Online rent payments to Va. Beach landlord held up by bankruptcy

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A landlord in Virginia Beach can’t get her October rent money, but it’s not her tenant’s fault. It’s all held up by a third party website.

It’s hard for Jessica Poyner to not sound frustrated.

“I just want our money,” she said. “It’s infuriating, really.”

Since early October this landlord has been waiting on a rent payment, but not from her tenant. Poyner and her husband rent out a condo in Virginia Beach.

In December, they started using an online payment website: “Every review you see about it was 5 stars, they have great customer service,” she said.

Here is how it works: the tenant pays the website-the website collects a small fee and deposits the rest into the Poyners’ bank account. That’s how it worked—until October.

“It said the money was deposited in our account,” Jessica said.

However, that wasn’t the cased. When Poyner checked their account, she didn’t see the rent check.

She called the company.

“First response was, ‘we’ll look into it,’” she explained. “The second response was, ‘oh, we’re changing banks.’”

Poyner said from then all the communication went by email—or messages the company posted on its Facebook page. This included the last update from eRentPayment.

“Then it finally came out that a 3rd party that they use to process their automatic payments filed for bankruptcy,” she said. “They were the ones who had our money.”

10 On Your Side called eRentPayment. A message answers, and tells the caller to email customer support. After our email, we got a message back that included a link for support on the October deposit issue.

It said the same thing Jessica was told. A third party company, eCheckit, processes eRentPayment’s payments.

That company declared bankruptcy. The statement said another company that eCheckit uses to process payments, Check Commerce, is holding the funds. That company won’t release them.

The message also told the Poyners the best route to get their money is to ask their tenant to go to their bank.

“And have the bank reverse the ACH transaction,” she said.

Basically, if the bank gives her tenant their money back, Jessica Poyner will finally get her rent.

The message said that eRentPayment is working to fix the problem for the future. It also said the company is looking into filing with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. That is the state where eCheckit is based.