People’s luck can change overnight and that’s exactly what happened with a man in Chile. Exequiel Hinojosa was going through his late father’s belongings when he found a six-decade-old bank passbook that forever changed his fortune, Reuters reported last year.
Back in the 1960s-70s, Mr. Hinojosa’s father was saving up to buy a house. The passbook showed that he had managed to save almost 140,000 pesos, about $163 now. With interest and inflation, the 140,000 pesos are now estimated to be worth over 1 billion pesos, or nearly $1.2 million (Rs 8.22 crores).
His father had died 10 years ago and nobody in the family knew of his father’s particular bank account and savings. After his death, the book remained stored away in a box for decades until Mr Hinojosa stumbled upon it during his house cleaning.
Unfortunately, the man learned that his father’s bank had shut down long ago. Similar bankbooks were found to be worthless, but the passbook he found had a crucial detail that read ”State Guaranteed.” This promise indicated that in the event the bank couldn’t make payments, the government would take control.
However, the current government chose not to honour the commitment, forcing Mr. Hinojosa to initiate a legal dispute with the state.
”That money is our family’s. He saved it by working really hard,” Mr Hinojosa said, adding that the family didn’t even know the passbook existed until they found it.
“I never thought this process would turn into a kind of lawsuit towards the state,” he added.
Multiple courts ruled in favor of Mr Hinojosa, but the government appealed every step of the way. He argued that the funds represented his father’s hard-earned savings which were assured with the government’s commitment.
“If the justice system, the supreme court, the court of appeals rule in my favour, all that’s left to fix the problem is paying what is due, nothing more, nothing less,” Mr. Hinojosa said.
Finally, the Supreme Court ruled in his favour compelling the government to compensate him, 1 billion Chilean Pesos (Rs 10 crore approximately), along with accrued interest and allowances.