7 On Your Side: One bank's glitch nearly lost craftsman $39,000

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Friday, December 2, 2022
Banking boondoggle after contractor's $39,000 vanishes
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An NYC contractor almost lost his hard-earned $39,000 after a woodworking gig. His local ATM glitched and temporarily lost his money. Nina Pineda has the story.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- After months of intricate woodworking on one of NYC's most iconic churches, the nearly $39,000 Oscar Saavedra had earned was gone.

Saavedra deposited his hard-earned pay into his bank's ATM, but there was a glitch. 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda worked to carve out a happy ending for the craftsman.

"I was upset very upset because he's a hardworking man. He puts his effort in everything he does," Alice Saavedra said about her husband.

Distraught and nowhere to turn, the Saavedras could not find the $38,750 deposited into their bank account.

"Nobody knows what happened to the money, nobody knows," Oscar said.

The self-taught woodworker and independent contractor recently restored and renovated several rooms in the historic Riverside Church. Ater many months of work , the church paid him in full for his craftmanship.

He took his hard-earned check to his neighborhood Chase branch on the Lower East Side. The ATM spit out a receipt that read, "this device has experienced a technical problem", and then the funds never appeared.

"We went in person to the bank, that's when everything blew up," Alice said.

The couple says the bank told them to go back to the check issuer and cancel the check, but when they checked, the controller at the church had bad news.

"They told me no. The check had cleared, we can't cancel its cleared already," Alice said.

All that money, for her husband's licensed small business that they built up together, was missing.

Their next call was to 7 On Your Side.

"We couldn't find another solution and I always watch you and said 'who else?'," Alice said.

We went to find their missing check and within a day of getting in touch with Chase corporate, they issued the Saavedras a conditional credit. The bank then investigated and said it was happy to return every penny back to them.

"The best news ever you are an angel," Alice said.

They got their $38,750. And went to one of the best city bakeries to thank us with a sweet treat and..custom crafted artwork by Oscar.

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