What started as a simple home insurance payout ended in months of frustration for a San Diego family when their bank froze funds needed to pay a contractor and cover other repair costs after a plumbing problem damaged a couple of bathrooms. . and bedroom.
Back in September, Safeco Insurance approved the lawsuit and sent Octavio Rincon and his wife Claudia Lopez two checks worth more than $31,000, which they subsequently transferred to their Chase account.
“The next day when I tried to buy something online, my card didn’t go through,” Rincón said, adding that they quickly discovered that their account had been frozen.
Two checks were made out to Octavio, Claudia and Planet Home Lending, but only Claudia confirmed them when she deposited them into their joint account with a live cashier. Three signatures were required.
“Chase took the checks, they cashed the checks because they sent them to the manufacturer’s bank, and even the manufacturer’s bank cashed them with missing endorsements,” Rincón explained, saying it was the first time they deposited a check that involved a third party. .
To further complicate matters, Planet Home Lending was not even the proper collateral holder. Rincón said he was kicking himself for not catching him before going to the bank. However, he does not give Safeco Insurance permission to send checks.
“My mobile app from Liberty says ‘my current lender’ but they don’t have my current lender in their system so they sent the check to the wrong lender,” Rincón said.
He added that nearly six months of emails and phone calls followed, trying to get Chase and Safeco to work out a way for him and his wife to access the money. The contractor they had hired was also waiting for payment.
NBC 7 responds to steps in…
They turned to NBC 7 Responds for help, and we contacted JP Morgan Chase and Liberty Mutual, who run Safeco Insurance. After we contacted them, Liberty Mutual helped the couple file a claim with Chase to get the checks back so they could reuse them with the correct bond holder this time.
Liberty Mutual told us they were waiting for Chase to return the original checks, but Chase told us they were having trouble communicating with someone from Liberty Mutual. A stalemate between both companies that Octavio says he knows all too well. “Only back and forth, and many times they don’t even answer,” he said.
He added that the ping-pong between the two companies finally stopped after NBC 7’s intervention. “I immediately received an email (instructing) that they would check my situation, and from that moment everything went more and more smoothly.”
Finally two new checks arrived in his mailbox. It was something he already feared would never happen.
Liberty Mutual did not give us an official statement about what happened. Chase wants to remind people that checks written to multiple parties require each of them to sign. When asked if the cashier had to make sure the checks were signed correctly, Chase told NBC 7 they would not make any further statements.