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Author: onesizefitsnone One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308478  
Subject: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 10:22 AM
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I have read about Capital One again and again but I don't think anybody has been in my situation.

Six years ago, when I was fresh out of bankruptcy and newly divorced, having to change careers, I got a Capital One card with a credit limit of $250. I charged some stuff, what, I don't remember anymore. I missed a payment. I was in the middle of selling my house, which I could no longer afford after my husband up and quit his job when we had two small kids, and before I knew it, I had missed several. OK. I sold my house and paid everything off (I thought) but there was Cap One again. Before I knew it, I was getting bills from a collection agency for $450, $500.

I discussed it on the phone with a collection agency. I offered to pay $250, since that had been my credit limit, it was now about a year later, and they were charging me interest and overlimit fees every single month even though the account was long closed. They insisted on what was now about $600. I finally told them to sue me and let a judge sort it out. They didn't bother, of course.

To my amazement, about three years later I got another Cap One card offer. In a moment of stupidity, being broke again - I'll discuss my recidivism soon - I took it. Again I had a $250 limit. I charged some little things, paid it off, paid it off for a couple of years. About 18 months ago I had a little bill of $45, paid it on their website. It never went through. I never heard anyting from them, and $45, I'm sorry, I am not quite anal enough to track everything I get.

All of this is totally my fault. Obviously. So we don't need to go over that.

Now I am getting letters from a collection agency again. The first balance they have offered to settle for about $500, still double what I ever could possibly have owed them, still chock full of "overlimit" fees on a closed account. The second account they have zoomed up to $900.

I pulled my credit report last week out of curiosity. My credit is bad but not so awful that I wasn't able to buy a new Honda 2 years ago at a reasonable rate. I am paying off my credit cards monthly, which are with Providian (so help me) and Orchard Bank.

According to my credit report I have two Cap One accounts that are both delinquent. They are reported as late every single month and every single month the "credit limit" shown is increased to include that month's late charge and overlimit fee.

I cannot believe this is the least bit legal. I cannot believe that a judge would ever award the full amount they claim is owed, but at this point, I don't know what to do. I agree I have a moral obligation to pay them. I just don't agree I have a moral obligation to pay them four times what I ever borrowed because they continue to treat a closed account as if it should still be accruing charges. This is loan sharking.

The collection agency is irrational. I have spoken to them several times over the years. Their explanation is that they are entitled to overlimit fees becuase the account is unpaid. They are simultaneously reporting on my credit report that my credit limit is equal to what they claim I owe, so how can I be overlimit?

I'd appreciate any advice.

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Author: lynndawg Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226095 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 10:45 AM
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I will be curious about the responses you get from the More Informed out here.

My immediate thought was that you were in default before you closed the account, so you remain in default, even after closing it. In general, I'm not sure that the act of closing the account causes interest and fees to stop accumulating.

The fact that they are now reporting this as the credit limits on these cards seems odd, but I've heard many times that CapOne doesn't report credit limits. In actuality, once you straighten this mess out, it'll make your limits look higher on your credit report, which could (ironically enough) end up helping your credit score.

It does sound to me like you haven't sent them any money at all, though - have you at least sent the $250 you offered? You don't want to hear that this is your fault - no one does - but you've acknowledged that you owe them money. I would think an immediate action to reign some of this in would be to pay them what you know that you actually owe them. *Then* you could duke out the rest as it relates to fees and such. They might be more inclined to cooperate when they see a willingness on your part to shell out some cash.

I'm sure others with experience in this regard will have more suggestions. Good luck... - lynndawg

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Author: aj485 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226096 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 10:55 AM
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The collection agency is irrational. I have spoken to them several times over the years. Their explanation is that they are entitled to overlimit fees becuase the account is unpaid. They are simultaneously reporting on my credit report that my credit limit is equal to what they claim I owe, so how can I be overlimit?

Sorry, they are not being irrational, they are abiding by the agreements that you signed when you applied for the cards. If you look carefully at your credit report, you will see that the notation for the "credit limit" is usually "credit limit or high balance" - your balance keeps increasing each month, but this does not mean your credit limit increases, too.

You are overlimit and not making payments, and the agreements that you signed when you applied for the cards allows Cap One, and probably their successors and assigns (i.e. the collection agency), to continue to charge you overlimit fees, late fees, and interest every month, so in their eyes, you owe them this money. They know that you have declared bankruptcy in the past and that you cannot claim it again for a minimum of 7 years after the discharge, so they may be doing a big push before the 7 year clock hits the limit.

