By Michael Abeyta

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– When you send money to a landlord for rent, you assume that if they receive the payment they will apply it to your rent or give it back. Tara Smith who lives at the Advenair at Del Arte apartment complex in Aurora paid her rent in January, but the money disappeared and now she might end up on the streets.

(credit: CBS)

“I just feel completely unheard” she said.

In December 2019, Tara paid her January rent in advance using MoneyGram. She made one payment in cash and a second was transferred directly from her bank account. Two months later, she went to pay her February rent and got a huge shock.

“She just said, ‘Oh, I noticed that on your account that one of your payments for $2,400 was reversed. So you owe us the $2,400 dollars plus your February rent along with a $135 late fee.”

Smith did her research and saw that indeed one of the payments she made using MoneyGram has been reversed. She checked her bank account but the funds hadn’t been returned to her.

“I started calling MoneyGram first didn’t get anywhere with that.”

(credit: CBS)

MoneyGram told her they only have record of one payment even though her records show she made two. The apartment complex said they didn’t have the money and if she doesn’t pay the almost $5,000 she now owes; she will be evicted. Her eviction hearing is on Tuesday.

“They act like you are absolutely nobody. The way she told me to just, ‘Oh pay the extra money in a cashier’s check.’ Who has $4,800 dollars lying around?” said Smith.

She said she has nowhere to go if she and her kids are forced to leave. She just prays for a little more time to find out where here money disappeared to.

“It’s been hell,” Smith said.

She is working with a lawyer to fight her eviction. CBS’s Michael Abeyta went into the leasing office to ask the management company for their side but they said they couldn’t talk about it and didn’t want to make a statement. CBS4 emailed and called MoneyGram for a statement, but they have not responded.

Michael Abeyta


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