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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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My bank deposited $6400 into my account by mistake & I spent

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My bank deposited $6400 into my account by mistake & I spent it. I thought it was my student loan money that was deposited. Can the bank put me in jail? I don't have a problem paying it back; I just need my student loan to get here. What will happen if I can't pay it back all at once?

Dear JACUSTOMER - The bank will want immediate payment so you are going to have to work out some arrangement to delay the payment until your student loan funds arrive. I'm not certain that you should make any comments about what you thought or didn't think about the money since anything you say could be used against you if the bank wanted to press charges of bank fraud.


Unless your student loan proceeds are about the same amount of money as was deposited into your account it may hurt your cause to make up a story like that. It would be hard to believe that anyone would not check out where that much unexpected money came from before spending it so I would not say anything at this time.


You can simply listen to what they have to say and if they make a demand for payment then ask for some time to pay and not discuss what happened to the funds etc. It is unusual for a bank to make such a mistake but it doesn't mean you have the right to withdraw the funds so you could be charged with bank fraud.


You have no duty to say anything to the bank or even go in for an appointment. I'm just not certain of the bank's position in all of this but the more you say the more trouble you can make for yourself. My advice would also be to consult a local attorney before you say anything but that can get expensive. If you don't have an attorney I would just tell the bank you don't want to make any statements regarding the account but you are willing to pay back anything owed.


Dave Kennett

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
They sent me a letter today & I called the bank immediately. I didn't have anything to hide so I answered the questions he asked-where did I think the money came from, what did I spend it on. They want me to come in Monday morning at 9 am. I can't contact the school today to get the exact amounts of my loans & aides so I told him I would go to the school Monday. Am I doing the wrong thing by being upfront with the bank?

Well I always recommend not talking about any case where there is a possibility of criminal charges. In this case I can just see them asking "If it was a student loan why didn't you send the money to the school?" The point is they will try to trap you into a lie and then they can file fraud charges. If you say nothing they can say you lied.


Since I don't know the position they are taking I believe it is best to keep quiet until you know what they are planning and how they want to resolve the situation. Obviously if you had the cash and could walk in and pay it there wouldn't be a problem but in this case I can't say what they might do.


If this had been some $100 error it may be believable that you didn't notice the amount or thought it was some other deposit etc. but it is difficult for anyone to believe that if $6400 suddenly appears in a bank account that the account holder would not at least question the source. As I said, unless the student loan proceeds were approximately the same amount I doubt that reasoning will be believed and that is why I wouldn't say anything further.



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