It is legal, although you are correct, they probably would not receive the full amount that they are asking for if they took it to court. That may also be part of the reason that they are pushing to collect the debt rather than suing.

Your best bet may be to try to contact Cap One directly and bypass the collection agency. If Cap One won't talk to you, you will have to deal with the collection agency. In either case, you should try to negotiate a deletion of the account from your credit report before you agree to pay them anything. And get the agreement to delete in writing before you pay! You can Google for something like collection agency delete letter and you will find several examples.

As a side note, on reporting the credit limits - there are several threads on this board about how Cap One does not report the credit limit, they only report the high balance, which affects your debt to credit ratio, so the only reason that what you are seeing on your credit report continues to increase is because the balance is increasing, not the limit.

Sorry to not be able to offer a more palatable solution to you.

Good Luck!

AJ

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Author: electrasmom Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226099 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 11:22 AM
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<About 18 months ago I had a little bill of $45, paid it on their website. It never went through. I never heard anyting from them, and $45, I'm sorry, I am not quite anal enough to track everything I get. >

Ok, you aren't going to want to hear this, but you NEED to be this anal!! I reconcile every line item on my statement with a receipt and then I reconcile every check in my check register when they clear.

electrasmom (sorry to be a hardnose but tracking all payments IS important to financial freedom!)


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Author: onesizefitsnone One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226102 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 11:46 AM
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Thanks, AJ, but I don't see how I can be considered overlimit and not making payments when the accounts have been inactive for, in one case, 6 years, and in the other, almost 2 years. I haven't paid them because I can't get them to settle on a reasonable amount. I still cannot see how a $250 credit limit translates into a bill for $1,000. I can't pay $4 for every $1 I owe and ever have any hope of achieving any kind of financial security for myself and my kids.

What I realized after I wrote my post is that by continuing to report the account each month as overlimit, Capital One is continuing to report the account as active. It is avoiding the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that require negative information to drop off your credit report seven years after the delinquency. So long as they are saying every month that this account is in default and keep increasing the high credit, they are keeping it alive.

That puts some urgency into the problem for me. Frankly, my thought before was that if they are going to pile this abusive charges on top of what was originally a small bill, they can go ahead and sue me and I will fight it out in court, and if they never get around to it, it will fall off my report of its own account. Not if they continue to report it every month as a fresh delinquency.

Again, I don't think this is legal. I also don't really want to become a precedent setting defendant. I just want the thing settled so I can go on with my life. I am remarrying soon and my fiancee and I need to refinance his house to buy out his ex.



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Author: jeffsquest Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226104 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 11:59 AM
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but I don't see how I can be considered overlimit and not making payments when the accounts have been inactive for, in one case, 6 years, and in the other, almost 2 years.

The only way you're going to see it is by checking the agreements that were made between you and them.



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Author: MazieNH Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226105 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 12:02 PM
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I can't pay $4 for every $1 I owe and ever have any hope of achieving any kind of financial security for myself and my kids.

With all due respect, that isn't their problem. You agreed to their terms when you used their card. If you did not pay the bills on time, the fees are not illegal, they're what you agreed to.

Frankly, my thought before was that if they are going to pile this abusive charges on top of what was originally a small bill, they can go ahead and sue me and I will fight it out in court, and if they never get around to it, it will fall off my report of its own account. Not if they continue to report it every month as a fresh delinquency.

It sounds like you are upset you can't "game the system" and avoid paying this debt. You were able to wipe the slate clean with a bankruptcy before, and can't now.

I also don't really want to become a precedent setting defendant. I just want the thing settled so I can go on with my life. I am remarrying soon and my fiancee and I need to refinance his house to buy out his ex.

If you want it settled, pay the debt. It seems a bit ironic that you are only worried about this now that you want to *borrow more money*.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but if you dealt with this honestly when it happened, these fees wouldn't have racked up so high. You didn't deal with it and now are trying to blame them. YOU AGREED TO THEIR TERMS.

Marianne






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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226106 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 12:06 PM
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Onesizefitsnone, I wanted to check something, and can't find it in your post.

First, are these accounts actually closed? Officially, that is? Or did you just stop using them? Because there's a difference.

Second, I'm going to assume that with the divorce and all that you've lost track of a lot of paperwork. Could you call Capital One and ask for a copy of the agreement? It's a standard thing they send out yearly. That will allow you to read the terms and conditions, and you'll have a better idea where to go from there.

