BEDFORD PARK, The Bronx (WABC) -- A Bronx woman was at already at a breaking point after battling cancer and struggling to get back to work, before the federal government suddenly seized her tax refund and made plans to garnish her wages.
The monumental misery was caused by a six-figure debt -- money she had paid off months earlier.
When no one listened, she called Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side.
"I was at my wits end," Lisa Wilson-Thomas said. "I didn't know what else to do."
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And it all stemmed from a bill she said she didn't even owe.
"No one knows what I'm going through, because like I said, it's been a really rough two years," she said. "It's not fair."
Last year, both her parents passed away. Then, while she was battling cancer and weakened by chemo and radiation, she got a nasty note that the feds had seized her tax refund.
"They took $2,390," she said. "They're coming after your wages. I don't make that much money, and my boss is like, 'What did you do?' And I say, 'I didn't do anything.'"
Her problems started years ago when she owned a home in Brooklyn. She modified its mortgage through HUD, which paid her loan servicer, Shellpoint, $108,000 to lower her monthly payments.
But last June, when the single mom sold the home and paid off the mortgage in full, Shellpoint should've paid back HUD. But that didn't happen.
"HUD never got this amount," she said. " So HUD came after me."
She started calling Shellpoint months ago, asking them to simply pay back HUD.
She said she talked to dozens of people, to no avail, as HUD kept coming after her and dinging her credit score.
"He was saying it was my fault and at this point, we're just going to take all your money," she said. "I'm so afraid that this cancer is going to come back because of this stress. I'm so afraid."
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So we contacted Shellpoint, who immediately apologized and promised to make the payment, which was made in full two weeks later.
HUD also credited her for the seized refund.
"Thanks so much," Wilson-Thomas said. "7 On Your Side saved me."
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