#insane - I firmly believe that sometimes God puts us in situations just to see what we'll do. When I was about 19 years old, Bank of America almost made me lose my mind. One day, I attempted to make a withdrawal of $40 from an ATM when I knew I didn't have that much. Don't ask why I did it, I was 19. To my surprise, it gave it to me. After that, it became a game. I wanted to see just how much money Bank of damn America would give me.
I put the card back in and requested 40 more dollars. My mindset was "maybe if I don't seem 'greedy' and ask for more than $40 at a time, they'd keep giving me money. Then I said "eff that, gimme $100". The money came out with no hesitation. Another $100. And another. And another. After that I left, because I had withdrawn the maximum for that day.
So at midnight I went to a different ATM and did it again. Money came out as easy as I requested it. Long story short, over a period of a couple of weeks, I had withdrawn nearly $5000. And I only stopped because one day, the gift that kept on giving, stopped giving. In fact, my account showed a negative figure...for the amount I had withdrawn.
The same thing happened to Ronald Page of Detroit, but the difference between Mr. Chap and Mr. Page is that Mr. Page isn't a dumb teenager who was just doing something for kicks and giggles. In fact, Page is a retired GM worker who one day wanted to let it ride at one of the casinos.
After gambling and losing, Page went to the ATM to withdraw some money. Knowing that he only had a few hundred in his account, he did what I did (on a larger scale), and was allowed to get whatever amount he put in. After losing that, he went to the window to withdraw more money from his account. The same thing happened. $10,000, $20,000, $50,000. No matter how much he wanted off that card, they gave it to him, racks at a time. Is that what the kids are saying now? Racks? It used to be "G's", then it was "stacks", then "bands". I can't keep up anymore. I'm just trying to help you understand what's happened.
When the smoke cleared after 15 days of bliss, Page had withdrawn and lost $312,000 at Greektown Casino, over $100,000 at MGM Casino, and $514,000 at Motor City Casino - my personal favorite. Apparently it was his favorite also.
Now Page is going before a federal judge who has to decide whether to give him probation, community service or prison time. Prosecutors recommend 15 months in prison, saying that Page merely had a "lapse of judgment" and the bank was to blame for allowing the situation to happen. Wow. Really?
What's more amazing than the amount of money he was able to withdraw, is the unbelievable amount of bad luck he had. He spent $1.5 million spent at the casino, and won $0. Advantage: House.
This goes way beyond overdraft protection. This was a flat-out bank error. Have you ever been in a situation like ours? What would you do if you ever found yourself able to withdraw whatever you wanted? Would you take out a "manageable" amount of money knowing that you're going to have to pay it back?