Insufficient payment results in county runaround

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PHOENIX - A Phoenix woman said she paid her property taxes, but the county says it never received her money.

The $2300 that she paid is somewhere, but no one seems to know where.

In the meantime, the woman you're about to meet is out all that money and her property taxes are still not paid.

Melinda Nelson said she tries to stay on top of her bills, so when it came to paying her property taxes she wanted to get it over with.

"With the economy we're struggling with just trying to keep afloat, and we finally get enough money together for the property taxes," Melinda said.

Melinda said she was told to head to Bank of America where she could actually pay her property taxes without ever going downtown to the Treasurer's office.

It sounded kind of weird, but apparently, it's true.

"When we went into the bank they said, yes absolutely you can pay them," she said.

Using an automated computer system, Melinda said the bank transferred $2300 to pay her tax bill, but when Melinda checked a day later to make sure the county received her payment, she got bad news.

"I was told that there's no sign that anything's been paid and I said, oh no, no no!" she said. "I brought you my receipt."

Melinda went back to the bank to see why her payment didn't go through and they told her not to worry.

"At first they said well it takes three days to process, then they tell me it takes a week to process, now their telling me it can be 15 days to process," Melinda said.

Melinda said she felt helpless, her tax bill never was paid and the $2300 she sent was missing.

"It's not Maricopa County Treasurer's Office problem," she said. "It's not Bank of America's problem, so apparently it's my problem and I'm the only one who doesn't have any power to fix it."

3 On Your Side got involved and with the help of the Treasurer's office, it was discovered that Melinda did not send enough money.

She had the bank send $2300, when she should have sent $2900.

Because of the shortfall, the county's automated system did not accept her payment causing it to become stuck in the system and had to be processed manually.

And just like that Melinda's nightmare was resolved.

Bank of America really didn't do anything wrong and quite frankly, neither did the county.

The problem happened because Melinda just didn't pay enough, but 3 On Your Side was able to square things away.