Bad $$$$ Transfer

(WSVN) - He wanted to transfer money from his South Florida bank account to an account in Jamaica, but the transfer didn’t go through, and the money was lost. How do you get it back? It’s tonight’s edition of Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Horace Matherson is a man of few words. Until you talk about his homeland.

Horace Matherson: “It’s the sunshine. It’s nice, the Caribbean. The water, the food, the liquor, everything is nice.”

Horace has lived in the U.S. for 30 years, but he visits Jamaica a lot. And that’s what gave him the idea to buy a bus and open a business there.

Horace Matherson: “Moving tourist from one end to the other.”

To get the bus on the road, Horace had to wire $5,000 from his account in a South Florida bank account to his bank account in Jamaica. An hour later he checked to make sure the transaction went through.

Horace Matherson: “When I checked the account, the money is not there.”

Horace realized he had a routing number wrong. He went right back to his bank.

Horace Matherson: “They told me that they would fix it, no problem, and I would get the money. On the paper, they showed me the amended number.”

But he says the amended transfer didn’t go through either. So back to the bank.

Horace Matherson: “Give it another week. I give it another week. When the Friday comes, it wasn’t in there.”

It’s now been months. Horace had to borrow money from a friend to get his bus business started. As for his $5,000, nobody knows.

Horace Matherson: “If it was $200 I would let it go, but $5,000, that is a lot of money.”

Horace says over in Jamaica, they would describe the loss another way.

Horace Matherson: “It’s like I put it in the water and start flowing, and I can’t get it.” (laughs)

Horace laughs, but he needs that money. So, Howard, can he get it since it was sent to the wrong account?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Legally, he is entitled to get the money back. The problem is finding it. The bank that was supposed to receive it didn’t get it, and the bank that sent it obviously can’t find it. Where is the money? It’s almost as if it disappeared or is stuck in limbo somewhere. And unfortunately for Horace, legally, the bank that wired the money does not have refund it because Horace put down the wrong information.”

We contacted the bank. Because of privacy concerns they could not talk to us. But they immediately called Horace.

He told us they said, because he is a long time customer, they were now returning his $5,000 while they continued to look for it.

Howard Finkelstein: “That’s nice of the bank to do for Horace, and it’s a lesson for all of us. Before you send a large amount of money, send a small amount first. Make sure it gets there, then send the rest. And it goes without saying, but I will say it: Double check to make sure you have the correct wire information.”

Horace Matherson: “They call me from the bank and told me they put the money back in the account.”

Horace got his money back. A big relief as he starts his business.

Horace Matherson: “One phone call to Help Me Howard and that was good. I’m happy about that.”

Now, Howard said, try a small transfer before you make a large wire transfer. You may be thinking, some banks charge for that, and they do. But if it costs $25 or $30 to insure $5,000 gets there, it’s a good thing to do.

Got a problem someone deposited in your life that’s left you wired? Ready for someone to bus it away? Transfer it to us. ‘Cause you can bank on us to help you cash in.

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN
On Twitter: @helpmehoward7

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