Due to mistake, carelessness and plethora of other factors, there are persons who will transfer or pay money into an account different from the one they intended to pay or transfer the money into. Most times, individuals who find themselves in this type of quagmire tic situation usually resort to hopelessness and helplessness owing to palpable ignorance, and as such, they end up losing and forfeiting the money to either the bank or to the account they wrongly paid the money into. Francis Bacon, once said that knowledge is power, it is on the strength of that quote, that the writer will try to explain the procedure to recover money mistakenly paid into an account different from the one they intended.
The first step to take in this situation is to promptly inform the bank, either by writing, calling the customer care line, or by personally visiting the bank to explain the situation. But the ideal scenario will be to personally visit the bank, and explain the predicament viva voce. Once the predicament is explained to the bank, it then behooves on the bank to immediately reverse the money back to the transferor or the account the money was originally intended to be paid into.
Secondly, the bank on receipt of the complaint made by the transferor, will have to act quickly to correct the mistake, this the bank will do, by immediately reversing back the money to the transferor. This is only possible if the transferor and the owner of the wrong account is operating under the same bank. In this scenario, all the bank have to do is to either contact the owner of the wrong account, or suo moto reverse back the money to the transferor without the consent of the wrong account holder.
The third step to take will only be necessary, if the bank is unable to reverse back the money as explained in the last two steps. This may occur as a result of various factors such as; (1) when the transferor or and the owner of the wrong account is not operating under the same bank (2) when the owner of the wrong account refuses to give consent to reverse back the money to the transferor, (3) when the owner of the wrong account has moved the money into a different account and (4) when the owner of the wrong account has immediately withdrawn the money. In any of the aforementioned scenario, the transferor will have to file an application to the court by way of motion on notice, praying for an order of court to reverse back the money to the transferor. However, with respect to where the wrong account holder has transferred the money into a different account or has withdrawn the money, the transferor will have to contact the police who will in turn approach the court to place a lien, in the form of post no debit on the account of the wrong account holder. The application to the court by way of motion on notice will contain a supporting affidavit, wherein the transferor (Claimant) will state his/her account number, the name of the bank, the bank of the wrong account holder, plus the statement of account of the transferor and the wrong account holder.
The fourth and final step is for the transferor to obtain a certified true copy of the court order from the court registrar and then serve same on the bank. The bank on receiving the certified true copy of the court order will have no option but to reverse back the money to the transferor.
Samuel okolie is a lagos- based legal practitioner. 08066756987, email@example.com