REALLY DIFFICULT SITUATION


C

catkin

help please
my daughter,who is out of work,recently checked her bank account and unknown
to her it has been credited for £300-400 per month for the past 3 months .
problem is she doesnt know who is crediting it,she got in touch with bank
and they told her who it was from but she has never heard of them.
question is,when whoever it is that is crediting her account finds out their
error,what rights do they have in recovering it?
i dont think she can hold out the temptation to spend it much longer despite
my advice to leave it
 
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G

GSV Three Minds in a Can

from the wonderful said:
help please
my daughter,who is out of work,recently checked her bank account and unknown
to her it has been credited for £300-400 per month for the past 3 months .
problem is she doesnt know who is crediting it,she got in touch with bank
and they told her who it was from but she has never heard of them.
question is,when whoever it is that is crediting her account finds out their
error,what rights do they have in recovering it?
i dont think she can hold out the temptation to spend it much longer despite
my advice to leave it
The unwitting donor &/or the bank both have perfect right to recover the
money, for some very long period (several years at least). Since your
daughter already asked the bank where it's from the 'I didn't realize it
wasn't mine' defence won't wash.

I'd tell the bank. If they're slow to act, put it somewhere you can at
least get some interest. Charge them for the letter advising them they
of their error. Ask for a finders fee. Just DON'T spend the money and
hope nobody will ever notice. they will.
 
M

Mr Power

help please
my daughter,who is out of work,recently checked her bank account and
unknown to her it has been credited for £300-400 per month for the past 3
months .
problem is she doesnt know who is crediting it,she got in touch with bank
and they told her who it was from but she has never heard of them.
question is,when whoever it is that is crediting her account finds out
their error,what rights do they have in recovering it?
i dont think she can hold out the temptation to spend it much longer
despite my advice to leave it
Let her spend it, then if whoever it is finds out they'll have no choice
but to accept repayment in affordable installments. You could also
claim that the mistake caused her to spend more than she would've
done if the mistake hadn't happened :)
 
M

Matthew Church

Mr Power said:
Let her spend it, then if whoever it is finds out they'll have no choice
but to accept repayment in affordable installments. You could also
claim that the mistake caused her to spend more than she would've
done if the mistake hadn't happened :)
That is foolish advice, spending the money is theft, no more no less. there
have been copious threads in uk.legal to this effect - crossposted to ukl.
 
M

Matthew Church

Matthew Church said:
past

That is foolish advice, spending the money is theft, no more no less. there
have been copious threads in uk.legal to this effect - crossposted to ukl.
And moving it into an interest-bearing account is also theft. The only thing
that isn't theft is doing absolutely nothing with it - leaving it where it
is. In this case that doesn't seem to be an option so the OP should insist
the bank find the proper home for this money otherwise it is likely to end
in tears.
 
T

Tim

And moving it into an interest-bearing account is also theft.
I seem to remember one of the many threads in the uk.legal newsgroups,
saying that the recipient can be expected to pay back reasonable interest on
the amounts being credited to them in error.

In that case, and if the money is being credited to an account paying little
or no interest, the unwitting (innocent) recipient will be clobbered with an
interest bill higher than the extra interest which they actually gained -
without even being (legally) able to mitigate this by moving the money
temporarily to a higher-interest paying account? Sounds totally unfair to
me.
 
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B

Bystander

Some good solid advice here. There is now a specific charge along the lines
of wrongfully retaining a credit (where's my legal adviser when I need
her?). If it isn't yours give it back. Period.
 
T

The Caretaker ...

Tim composed the following;:
I seem to remember one of the many threads in the uk.legal newsgroups,
saying that the recipient can be expected to pay back reasonable interest
on the amounts being credited to them in error.

In that case, and if the money is being credited to an account paying
little or no interest, the unwitting (innocent) recipient will be
clobbered with an interest bill higher than the extra interest which they
actually gained - without even being (legally) able to mitigate this by
moving the money temporarily to a higher-interest paying account? Sounds
totally unfair to me.
One would have thought that if monies are being paid into a non-interest
paying account, and the recipient is not therefore receiving any interest or
benefit from the money, then a court would normally be reasonable and not
award any interest, as none was accrued from the mistake.
 
