3 On Your Side

Phoenix family believes mortgage company 'double dipped' $14K

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Edith Vasquez was handwriting $600 checks to a second lender while more than $600 was being automatically and electronically withdrawn from a mortgage company. (Source: 3TV) Edith Vasquez was handwriting $600 checks to a second lender while more than $600 was being automatically and electronically withdrawn from a mortgage company. (Source: 3TV)
As a result, the Vasquez family tells 3 On Your Side that Cenlar Mortgage electronically withdrew a total of $14,000 over the course of those two years when they shouldn't have. (Source: 3TV) As a result, the Vasquez family tells 3 On Your Side that Cenlar Mortgage electronically withdrew a total of $14,000 over the course of those two years when they shouldn't have. (Source: 3TV)
We wanted to know if Cenlar really kept taking payments electronically when they shouldn't have. (Source: 3TV) We wanted to know if Cenlar really kept taking payments electronically when they shouldn't have. (Source: 3TV)
Family members say they could really use the $14,000 to pay off the house. (Source: 3TV) Family members say they could really use the $14,000 to pay off the house. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Step inside a Phoenix home and you'll immediately see that Lauro Vasquez was the patriarch of his family because there is a large painting of him in the living room.

Estella Vasquez, who speaks only Spanish, was married to Lauro for 25 years.

"Oh, yes, he was very attentive with his family. While he liked to do things around the house, he was also a good husband. We never went hungry," she told 3 On Your Side.

Unfortunately, though, Lauro died in the spring of 2016. And, when he did, his children like Edith Vasquez took over making out bills for their mom. That meant Edith had to make out checks for things like her mom's mortgage.

But, that's the problem.

"Were you aware that your dad had actually converted to online bill pay?" Gary Harper asked.

"No," Edith replied. “I had no idea.”

Each and every month for the past two years, Edith believes more than $600 was automatically and electronically withdrawn out of the Vasquez family bank account by a company called Cenlar Mortgage even though the family says Cenlar sold their mortgage to another lender years earlier.

In the meantime, Edith was handwriting $600 checks to the second lender at the same time.

As a result, the Vasquez family tells 3 On Your Side that Cenlar electronically withdrew a total of $14,000 over the course of those two years when they shouldn't have.

"Oh! I was stunned," Estella said when she found out.

3 On Your Side got a hold of Cenlar and asked the mortgage company to investigate.

We wanted to know if Cenlar really kept taking payments electronically when they shouldn't have.

However, after more than two weeks, Cenlar still hasn't given the Vasquez family or 3 On Your Side any kind of answer.

As for the family, they say they could really use the $14,000.

"You believe there’s about $14,000 in overpayment?” Harper asked.

“Yes,” Edith said. “Which means I could have paid off this house already."

Cenlar says they are still looking into the matter. One issue slowing down Cenlar's response is their request for probate information naming the executor of the estate which the family is trying to obtain.

When there's a definitive answer, 3 On Your Side will let you know in a follow-up report.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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