Man finds it can be hard to return $6,000

Duane La Varier
Duane La Varier of Wyoming said he was given $6,000 he never asked for. (Aug. 24, 2017.


WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — An extra $6,000 showing up in your bank account from out of nowhere might sound like the start of a pretty good day, but for one Wyoming man, it was a baffling headache.

When 53-year-old Wyoming resident Duane La Varier found $6,180 had mysteriously appeared in his bank account, he never dreamed how hard it could be just trying to give money away.

“We checked our checking account and we found out there was a deposit for over $6,000 which we had no idea where it came from,” La Varier told Target 8 Thursday.

He said he and his wife never filled out any applications and never sought any kind of loan.

“We signed no paperwork, went to no office, nothing,” La Varier said. “So how am I stuck with this?”

He said he noticed the money this weekend. The deposit a week ago had come from a company called LendingClub. So La Varier Googled the company and was sent around to different people.

“They told me I applied for this loan and we didn’t,” he said. “They gave me the same story: ‘There’s nothing we can do about it.’ I said, ‘I did not apply for this loan. Just take it back, just take it all out of my account.’ They said no.”

He said he keeps his financial information secure.

“We would not just give away our routing number,” he said. “You’d have to be foolish to do that.”

He said the company told him that if he wanted to send the money back, he was going to be on the hook for between $400 and $600 in fees.

LendingClub, an online lender based in San Francisco with a good reputation, says its records show that it had all the necessary online confirmations for a loan to La Varier. The company spokesperson said there are numerous steps that have to be taken before money is sent out.

“Where we just don’t fund an account and then ask for money in return,” spokesperson Alia Dudum said.

Earlier Thursday, the company said it had done everything by the book and believed the loan was valid. But Thursday afternoon, it had a change of heart. LendingClub is not the actual lender — it represents lenders — but Dudum said the company will take the hit for the $6,000 loan and its fees.

“It will have no impact on his credit and we’re willing to back the funds in full,” Dudum told Target 8.

Asked when the company made its decision, she said, “After you brought it to our attention.”

That’s good news for La Varier, who spent the last week worrying.

“Beautiful, beautiful. Nice. I appreciate it,” La Varier said when Target 8 told him LendingClub would take care of it.

It’s still unclear how the mix-up happened. The Michigan Attorney General and U.S. Federal Trade Commission say that while $6,000 seems like a lot of money to risk, they heard of scams with a similar M.O. Officials said the most La Varier could do is tell his bank to reverse the deposit, but that may not resolve the fees he owed.