N

Nick Read

help please
my daughter,who is out of work,recently checked her bank account and unknown
to her it has been credited for £300-400 per month for the past 3 months .
problem is she doesnt know who is crediting it,she got in touch with bank
and they told her who it was from but she has never heard of them.
question is,when whoever it is that is crediting her account finds out their
error,what rights do they have in recovering it?
i dont think she can hold out the temptation to spend it much longer despite
my advice to leave it

If the bank have identified who the money is from, can they give her
the sort code & account number of this person's account?

If so it would be possible to set up an internet banking payment (for
example) for her to pay the money back to the account where it came
from. At least then she couldn't be accused of trying to keep the
money, and it would give whoever is making the payments a fairly
obvious clue that their payments are not going where they're supposed
to.




Nick
 
J

Jon Green

Tim said:
I seem to remember one of the many threads in the uk.legal newsgroups,
saying that the recipient can be expected to pay back reasonable interest on
the amounts being credited to them in error.

In that case, and if the money is being credited to an account paying little
or no interest, the unwitting (innocent) recipient will be clobbered with an
interest bill higher than the extra interest which they actually gained -
without even being (legally) able to mitigate this by moving the money
temporarily to a higher-interest paying account? Sounds totally unfair to
me.
Given the amounts involved, it's unlikely to get to the point where the
interest will rise to a point where it's permissible (much less
economically justifiable) to go to County Court to recover them. So I'd
not be too worried about interest; there's nowt the other party can do
about it. It's not "theft" *not* to put the money in an
interest-bearing account.

Jon
 
R

Ronald Raygun

I disagree. It's only theft where there is an intention to permanently
deprive. Moving it to a "better place" is not necessarily evidence of
such an intention. After all, the bank cannot lawfully help themselves
back to money wrongfully deposited unless they notice the error more or
less immediately. Once a day or so has elapsed, they require the
recipient's co-operation (which may need to be obtained through the
courts).
Given the amounts involved,
The amounts are irrelevant. This is a question of principle. :)
It's not "theft" *not* to put the money in an interest-bearing account.
Agreed. I think it's more a question of if the recipient diverted the
funds to a decent-interest bearing account, then "reasonable interest"
to be paid back to the true owner would be seen in a different light
compared to leaving it languishing where it earns no interest to speak
of.

The recipient has no duty to manage the funds of which he finds himself
an unwilling custodian, any more than he has the right to enrich himself
therefrom. But a good compromise would be that the interest be shared.
Effective custodianship deserves remuneration. Fifty fifty sounds good.
 
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J

john boyle

GSV Three Minds in a Can said:
The unwitting donor &/or the bank both have perfect right to recover
the money, for some very long period (several years at least). Since
your daughter already asked the bank where it's from the 'I didn't
realize it wasn't mine' defence won't wash.

I'd tell the bank. If they're slow to act, put it somewhere you can at
least get some interest. Charge them for the letter advising them they
of their error. Ask for a finders fee. Just DON'T spend the money and
hope nobody will ever notice. they will.
Quite right, but just to be clear, neither the bank or the remitter can
'recover' the dosh by just debiting the recipients account without the
recipients authority.

Also, neither the recipients bank or the remitting bank have any right
to recover the dosh through the courts unless they were negligent. It is
highly unlikely that the recipients bank is at fault (assuming it was a
BACS payment from another bank/branch) and also the remitting bank would
only be liable if it incorrectly implemented the remitters instructions.

So, it comes down to the remitter themselves to instigate recovery.
 
J

john boyle

Matthew said:
That is foolish advice, spending the money is theft, no more no less.
NO it isnt. She would need to have the intent to permanently deprive the
remitter, which the poster made clear is not the case because it was
suggested she pay it back in instalments.
 
