Solve It 7: Property tax refund

Luis Cabrera says his mother never expected to find money in her mailbox, but one day she found something almost as good.

Luis tells us his mother got a letter from the City of Boston saying they double charged for property taxes a few years ago.

When his mother Paulina refinanced her home in 2012, the bank made a mistake and sent the city two checks, instead of one, to cover Paulina’s taxes. Both were written for the same amount; just over $600 each.

Luis remembers his mother was thrilled.  “She was happy so she went to City Hall thinking that she was going to get her money back”

Luis went with his mother because her English is limited. When they got to City Hall they were told she needed to provide documentation proving that it was indeed her money, a letter from the closing attorney, and a copy of the check.

“She must have gone like eight times,” Luis said. “My brother went, I went with her. Just to find out that we needed to provide certain documentation.”

Despite all the trips to city hall, and even going to New York to meet with the bank Luis couldn’t get the copy of the check he needed to get his mom’s money back.

Seemingly out of options and ready to give up, Luis reached out to Solve it 7 and we went to our expert for advice.

Consumer law expert Robert W. Harnais says “If it was me, if my bank overpays someone, I don’t care who they overpay, the bank has to reimburse me the money.”

After we got involved the city, not the bank, decided to step up and write Paulina a check for $609.  

Luis says “I don’t know what you guys did, but you accomplished more in three weeks than we did over a year.”

And his advice if you’re having a similar problem?

“Contact Channel 7. You got it done, not sure what you guys did but you got it done.”

If you have an issue with a bank and you’re not getting the results you want you can file a complaint with bank regulators.

For information on how to do this visit the Federal Reserve website.

If you’ve got a problem and you think we can help we want to know about it, you can email us at solveit7@whdh.com.