3OYS: Bank slow to return $385 appraisal fee to Glendale homeowner

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- For the past few months, Melvin Beard says he has spent a lot of time on the phone with Chase Bank.

"It's very frustrating," Beard told 3 On Your Side. "In fact, I gave up." 

Several years ago, Beard applied for and received a home equity line of credit from Chase. The line of credit, he says, worked out great. That is, until the housing crisis hit and Chase told Beard it was suspending his line of credit in order to protect itself.

"What happened was the market went down and the house value went down with it, so Chase Bank decided to suspend the home equity loan. I have no problem with that," Beard said, claiming he understood Chase's position.

But years later, when the housing market bounced back, Beard wanted to get his home's line of credit reinstated. Chase Bank said, "No problem," according Beard.

All he had to do was pay for a second appraisal at a cost of $385. According to paperwork provided by Chase, if the appraisal came back good, the bank would not only reinstate his line of credit but also refund the appraisal fee.

The good news: Beard's Glendale home appraised high and Chase reinstated his line of credit. However, Chase refused to return the appraisal fee.

"I know if I owed them the money, I know they would be knocking on my door looking for it," he said.

Beard says he has spent time and energy on the phone talking to Chase representatives about getting his $385 returned. However, months later, the bank had not sent him a dime.

"It's not very much obviously but for Chase Bank, which has millions of dollars, I don't see why there is a problem of giving me back my money they said they were going to give back," he said.

3 On Your Side got involved and Chase Bank agreed to look into the matter for us.

When they did, they acknowledged they had made a mistake by not refunding the $385 as stipulated in their paperwork.

As a result, Chase agreed to immediately return the $385 to Beard. It's money he says he's been waiting on since January and he's thankful 3 On Your Side got involved to get it returned.

"Thank you very much for your help and I appreciate it. I gave it more than I ever could and exhausted all my avenues," Beard said. "I got paid back."

Chase Bank never specifically explained what the hold up was in returning Beard his money. They simply said they goofed and they're glad the matter is resolved.