Even though they employ some of the most sophisticated and advanced software and machinery, banks are still known to make mistakes. Typically they’re a result of human error somewhere down the line, but the reason for the error is virtually irrelevant; the fact is that they do happen, more frequently than you probably imagine. The temptation when a bank error is in your favor is to do nothing, but once the bank finds out about an error (which they invariably do) you are legally required to repay the money. When you do discover an error, keep your records about the error, contact the bank and keep the records regarding any contact or resolution as well.
Possible Errors And Causes
Errors occur for a number of reasons and manifest themselves in various ways. Look for the obvious errors first. It could be that a company has made an slip-up and you have received a payment rather than somebody else. It is feasible, although the possibility is remote, that the bank themselves have your details mixed up with another account holder. Again, you would receive payments that you aren’t due to receive. Debiting errors are rare, but are more common if you debit cash, where human error becomes more of a possibility. Most errors and disputes are either the accounts being posted to the wrong customers or the amount being entered incorrectly. ATMs may also play a role in the miscalculations, registering a withdrawal incorrectly, with the result either finding in your favor or not. Extra charges or additional deposits that are not accounted for are the most glaring problems. Other problems that occur with some frequency include inaccurate deposit amounts and deposits not applied. Errors regarding the date and time posting payments and deposits are also commonplace but often don’t lead to a measurable financial loss and therefore often not disputed. A final error that may occur but is significantly harder to review is incorrect calculations on interest earned. The bank statement should include the interest rate and the amount the rate was paid on, again this is an error often overlooked.
Receipts And Records
You should always keep copies of banking receipts for a reasonable length of time. As long as you review your records not less than every other month, you should maintain all financial records for three years. This is especially important if you are responsible for dealing with your own taxes or accounts, but it is important for everybody to keep track of their finances and ensure nothing goes awry. Keeping receipts and documents lets you check information whenever you see fit and you should, at the very least, keep the receipt until the funds have cleared into your account. It is better to keep them for longer periods as opposed to quick reviews and off to the garbage, if needed, you can refer back to them during any time. The receipts help prove that a bill may have been paid and the time it tool place. It will also clearly verify the accurate amount. Many errors and disputes are either the accounts being posted to the wrong customers or the amount being entered incorrectly. In either case, the physical receipt will undoubtedly clear up the confusion.
When you dispose of bank records and receipts you should do so securely. Shredding is vital and using a shredder that cuts across and down the paper is the only secure way to shred a document that contains personal information such as your bank details. Identity theft is the number one registered complaint for fraud by the U.S. government. Identity theft is more difficult to repair and can be very costly. Always maintain your existing financial records securely and dispose of them securely.
The Quick Inquiry
Keeping debit and credit receipts accessible enables you to accurately question any mistakes. If you have deposited money into your account but that money has not cleared, then having a receipt or some other form of legitimate and verifiable document will make the inquiry process much smoother. When you do have a question regarding a possible error, start your inquiry on the telephone because in some instances the error may be identified and resolved through a quick account check. It may be necessary to either send documented proof (send copies and request a signature) however, it is uncommon that the dispute will require anyone to meet with a representative from the bank.
Why You Should Question The Banks Mistakes
If you spend any money that erroneously appears in your account then you are running a financial risk. The bank or the company responsible for making the error will inevitably discover it one way or another. When they do you are legally required to repay that money. When the financial institution causes the error, a quick remedy helps alleviate the distress or a chain of problems forced by a simple error. Keeping bank receipts and other documents helps to ensure that the inquiries are handled expeditiously and the resolution process runs as smoothly as possible. When you do handle your financial records, store them securely and dispose of them securely.