If an auto lender sent me a refund check for just over $3,000 that I might be a mistake but I already deposited the check, what can happen?

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If an auto lender sent me a refund check for just over $3,000 that I might be a mistake but I already deposited the check, what can happen?

It was for an extended warranty on a recently purchased vehicle.

Asked on August 3, 2015 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the check was a mistake--that is, it should not have been sent to you; you had no right to the money--and they ask for it back, you have to return the money (e.g. write them a new check). Someone's mistake does not give you the right to keep their funds; for example, if you meant to pay a $500 check to your plumber for work done but accidentally wrote it to your electrician when you didn't owe the electrician any money, the electrician would have to return the $500--he could not keep your money simply because you sent him a check by mistake. If you do not return the lender's money if they ask for it, they could sue you to get it back, and if they sue you, may be able to get certain costs of the lawsuit, too.


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