As of Thursday, the City of Jacksonville said it had given out $5 million in stimulus money to families.
The $1,000 payment is designed to help people pay for rent, utilities or food. But don’t be surprised if you attempt to use the payment card somewhere and it’s not accepted.
Due to the pandemic, Mary Hunter was laid off for the first time in her life. Hunter qualified for the city’s stimulus payment but was was in for quite the surprise when she went to use it.
“When I went to pay my mortgage, the bank that services my mortgage told me they do not take credit cards and cannot accept federal money on a credit card," Hunter said.
Hunter’s mortgage is through PNC Bank.
Mckenzie Morris also lost his job due to the pandemic. He said he was met with the same response from his bank -- Community First Credit Union -- when he tried to pay his mortgage.
“So my mom and I were sitting there going, how do we use the card that the city intended us to use to pay the mortgage, to pay the mortgage?” Morris said.
Community First told News4Jax it’s working directly with Morris to get his mortgage paid and looking into a solution that would allow members to use the payments to pay their bills.
News4Jax asked the city what people should do when a bank won’t accept the money. A response from a city spokesperson reads:
“We encourage landlords to try and make exceptions and take these forms of payments if they can. If they can’t, we encourage the recipient to use the money/card for other necessities like their power bill, gas, phone or even food.”
Both Hunter and Morris wish they knew the payments would not be accepted at certain banks up front and hope to warn others.
But in times like these, Hunter said any help is welcomed.
“Any little support I can get, or if I can keep my home or if I don’t have to work two jobs, or because I cant find a job. I’m just grateful for anything right now," Hunter said.
PNC Bank released a statement Friday:
PNC understands the impact that this pandemic could be having on our customers and we continue to stand ready to assist them as they experience financial difficulty as a result. We are working directly with the client that came to you on this matter.