincing a judge that a statute of limitations applies here.

In fact, you’ll probably need $10,000 for court bills. While you imagine what you might do with all that lolly—and there’s nothing wrong with daydreaming sometimes—proof to send and receive certified mail to your bank statement address in first class or better yet. send a letter to , and retain a copy of it.

By emailing your questions, you agree to publish them anonymously on Businesshala. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of Businesshala, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions thereof, across all media and platforms, including through third parties.

check out The Maniast Private Facebook Group, where we seek answers to life’s most thorny money issues. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you’d like to learn more about, or peruse the latest Manifest column.

Dhani is sorry that he cannot answer the questions personally.

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