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When you think of things that would be amazing to do, winning the lottery would be up there (for most of us, anyway). For one couple, something similar happened, but all was not as it seemed. 
After receiving the equivalent of £87,000.00 into their bank account, Robert and Tiffany Williams from Pennsylvania, US, are now facing theft charges. Now, a lot of you may be thinking, ‘but it wasn’t their fault’. No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t the simple act of receiving the money that landed these two into hot water, but it was the fact that they took the money and went on a spending spree. 

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Not content with a little over the top food shopping, the couple managed to blow through the money in just over two weeks – purchasing an SUV, two four-wheelers, a camper and a car trailer with the cash. On top of the extravagant purchases, the couple supposedly used the money to cover their bills, repairs to their car (although whether this was to repair the old car, or do the new ones, it hasn’t been confirmed!), cash purchases and they even lent $15,000.00 to their friend in need. 
Once the bank realised the error that had occurred, they transferred the right amount of money to the correct account. They also contacted Mrs Williams to explain that she had to repay the money, which had been changed to an overdraft. The bank attempted to contact Mrs Williams again, who said that they would set up a payment plan. However, funds were not forthcoming, and the bank tried on several occasions to contact the couple again. All calls were ignored. 
The couple are now being prosecuted, facing felony theft charges, and have been released, with a bail of $25,000.00. 
So, our team of solicitors in Preston would suggest contacting your bank immediately if you ever find yourself with slightly more funds than you could imagine – we’re not talking about if you’ve ended up with £0.25 more than you’ve budgeted for, but we mean if find yourself with an extra £25,000.00. 
What seems more likely than receiving funds by accident, is perhaps giving funds away by accident. Most of us have been there – you’re setting up a payment to your friend to pay them back for the Friday night takeaway, and BOOM – you’ve sent the payment but you’re not quite sure if the bank details were right. 
How do you get your money back? 
Many people would believe that it’s a case of notifying the bank of your error, and they will solve the issue. BUT Damien Fahy, a finance expert from, confirms that “there is no automatic process for immediately reversing payments” so there is no guarantee when, or if, you will get your money back. Santander have also confirmed that faster payments cannot be recalled once sent. 
The way to proceed and claim your money back depends on the status of the account that you’ve transferred the money into. According to The Mirror, if the account is closed or dormant, it’s much easier to get your money back, as they do not need to get the account holder’s permission. 
If you’ve transferred the funds into an active account, the bank needs the account holder’s permission to transfer the funds back out from them. 
So, what do you do? Well, our team of solicitors in Preston would firstly advise to check very carefully before making any payments. And, if that doesn’t help, contact your bank immediately. Although they cannot recall faster payments, they may be able to advise you on how to proceed and bring the funds back into your account sooner rather than later. 
And just so you know, when MG Legal’s team of property solicitors in Lancaster and Preston send monies, all bank details are checked by at least three members of the property team, including the principal solicitor. 
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