STATEN ISLAND, New York City (WABC) -- A hard-working Staten Island mom living so close to the edge financially that she couldn't even afford a birthday cake for her 4-year-old daughter got another tough break when her bank account with all her money was suddenly suspended.
It was time for a desperation call to Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side.
"I felt like a criminal," Chase customer Raven Wilson said. "I felt like they thought I was committing some type of fraud when I was just trying to pay bills."
Struggling, like many moms, to feed three kids during an inflation crisis after her catering business closed during COVID, Wilson made a drastic decision to cash in the life insurance policy her mom set up for her to help her make ends meet.
"My mom said, 'This is what I put money into for you to be able to take money from it if you need,'" she said.
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And she needed it in August, to pay ConEd, the cable bill, and for her baby girl.
Turning 4, her daughter's wish was simple -- a unicorn-themed birthday party in the park, complete with cake.
But now her mom can't afford it, because the life insurance check she received and mobile deposited is missing in action.
Wilson said she kept looking at her account to see when the check deposit, but instead, it got canceled. The bank sent her a check for the remainder of her balance and closed her account.
"I cried to them," she said. "I cried to my husband. I cried."
Wilson said a manager at her Chase branch on Staten Island verified the check for $850 did clear, yet somehow, her account was blocked -- essentially frozen -- flagged for potential fraud.
"My account ended up closed, but I heard nothing of the $850," she said. "It's just in the air somewhere."
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It all left her penniless.
"I had to rely on everyone around me and borrow money from everywhere just to stay afloat," she said. "Everything was getting tight for us. I felt like I was choking."
Her mom suggested calling us, and we called Chase. A rep apologized for the "delay in verifying the check," and just 24 hours after our call, the bank express-mailed her a check for $850.
"Chase called and said they are sorry," she said. "Thank you so much Nina and 7 On Your Side for helping me. Without you guys, my money would still be in cyberspace. Now I can pay my bills now. I'm so happy. I just said," I should call Nina more often. 7 On Your Side got it done."
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