ATLANTA — The U.S. government forgave her student loan debt and even issued a refund for overpayments, but that refund check has turned Lois White’s life upside down.
“I feel like a criminal, like I’ve done something wrong,” White told Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray.
White deposited the check for $5,298 in her Chase bank account by mobile deposit. She planned to use the money to pay off some bills.
Instead, Chase put a fraud hold on the check and her bank account.
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“Apparently, they couldn’t verify this check was real,” White said.
White is one of more than 800,000 Americans who have been paying their student loans for more than two decades to get a letter from their federal student loan servicers saying they qualify for a one-time adjustment forgiving their loans.
“Congratulations — your student loan has been forgiven,” the letter said. Many also are getting refund checks for overpayments under the account adjustments.
“They sent me a letter in the mail saying that my loan was forgiven. Thank you, God,” White said.
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Chase eventually not only put a hold on the check but locked up and then closed White’s entire account, blocking access to her money.
Even after White went back to her loan servicer to obtain written confirmation of the refund and proof of the loan servicer’s copy of the deposited check, Chase refused to budge.
“I went to the branch. I gave them this letter. I gave them this check, gave them my ID my birth certificate, social security card,” White said.
Just hours after Channel 2 Action News reached out to Chase, someone from their executive offices contacted White to say they are researching her case.
“We are working with our customer and the United States Treasury to verify any funds she is due,” a Chase spokesperson told us in a statement.
But for now, Chase continues to hold White’s money.
“I’m devastated because I’ve always been able to pay my bills on time and handle my business. But I’m like couch surfing now,” White said.
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