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The bank lost our deposit!

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Posted

Last month we deposited a LARGE check into Commerzbank from our American bank. (money to cover the taxes from a house purchase) Commerzbank told us it would take several weeks to clear. Three weeks later my husband went to see if it was in our account. No. They have no record of the deposit. What?! We're still tracking down the receipt, but we do have the check image from the issuing bank. It was stamped by Commerzbank, signed by my husband and disbursed on February 13, just not into our account. Can/will they find this and give it back to us?

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As I look into my crystal ball, I see a Commerzbank employee crapping his pants because he finds the check in his desk drawer... Now he is figuring out a way to blame the stupid Americans for not doing a wire transfer in the year 2013 while he shreds the check and says it wasn't his fault...

 

Seriously, what has the bank said? They have a fiduciary responsibility to figure out what happened and you should have a copy of the deposit slip you filled out for the check to reference the deposit.

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So far they haven't said much more than 'what check?' my husband is there now with a copy of the cancelled check. That has to be worth something right? The check was processed, just not into our account. I have hopes it will work out. Because it has to.

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Posted

What does your US bank say? If the money has gone OUT of the original account, they must be able to say who they paid it out to.

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'They don't give out details of someone else's account.' But they did confirm its in Commerzbank. If we get push back from commerz, we can request 'research' from the American bank. They can try to get the money back. Of course we really need the funds available by the end of me week, not in 30 days after 'research.'

 

 

What does your US bank say? If the money has gone OUT of the original account, they must be able to say who they paid it out to.

 

 

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What you should do is escalate this to the bank branch manager, the district manager and customer services headquarters. While doing so do not forget to add damages to the check amount, i.e. missing credit interest as well as any overdraft interest, and refuse any extra charges such as tracing fees etc.

 

Chase this assertively, even aggressively, and don't give them a day's rest.

 

What sarabyrd said. Don't accept any excuses. Show them the copies of the canceled check and your deposit receipt. Threaten to go to the press and publish the story all over the social media. Keep escalating it until you find someone who promises to find your money by tomorrow.

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Posted

The husband just checked in. They took one look at the cancelled check and said 'yeah, it looks like we have that, somewhere.' They are starting a Germany-wide commerzbank search for the equivalent of our deposit. So no money yet, but I'm optimistic. (I did check the acct numbers, but no 1's or 7's to Americanize)

 

I think we'll have the American bank look for it as well, the more people looking the better!

 

 

What sarabyrd said. Don't accept any excuses. Show them the copies of the canceled check and your deposit receipt. Threaten to go to the press and publish the story all over the social media. Keep escalating it until you find someone who promises to find your money by tomorrow.

 

 

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Posted

I had a similar problem with Deutsche Bank, they "lost" my house deposit, they were supposed to transfer the money out of my savings account and then close the account. So, they transferred the money out of the savings account and closed it, but the never reached the recipients account. The woman at reception at Deutsche Bank were evil; they kept repeating, that the money was gone which of course I knew, but they could not say where it had gone; I had to really work hard to keep my voice calm (as from experience I know that as soon as you lose your temper in these situations, you have lost any chance of help). BUt fortunately, I remembered the name of a guy at the bank who I had consulted at the time of setting up the account when I was trying to decide how best to invest the money while I waited until I was ready to buy the property, so I just said that I needed to speak to him, as it was a matter of urgency that I had the money TODAY. Reluctantly the reception woman called the guy, who was really nice; he had no idea where the money had gone, but he realised that it was a serious matter that needed action, and by the end of the day he had located the money, and managed to blame it on a mistake by the people in Frankfurt . The important thing is to get passed the people at the front of the bank and get someone higher up working on the matter. And keep impressing upon them how very important it is that you have the money TODAY otherwise you are going to incur costs that you will pass on to the bank, what with it being their mistake and all.

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Posted

First, listen to sarabyrd on things legal. It's usually the best free legal advice you're going to get here (and sometimes even better than the paid stuff from a JD).

 

> we do have the check image from the issuing bank. It was stamped by Commerzbank, signed by my husband and disbursed on February 13

 

If by "image" you mean "a scan of the check in process from your bank showing endorsement of payee and processing date" that's all you and a lawyer need to hit Commerz up for any and all costs, like fees, interest lost, items foregone due to lack of funds, anything not having that cash available within around three weeks can be shown to have cost you.

 

Demand to speak to the bank manager, refuse to talk to underlings, pull out a copy of the image and hand him a list of all costs. All you say is, "Dies werden Sie sofort erledigen."

 

 

(I did check the acct numbers, but no 1's or 7's to Americanize)

This is so not a problem, because banks worldwide work with only two OCR (optical character recognition) fonts -- OCR-A and OCR-B -- and formatted text replications of digits(e.g., "one-seven-zero-thousand-DOLLARS-AND ZERO/100 CENTS") for ALL transactions. You can play softball and ask them what they're willing to offer for the costs you've incurred or you can play hardball and go to a lawyer . With the scan and the now sheepish acceptance you got, it's really your choice. Much as I hate to say it, softball will probably be the better option.

 

woof.

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Posted

It's not a problem if the bank is using OCR. My bank made this mistake in a foreign wire transfer because the VR internet Banking system does not support wire transfers outside of the EU. They make you fill out a form and go in person to show your ID. After I complained and was reimbursed they told me that I could use internet banking to send a message to the bank with the details of the wire transfer and they will do it that way. Still I think someone has to type something in and the whole process is not all machine read. In the case of cashing a check (how often does that happen in a German bank?) it could very well have been entered manually.

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Posted

 

They make you fill out a form and go in person to show your ID.

That's fine, but they have to pass on the info, and they have to follow regs to do so. If they're using any OCR or MICR system they have to follow procedures, not the least of which is using certain typefaces and protocols to ensure the information they pass on can't be mistaken, much like pilots in the entire world have to speak English. An Italian pilot flying a Brazilian-made plane from Argentina to Cameroon has to talk with the airspace controller named Guido Samaducci in English (and tell him he has current English-language weather information, too). Because those are the rules in place to ensure no one fucks up when it comes to information transfer. Banks have similar rules, which is why NO international bank transfer is done in, say, Arabic or Chinese. Because the system in place was set up with these rules and methodologies.

 

You have Commerz by the short & curlies. Make the most of it.

 

woof.

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First, listen to sarabyrd on things legal. It's usually the best free legal advice you're going to get here (and sometimes even better than the paid stuff from a JD).

 

Awww, thanks. There are times where my advice is not adequate to the situation, but in this case is was just good, strong common sense. Well, along with the tip about claiming financial damages - yeah, there was a bit of legaldom to that.

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