Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I was not expecting a check from Lending Club. Upon my return home from a fantastic weekend in the Sierras, I opened the envelope, and in it found a check for all of $0.52, accompanied by a letter that stated:

“Thanks for being part of the Lending Club Community! You have recently requested a withdrawal via check from your Lending Club Investing account.  Enclosed is a check for $0.52.”

The letter followed with contact information for any questions I might have about my account. My first question was, “I have an account with Lending Club? Huh?”

Early Monday morning, I called the phone number listed, and was put on an impressively long hold. I finally broke down and pressed 1, as instructed, to leave a voice mail. I also sent an email to the address shown on the letter that accompanied the perplexing check.

Several hours later, I had still not received any response, so I posted on Twitter.

At 5:15PM, nine hours or so after I left my voice mail, Lina, who identified herself as a supervisor on the Investor Services team, called my cell phone in response to the tweet. She asked a series of questions to make sure that she was talking to the right person that I found somewhat invasive, since her caller ID did not identify the number as coming from Lending Club, but she satisfied herself that I was indeed the party to whom she was talking.  (Tribute to Lily Tomlin, 2 points for you if you understood it.  “One ringy dingy.” But I digress.)

Apparently, many years ago, I reviewed the launch of Lending Club for another publication. During the process, I opened an account so I could provide my readers with a hands-on look at the site.  Back during those early days, Lending Club verified your bank account by making a small withdrawal. You verified your bank account by entering the amount they had withdrawn, and could now use that account to either deposit money in your Lending Club investment account, or use it to receive the proceeds of a loan you had originated on the site.

What I did was forget about that $0.52 entirely for over a decade. 

When Lending Club sent me the money back, the letter that was attached to the check was extremely confusing as it said that I had requested the check. My short-term memory has not deteriorated to the point that I would have forgotten making a request for a check. Actually, if I had made the withdrawal request myself, I would have initiated a bank transfer rather than waste Lending Club’s money having a check printed and mailed.

I was worried that someone had compromised my identity, and would have had a more productive day if I hadn’t been so worried about financial ruin. During my discussion with Lina of Investor Services, I encouraged her to get that letter reworded to indicate that the check was sent to return that initial bank account verification withdrawal. Lina said she would bring it up with that group. Judging by the tweet just posted by Lending Club, Lina is a woman of her word.

I don’t know how many other people are receiving checks for less than a dollar from Lending Club of late, but if you’re among the perplexed population, rest assured that your identity has not been compromised. At least not by Lending Club.

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