Knoxville story helps Chicago man with PayPal issue

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Three months ago, Sheena Small of Knoxville sued PayPal for seizing her account. WATE’s story on this led a Chicago businessman to reach out to Don Dare as he believed a similar thing happened to his account.

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“I had just started my business. I had started a headstone business here in Chicago, Illinois,” said Steve Cockran.

Cockran, a 34 year of father of 3, recently opened a business called Steveo’s Affordable Headstones in Chicago. But as he was getting his business off the ground, his PayPal account was frozen late last summer. He said there was $5,483 in the account.

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“This is government money, your unemployment that PayPal is holding,” asked Don Dare.

“Yes. I have been letting my funds come into the PayPal account and I haven’t been touching it,” said Cockran.

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He said apparently PayPal detected a chargeback issue. He contacted them but a limitation was placed on his account and the reason, he said, was never revealed.

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“I spoke with 10 different supervisors and they told me after 180 days my money will be released. I spoke with another supervisor after the 180th day, he told me, they don’t know why the other supervisors told me that. There is no time limit on my lock. They can’t give me any further information, or details, on why it is locked or anything,” said Cockran.

In December, Dare reported that Sheena Small faced a similar problem. PayPal froze her account last summer. She ended up taking the company to sessions court. The case ended with Small privately settling.

“There are a lot of people in this situation. I received many emails and phone calls from people in other states, in Tennessee, who have had a similar problem,” said Knoxville attorney Bennett Hirschhorn who represented Small.

In mid-January of 2022, this class action lawsuit was filed in California against PayPal. It alleges that the online payment company “seizes, or freezes, funds from its client’s accounts without cause and without any fair or due process.” The suit alleges PayPal does not inform its users why their funds are being held, or how they can obtain a release of the hold.

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In a statement, PayPal said, “We will respond to the allegations through the appropriate legal channels in due course.”

“I keep calling and praying,” said Cockran.

His PayPal account was released a few weeks ago. Now he can bring his business up to speed.

Here are some guidelines to greatly reduce the chances of triggers being set off that might freeze your PayPal account. If you are expecting to receive a large sum of money, call PayPal ahead of time, so they can expect to see the extra funds. When you first signup for PayPal’s website “Payments pro,” there’s a survey. Make sure that you check off higher numbers of how much money you anticipate making every month.

Finally, contact PayPal to make sure that your account is not limited in any way, in terms of how much money you can accept per day.

Now, what can you do if PayPal freezes your account? In the event that PayPal ignores, or rejects your request to release the money, you can file a small claims court lawsuit at your local courthouse.



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