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Woman had to call bank 34 times to get insurance check

October 19, 2011 7:16:12 PM PDT
When your insurance company agrees to pay for damage to your home, you might think your troubles are over. Well, not necessarily; it can often be tricky to collect the money.

Here's what happens: your mortgage lender typically must sign off on home repairs before you can cash your insurance checks and that's what frustrated one Bay Area homeowner.

Patricia Nutting showed us her new dishwasher, the one she bought after her old one caused a big problem.

"My neighbor downstairs in the condo below said 'Do you have water in your kitchen?' I said 'No,'" said Nutting.

Nutting opened the dishwasher to find water pouring in, but not draining out, even though it was turned off. It had seeped out the bottom, through her floor, and into the apartment downstairs.

"It didn't appear wet, but yet it felt squishy when I stepped on it," said Nutting.

Nutting had to rip out the floor in all five rooms since she has one continuous floor. Thankfully her insurance agreed to replace it. The only problem was getting the money. She said it was very, very frustrating.

Here's why. Her insurance company made out the checks to Nutting and her mortgage lender, Chase Bank. Chase did release two payments to Netting as the work was done. However, it would not release the final payment until after an inspection.

"She took pictures, went through and said, 'Well, the job is 100 percent done, it's beautiful,'" said Nutting.

The inspector came and filed a report saying the work was 100 percent complete. Chase requires only 90 percent completion. However, the bank did not send Nutting her money. Instead, it sent her a baffling notice.

"They said they needed to have proof the job was complete. I said, 'Well, you have it. It was faxed to you and you should have it.' No, no, no, they didn't have it," said Nutting.

So Nutting faxed the bank another copy of the inspection report, but that didn't help. A month later, Chase sent another notice saying "we need an inspection." So Nutting faxed the report a third time, and for the third time, Chase sent a notice asking for the inspection.

"'It's been faxed to you three times already.' 'Well, we don't have it.' This went on and on and on," said Nutting.

Patricia says she called the bank 34 times and got nowhere. So she contacted 7 On Your Side -- then told the bank we were on the case. Right away, she got action.

"They said we will get the check and it was all FedExed overnight," said Nutting.

Chase Bank says the insurance check had been mailed to the wrong bank office which caused a delay in processing her claim. Chase did not explain why it kept asking for an inspection report. However, Patricia did receive her final payment of $1.950.33.

"Well, I appreciate the help and I am a fan of 7 On Your Side and I'll keep watching," said Nutting.

The bank says the mix-up started when the insurance check was linked to her home equity line of credit instead of her mortgage account. We're glad it was all straightened out.

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