Question: Bank Error In Your Favor. Can You Keep It?

Oct 30, 2015
Question of the Day, Current Events, Article, Parent Conversations

Answer: No.

This article from took me back to when I was seven and got home from my weekly visit to the bank. I had just deposited $7.00 to my account and when my Dad asked to see my passbook (he liked to do that), we discovered that the new teller had made an error and deposited $700.  Hmmm, I remember thinking…could this be an opportunity?  My dad (who was a lifelong banker) dispelled that thought immediately. I went to the bank the next day and imagine the scene as 7 year old boy tells shocked bank manager about this error.  Wish I had my Instamatic handy to catch her facial expression.

Well, back to the article I linked to…in this case, an 18-year old discovered that he had $30,000 mistakenly deposited into his account…one BMW later….

A Madison County, Georgia teen who spent the better part of $30,000, which was mistakenly put into his checking account by a bank teller, will serve the next 10 years on probation and has been ordered by a judge to pay the money back.

“The daddy apologized about a dozen times that he was sorry it happened and the boy said he was sorry. That’s about all he said,” said victim Steven Fields.

Another opportunity for me to say “Thanks” to my Dad for keeping me out of trouble!


In a bit of hypocrisy, you might recall an earlier post in which a bank had their hand slapped (fined) for taking advantage of deposit slip errors made by their customers.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.