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Valley Marine veteran fighting missing car payments

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A Marine veteran and his wife wonder why their finance company was hassling for car payments that they already made. (Source: 3TV) A Marine veteran and his wife wonder why their finance company was hassling for car payments that they already made. (Source: 3TV)
An organization called the Semper Fi Fund sent a check for $677.84 directly to the couple's finance company, Santander Consumer USA. (Source: 3TV) An organization called the Semper Fi Fund sent a check for $677.84 directly to the couple's finance company, Santander Consumer USA. (Source: 3TV)
John and Whitney Cruz asked 3 On Your Side to help them sort everything out. (Source: 3TV) John and Whitney Cruz asked 3 On Your Side to help them sort everything out. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A Valley Marine veteran and his family say they're being hassled to make car payments -- payments they already made.

John Cruz is a proud Marine veteran who did two tours over in Iraq.

"It was kinda rough time the second time; we lost a bunch of guys," he said. "The first time, we went in, we did what we were supposed to do, we kicked butt, and we came home, and it was all glories. But the second time was a little rougher; we lost 22 guys that time."

Cruz currently works as a Realtor and with the help of a small monthly VA disability payment, he supports himself and his family

But the family's budget, they say, is extremely tight and they recently found themselves in some financial trouble.

Cruz and his wife, Whitney, contacted an organization called the Semper Fi Fund to help them make their car payment.

"It's an awesome organization; they were so quick to help," Whitney said. "I contacted them one week and the next week they were like, 'OK I'm mailing out the check.'"

The organization sent a check for $677.84 directly to the couple's finance company, Santander Consumer USA. The Semper Fi Fund not only took care of one payment, but two monthly payments just to get the couple ahead.

"I felt so much relief, like a huge burden off my shoulders," said Whitney.

Santander Consumer USA clearly deposited that check, but for some reason, the finance company says it never received the payment and continued to contact the couple for that payment.

"You can't sleep cause you're wondering you know, is that truck that I heard roll by, is that a repo truck coming to get my car where that worry shouldn't be there because the money is sitting in their bank account," Cruz said.

3 On Your Side got involved and contacted Santander Consumer USA.

Whitney says the finance company looked into the matter and quickly realized it applied the Cruzes' two truck payments to another account.

"They informed me that our payment had been assessed to another John Cruz. So I don't know how long, with that kind of situation, I would have been fighting this." 

Cruz and his wife say they're glad the issue has finally been cleared up and say they couldn't have done it without 3 On Your Side.

"It happened very quickly; I was very surprised that within a day of you emailing them and you contacting them, that I had received a phone call that everything had been fixed."

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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