Family emotional after getting $3,500 refund they've been waiting for

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PHOENIX – A Valley family was promised a $3,500 dollar refund. The refund was for a loan modification. 

The problem is that the modification didn’t go as planned and, as a result, the family was told they would get their money back.

"We're looking at houses right now and we didn't have enough money to complete ourselves," say Laura Avila.  "We have a list of 10 houses that we're gonna go look at right now and we didn't have the money, now we have the money,” says Steven Avila.

Steven Avila, his sister Laura and their mother Guillermina are crying tears of happiness because they now have the money they thought they would never see.

“I've been waiting so long for this time, you know, and I'm happy to get my money back,” says Guillermina.

In fact, $3,500 is what the Avila's got back after 3 On Your Side's involvement. It's a far cry from when they were profiled a few months ago in a 3 On Your Side report. 

At the time, the Avila’s were devastated when they hired a company called "The Mortgage Store" to help modify their mortgage but in the process, the modification, the Avila's say, wasn't successful and they lost their money.

“She kept telling me everything looked fine, everything looked fine not to worry about it. I wasn’t going to lose my house,” says Guillermina.

The Mortgage Store promised a refund but at the time the owner was merging with another business called Advocates United For Fair Housing and although this new company didn't have anything to do with the Avila's losing their money, the owner Mike Lee felt bad about what happened to the Avila’s and decided to step up.

“What' we're doing is trying to fix the problem. These are the clients and of course as an advocate, trying to make sure whoever was wronged is righted,” says Mike.

Mike says when he hired the owner from the other company, he also absorbed some of their mistakes, mistakes he's willing to correct and make right.  He came to Channel 3 Studios and returned $3,500 back to the Avila’s.

"We're here taking money out of our account and making sure that Advocates United is doing exactly what we're doing.
We are coming together for the best interest of families in the community," says Mike.

And with that, $3,500 is now back in their hands and the once-tearful Avila's say they can finally move on with their lives.

“We're in the process of moving and we didn't have no money to go anywhere,” says Laura. “You have no idea how much this means to us for us to have a home to go to now,” said Steven.

Guillermina was just as excited, “I would like to say thank you to this person right here who gave me my money back and I appreciate everything you guys did to help out to get my money”.

Technically, Advocates United for Fair Housing didn't need to refund that money because they're not the business that took it but they got involved and helped out and 3 On Your Side appreciates that.