Nancy

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Author: DeltaOne81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226115 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 12:53 PM
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I know we tend to have a "blame the debtor first" opinion on here, and its often best for people to own up to their responsibilities, but that doesn't mean that sometime the corporations may be going too far too.

I agree that the OP owes what he/she owes, but there easily could be practices here that are unfair.

For instance, a company is not allowed to constantly update the date of debt, for instance. Its called the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

(a) Information excluded from consumer reports. Except as authorized under subsection (b) of this section, no consumer reporting agency may make any consumer report containing any of the following items of information:

...

(4) Accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss which antedate the report by more than seven years.(1)


And how the start date is defined:

(c) Running of reporting period.

(1) In general. The 7-year period referred to in paragraphs (4) and (6)(2) of subsection (a) shall begin, with respect to any delinquent account that is placed for collection (internally or by referral to a third party, whichever is earlier), charged to profit and loss, or subjected to any similar action, upon the expiration of the 180-day period beginning on the date of the commencement of the delinquency which immediately preceded the collection activity, charge to profit and loss, or similar action.

(2) Effective date. Paragraph (1) shall apply only to items of information added to the file of a consumer on or after the date that is 455 days after the date of enactment of the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996.



If the Collection Agency and/or Capital One are redating the debt so that it shows up indefinitely, then they are breaking the law.

The OP may be a debtor who owes money, but that does not make him/her subject to whatever behavior the creditors may feel like.

As for how much money the OP may legitimately owe, that is a good question, and would probably be covered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. But I'm not sure on the details.


For one size fits none, I suggest you keep these links handy and use this to determine what is legal and what's not.

FCRA: http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcra.htm
FDCPA: http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htm


Second, the FIRST thing you need to do is call the collection agency and tell them that you will ABSOLUTELY NOT communicate with them on the phone. And that all further contact MUST be in writing.

You have this right (FDCPA):
A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
...
(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.


Not sure if this is the correct section, but you definitely have this right to tell them no more calls. Then, once the process becomes in writing, you will be able to calm down, think over your decisions, and go about it more rationally.


The NEXT thing you need to do is look over these letters and find the appropriate ones.

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forms/

You need to send them, using certified mail, to the Collection Agency. The first step will be to request validation of debt. At *NO POINT* should you admit that you owe this debt or that its yours or anything else. Take yourself a step back and just request validation of debt, as in the FDCPA, Section 809.

Specifically, you probably want this letter:
http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forms/sampleletter9.shtml


Keep in mind that while you do owe the debt, and you do yourself no favor by shirking it, you do have the power here, because you control if they ever get anything. You can end up using this power to negotiate the amount of debt somewhat - if their explanation of what you owe is not satisfactory.

You can also use this power to make an agreement that in exchange for paying the debt, they will remove the collection item from your credit report (you should learn more about this option before making any agreement, but its just something to get you started).


Hopefully some of our 'experts' in the FCRA and FDCPA will be along shortly to give you some additional information as to what is and is not reasonable. But I hope I've given you a start.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226125 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 1:33 PM
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What I realized after I wrote my post is that by continuing to report the account each month as overlimit, Capital One is continuing to report the account as active. It is avoiding the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that require negative information to drop off your credit report seven years after the delinquency. So long as they are saying every month that this account is in default and keep increasing the high credit, they are keeping it alive.

Oh, and that was the other you need to check. On your credit report, when it reports you as being overlimit and in default (which you are, technically) what date are they giving? Because they can include this every month (until the 7 + 180 days has passed) without changing the date.

I'm not arguing, I'm just trying to get the facts clear.

Nancy


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Author: aj485 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226128 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 1:57 PM
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Thanks, AJ, but I don't see how I can be considered overlimit and not making payments when the accounts have been inactive for, in one case, 6 years, and in the other, almost 2 years. I haven't paid them because I can't get them to settle on a reasonable amount. I still cannot see how a $250 credit limit translates into a bill for $1,000. I can't pay $4 for every $1 I owe and ever have any hope of achieving any kind of financial security for myself and my kids.

What I realized after I wrote my post is that by continuing to report the account each month as overlimit, Capital One is continuing to report the account as active. It is avoiding the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that require negative information to drop off your credit report seven years after the delinquency. So long as they are saying every month that this account is in default and keep increasing the high credit, they are keeping it alive.

