TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Catherine Bonano, owner of Creative Color & Cuts, called Better Call Behnken for help after she was told she was on the hook to repay a $7,500 loan from three years ago, which she never received.
Hours after Consumer Investigator Shannon Behnken got involved and brought the attention to executives at Suncoast Credit Union, things changed things for Bonano.
“After speaking with the parties involved and learning more about this transaction, we have decided to repay the SBA loan. Our commitment is always to care for and protect our members and we believe this choice is in line with our mission,” Darlene Johnson, the Executive Vice President at Suncoast Credit Union said in a statement.
Here’s what happened: the $7,500 Covid-relief loan was deposited in June 2020 into the wrong account more than three years ago, according to documentation Bonano received from both the credit union and SBA.
She was also supposed to receive a $1,000 grant to help small business hurt by the pandemic. She didn’t receive a penny of the money, documents show.
The SBA and her financial institution, Suncoast Credit Union, provided her documentation that shows the money was deposited into the wrong account, which is one digit off from her account.
“I was told this mystery person took the money out and closed the account,” she said.
For three years, she tried to get the money and says she finally accepted she won’t receive loan or the grant. Then recently, the SBA demanded she start paying the loan back immediately, with monthly payments of $37.
“My phone is ringing constantly with them wanting payment,” Bonano told Behnken. “I am afraid this will hurt my credit, hurt my business. I shouldn’t have to pay for money someone else received. It’s ridiculous.”
Better Call Behnken reached out to the credit union and the SBA, which said it would look into the situation. It was just hours later that the credit union sent the statement that brings this problem to a resolution.