Before anyone notices

I’m sure you’ve seen this before:

Community Chest card: Bank Error In Your Favor Collect $200

As I grew older and marginally less unwise, I came to see ethical issues with accepting that sum, although my objections were actually more along the lines of “They’ll find it eventually, and then what?” Besides, $200 was a hell of a lot of money in an environment where some properties were worth half that or less.

And I didn’t think of it again outside the context of Monopoly® until this showed up on my bank’s shiny new app:

No way in hell do I have this kind of money

So far as I knew, my balance in that account on that date was a shade over $4,000. (It is, um, less now; a second account was similarly skewed.) So the line was truthful, up to the point where it wasn’t. I duly pulled up the transaction list, saw nothing out of the ordinary, and concluded that this was just some inexplicable glitch. Then again, maybe I’d landed on Free Parking and didn’t know it.


  1. fillyjonk »

    30 November 2015 · 4:16 pm

    Better than “Go Directly To Jail.”

    (Though in the weird world of Monopoly: being in jail at least means you don’t have to pay other players for landing on their properties)

  2. McGehee »

    30 November 2015 · 10:35 pm

    I always figured that a bank error in my favor was a fee unassessed that they never got around to correcting.

    But if I had a balance big enough to incur a fee of $200 (or not, as the case may be), I would reasonably expect my account to be “no fee” and such errors could not actually arise.

  3. CGHill »

    30 November 2015 · 11:17 pm

    My bank has four standard checking-account types, all with fees — and, in some cases, ways to avoid them. I have the highest-priced account, which requires a $15,000 minimum balance; however, since they own the note on my house, and they financed my last car purchase, the amounts owed count toward that fifteen grand. (The car is long since paid for, but I owe at least 15k on the house.)

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