This was a huge hassle for this woman, who's a widow, and was simply trying to manage everything by herself. She accidentally sent a huge payment to the bank when she didn't owe anything. Unfortunately, she had to turn to 7 On Your Side to help get it back.
Carolyn Foster installed 20 foot-lamps all around her Daly City home to light the way at night.
"It can be very dark in this area," said Foster.
She paid for the lamps using a Home Projects Visa card from Wells Fargo Bank. She was paying off the balance gradually, with automatic payments of $100 per month.
However, one day she decided she wanted to unload that debt entirely. So she mailed a cashier's check to the bank for the full balance of $6,700 and then had a horrible realization.
"I made a double payment," said Foster.
Foster says she forgot she'd already instructed another bank to pay off that loan. And it did. Now, she'd gone and paid it twice. She contacted Wells Fargo right away and asked the bank to please send back her double payment. However, it was not so easy.
"One person said, 'Well, it might take a couple of cycles.' A couple of cycles? So I said, 'This is my money!'" said Foster.
She marched down to Wells Fargo and asked the tellers to stop payment on that check.
"'If you do a stop payment, you have to pay X-number of dollars.' I said, 'I don't care, just stop it!' Well, they didn't," said Foster.
Later Wells Fargo told Foster the bank had mailed her refund check, however she never got it. Not only that, she realized the bank was still taking automatic payments for the loan, even though the loan was already paid off.
"I'm retired, I'm a widow, and I need my money!" said Foster.
Three months later, she still didn't have a refund. Foster contacted the bank again.
"I said, 'I'm really at your mercy aren't I?' He said, 'Yes you are.' So I said, 'Well, I guess I'll just have to call Michael Finney," said Foster.
And she did. We contacted Wells Fargo, the bank looked into the case, and two days later, a Fedex delivery arrived at Foster's door.
"I was jumping for joy. I got it!" said Foster.
She received this check for $6,900 covering all of her overpaid funds.
Wells Fargo said it could not discuss Foster's case, citing privacy rules. However, the bank tells us, "If a customer inadvertently makes payments to a closed Wells Fargo credit card, we issue a refund by check mailed to the address we have on file. If a customer had set up automatic payments, we would recommend they also cancel recurring payments prior to pay off."
"I never thought in my lifetime I would have to use Michael Finney, but he came through," said Foster.
That's what we're here for.
When we saw Foster, she was still kicking herself for paying twice. She said she had too many financial transactions going on at once so now she has consolidated her many accounts and keeps notes on everything -- and that's a good idea for everyone.