7 On Your Side: Woman living out of her car has savings frozen by bank

NEW YORK (WABC) -- For one single mom from New York City, every day is a bone-chilling struggle.

Lorna Shaw has weathered a harsh winter living out of her car, and if that wasn't tough enough, her last bit of savings was frozen by the bank. 7 On Your Side was her last chance.

A debit card held the last of Shaw's savings: $500. For the past month plus, she says her cash has been as frozen as the harsh weather.

"I can't replace it. It's my car payment and I can't lose my car," Shaw said.

Her four-door Nissan Sentra is functioning as her home. She's taken shelter in the front seat and has slept there since January.

In December, the promise of a job brought the native New Yorker back from the Midwest. But the work wasn't steady so she couldn't afford an apartment.

Shaw says the city's shelter system wasn't working out. That's when she found herself on the street.

As a result, her most important bill is making the bi-weekly payments on her car.

Shaw put all the cash from her last paycheck of $500 onto a "load and go" Green Dot debit card. But when she tried to use it for her car payment?

"The money is stuck. It's locked, so I can't do anything," Shaw said.

She couldn't withdraw the money from an ATM either. And when she called Green Dot for help?

She heard a recording that said, "This card is closed and can no longer be used."

Shaw couldn't get anyone on the phone so all her money has been inaccessible.

"I feel like I'm being financially raped," said Shaw.

Shaw, who reads the bible to see her through this rough patch, threw 7 On Your Side a Hail Mary.

The 7 On Your Side team heard back from Green Dot within days.

"Once you guys got involved they sent a check out FedEx overnight," Shaw said.

The check cleared and the needy mom was finally made whole.

"7 On Your Side was wonderful, thank you thank you thank you. I'm so relieved," Shaw said.

Green Dot never told Shaw or 7 On Your Side what happened with her load and go card. While they apologized for the problem, they had no further statement.

As for Shaw, she's working more steadily, able to use her bank account to pay her car payment and hopefully save enough money to move to an apartment.


Do you have an issue with a company that you haven't been able to resolve? If so, 7 On Your Side wants to help you!

Send us your questions, issues, and story ideas to Nina by filling out the form above, by emailing 7OnYourSideNina@abc.com, or contact Nina on her Facebook page or tweet her at Twitter @7OnYourSideNY! You can also call the 7 On Your Side Hotline at 917-260-7697.

If using the app, click here to send us a news tip
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.