J

john boyle

Matthew said:
And moving it into an interest-bearing account is also theft. T
No it isnt. She is ring fencing it until the remitter or correct
beneficiary is discovered. IN effect she is holding it in trust for the
intended recipient.

Last year I found £30 in the street. I took it to the Police Station who
wrote the details in a book and told me to keep the dosh and if anybody
reported they had lost £30 then they would put them in touch. Are you
saying that if I put that £30 into a separate interest bearing bank
account I would be guilty of theft? The only difference in my case and
the OPs case is that I reported the find to the Police, whereas the
beneficiary of the mis-posted credit has reported to the Bank. We both
reported our find to the most appropriate authority.
 
A

Adrian Boliston

Nick Read said:
If the bank have identified who the money is from, can they give her
the sort code & account number of this person's account?

If so it would be possible to set up an internet banking payment (for
example) for her to pay the money back to the account where it came
from. At least then she couldn't be accused of trying to keep the
money, and it would give whoever is making the payments a fairly
obvious clue that their payments are not going where they're supposed
to.
I would be wary about doing this, and instead leave it up to the bank to
make corrections.
 
N

Nick Read

I would be wary about doing this, and instead leave it up to the bank to
make corrections.
Yes I suppose it could lead to an unfortunate situation where the
account holder refunds the money themselves, then the bank
subsequently reverses the original transactions too !
 
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T

TimB

Nick Read said:
If the bank have identified who the money is from, can they give her
the sort code & account number of this person's account?

If so it would be possible to set up an internet banking payment (for
example) for her to pay the money back to the account where it came
from. At least then she couldn't be accused of trying to keep the
money, and it would give whoever is making the payments a fairly
obvious clue that their payments are not going where they're supposed
to.




Nick
IANAL

Good thought, bad idea. The possible scenario here is that the
remitter wouldn't notice the incoming funds, but would at some point
notice the incorrect payments. They could then take steps to recover
the payments, leaving the OP to chase around showing them that they've
already paid the amount back. At the very least it's more trouble than
it has to be, and it could become very awkward.

The suggestion of obtaining the account details is a good one though.
That way, the OP can write to the remitter c/o their bank to advise
them of their mistake, and the whole thing can (in theory) be sorted
out with minimum fuss.
 
N

Nick Read

IANAL

Good thought, bad idea. The possible scenario here is that the
remitter wouldn't notice the incoming funds, but would at some point
notice the incorrect payments. They could then take steps to recover
the payments, leaving the OP to chase around showing them that they've
already paid the amount back. At the very least it's more trouble than
it has to be, and it could become very awkward.
That occurred to me after I posted, it would be quite possible for
this to happen, and probably sod's law would ensure that it did.....
 
S

Steve Frazer

Tim said:
I seem to remember one of the many threads in the uk.legal newsgroups,
saying that the recipient can be expected to pay back reasonable interest on
the amounts being credited to them in error.

In that case, and if the money is being credited to an account paying little
or no interest, the unwitting (innocent) recipient will be clobbered with an
interest bill higher than the extra interest which they actually gained -
without even being (legally) able to mitigate this by moving the money
temporarily to a higher-interest paying account? Sounds totally unfair to
me.
It would be unfair, which is why it is utter nonsense. You wouldn't be
expected to pay back more than was earned.
--


Steve Frazer

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/steve_frazer/index.html
(updated Jan 31 '05)
 
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S

Steve Frazer

Ronald Raygun said:
I disagree. It's only theft where there is an intention to permanently
deprive. Moving it to a "better place" is not necessarily evidence of
such an intention. After all, the bank cannot lawfully help themselves
back to money wrongfully deposited unless they notice the error more or
less immediately. Once a day or so has elapsed, they require the
recipient's co-operation (which may need to be obtained through the
courts).
But transferring the monies to another account does leave you open to being
arrested for theft and having to explain yourself, which may not be
believed. It would look very bad.
--


Steve Frazer

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/steve_frazer/index.html
(updated Jan 31 '05)
 

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