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Ulysses101, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 3300
Experience:  11 years experience in Canada family law, plus criminal, civil, and employment
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I have a problem I didn't know was a problem till yesterday!

Customer Question

I have a problem I didn't know was a problem till yesterday! I paid myself from my other account to cover some bills that were coming out! I was supposed to receive cash for a couple of jobs I did but it never got deposited now I owe 2500 to the bank! But I plan to pay them back. I was just covering myself until the cash came in, now I'm scared that I may be considered a criminal or have a criminal record
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 7 months ago.

Hello, thank you for the question.

I assume that you've communicated with the bank about this? What did they say?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My accounts were frozen this Friday the 18th of March! I called the telephone helpline they told me to go see my home branch. The lady I've been told to see is in on Tuesday. The questions I have is that I had no intent in not paying back and am paying everything back, can they accept this? Also when I show up to the bank, and they tell me that they will press charges,can they actually call the police right there to arrest me?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I've never had even a traffic ticket agains me! This was just a stupid mistake that I want to rectify.
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 7 months ago.

I understand. Sometimes this sort of thing can lead to criminal charges. A common scam is to go to a bank machine, punch in that you're depositing a cheque or cash, insert an empty deposit envelope, then withdraw the cash right away. That's fraud because you're lying to the bank about having deposited money which you then want to instantly withdraw.

That's not what you did here, you asked the bank to move funds from one account to the other. And the bank did that. So there's no fraud. If the funds weren't available or you didn't have sufficient overdraft, then the bank should simply have declined to complete your transaction.

Clearly you overdrew by accident. This sort of thing happens, and I'd be very surprised if the bank tried to have you criminally charged. As you've observed, you're paying the money back and you ought to be more careful about telling the bank's website to move around funds that haven't yet landed in your account or cleared, but it's as much the bank's fault for allowing this to happen as it is yours, from what I can see.

When you're seeing the bank manager on on Tuesday, ask flat out why the bank allowed you to transfer funds between your accounts if the funds weren't technically available in the first place, and that you're going to replace the funds that you inadvertantly borrowed from the bank, and ask about overdraft options to prevent this from happening in the future. There's no reason to act guilty or scared.

The bank will likely say that they froze the accounts automatically because of the potential for fraudulent transfer, or because these circumstances sometimes indicate unauthorized access to your accounts.

Does that make sense? Please reply with question or comment. If I've answered you then I'd appreciate a positive service rating please.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
You misunderstood, I didn't transfer funds to the other bank via phone!I was expecting money to be going into the account, but needed to take care of some timely bills (rent, car insurance...) which were coming before the funds were gonna hit the account. Because I was waiting for funds I wrote a check to myself from the account the funds were going to be placed into and deposited into the other bank's account.But yes my intention was always to pay it back before it got to this.... It's been like two weeks and half and just now that I received some of the money with the rest coming soon as I already saw the cheque being paid to the company for my work!
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Because the funds didn't arrive in the account the cheques bounced and I used the money from the cheques for bills and food!Now that I have some of the money I want to give it to its rightful owner the bank
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 7 months ago.

Ah, so you wrote yourself a cheque, essentially knowing that you didn't have the funds to cover the cheque, but you were expecting for the funds to land while the cheque cleared. That's obvously frowned upon.

Again, I doubt you'll be charged criminally but it's time to look at some overdraft and not do that again.

The bank could call the police and have you arrested on the spot, but that would be extreme. If you're ready to reimburse the bank, and have been a good customer, the bank gains nothing by seeing you prosecuted. You'll have to say that you made an honest mistake, that you didn't intend to defraud anyone, that you understand why such writing could be considered fraud, and that it'll never happen again.

Anything else?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
when I go into the bank on Tuesday, if they want to, without my knowledge they can call the police and have me arrested on the spot???I haven't been a long customer at this bank, and my credit rating is low, but I've never had a default account, before this year, all my bills were paid on time, this year has started a little rough with two bounced cheques from the company I work for, and now this!See the fact that they can make me wait in the room and go call the police to have me arrested on the spot scares the poo out of me! I've never done anything like this before....I'd even pay interest on this money to avoid anything
Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 7 months ago.

I know you're freaking out, but here's the simple fact:

Yes, if the bank believes that you've attempted to defraud them, then they can call the police and have you arrested on the spot.

I doubt that would happen since the bank benefits nothing by doing such. But it could happen.

And it will either happen or it won't. The amount of freaking out and worrying you do isn't going to change what will happen. I know it's easy to say that, but it's true. Losing your mind in the meantime won't change what will happen on Tuesday. If you are arrested then you'll most likely be released on your own promise to appear at your court date, and then you worry about dealing with the charges.

Expert:  Ulysses101 replied 7 months ago.

How did it go at the bank today?

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