That puts some urgency into the problem for me. Frankly, my thought before was that if they are going to pile this abusive charges on top of what was originally a small bill, they can go ahead and sue me and I will fight it out in court, and if they never get around to it, it will fall off my report of its own account. Not if they continue to report it every month as a fresh delinquency.

Again, I don't think this is legal. I also don't really want to become a precedent setting defendant. I just want the thing settled so I can go on with my life. I am remarrying soon and my fiancee and I need to refinance his house to buy out his ex.


Are the accounts 'inactive', 'closed' or 'written off'? They are different. Technically, since you have not made any payments and you were late and overlimit, you continue to be late and overlimit if the account has not been written off.

What date are they reporting for the last activity? The date of the original delinquency or the date of the latest charge they are putting on? According to the Fair Debt Reporting Act, you are correct, they cannot continue to update the date of the activity as a new date every month just because they are adding fees/interest. However, they can report for 7 years plus 180 days (essentially 7 1/2 years) that you are late and overlimit, as long as they note that the date of delinquency was the original date, because if they have not written off the account, you are indeed late and overlimit.

You need to get a copy of the terms and conditions of the agreement you signed to see if what they are charging you ($1000 on the original $250) is valid. If it is valid, you need to deal with that, as it's in the agreement you signed. If it's not, then you need to point out to them that it's not valid, and show them what in the agreement you signed makes it invalid. I suspect after 7 years of late and overlimit fees, in addition to interest, that you could very well owe $4 for every $1 you borrowed and that it is legitimate under the agreement you signed. They may not be writing this account off because of your prior bankruptcy, as they know you cannot declare BK again for a minimum of 7 years, so they kind of have you between a rock and a hard place.

I know this isn't the message that you want to hear, but this is a prime example that ignoring things won't make them go away, and in fact can make things worse.

AJ

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Author: dtschet Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226130 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 2:11 PM
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Hiya one,

Just go to planetfeeedback.com and express your concerns.

You will get a call from Capital One - probably within a day or two.

They usually respond to those who post on that site.

Good luck!

d.

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Author: chestersakl Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226142 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 4:52 PM
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Credit card accounts (actually most debt accounts) are not considered closed unless they are paid off - as in $0 balance. As long as there's a balance, it's open.

You're just inactive. Just because you cut up the credit card doesn't mean you closed the account.

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Author: onesizefitsnone One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226151 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 9:44 PM
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Some of the 'blame the debtor' stuff here really raised my blood pressure. As i said in my original post, I admit I owe them something, but as DeltaOne81 pointed out, the fact that I owe them something doesn't mean that I am subjected to whatever behavior they feel like. And people writing me in caps to say I agreed to these charges or that I am trying to game the system are welcome to take their next credit card bill and send in four times their credit limit. All I want to do is pay what I owe.

I actually had the 'do not call me' conversation with the collection agency. He started off the conversation with, "May I speak to Jane Smith?" and followed it up by asking me to confirm my social security number. He then told me he couldn't tell me his name or his agency unless I would verify that I was Jane Smith. I asked him why anybody would discuss personal information, i.e. verifying a social security number, with someone who calls you on the phone and won't tell me who he is or where he's calling from. He repeated that he couldn't tell me who he was until I told him who I was. I said then he could stop calling the number because we had nothing to discuss. He said I'd have to give them that notice in writing, and then refused to give me the address unless I verified my identity and my personal info. He said he'd call back. I said I'd be here to talk, but I could promise him it wasn't going to get any easier. He hung up and i never heard from him again.

I'm sure I will get some posts now about how snarky I was, but I don't think i did anything wrong. I don't have to be bullied into giving my social security number to any jerk with my phone number, and he would not identify himself, or his agency. For all I knew he could have been someone who had gotten hold of my credit report and wanted me to confirm the details.

As for the bankruptcy, that was 9 years ago, but I'm hardly going to file bankruptcy over $2,000. My point was that I'm trying to pay the money back. I don't understand how Cap One hopes to collect when all it does is continue to re-age my account illegally. I can't discuss the account with anybody who has either the brains to explain how they calculated the amount or the authority to compromise the amount.


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Author: DeltaOne81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226156 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/18/2006 11:20 PM
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You are absolutely correct that you should not and will not be giving your social security number over the phone to anyone who calls.

Do you know who the collection agency was? I'm gathering not, since he wouldn't identify himself.

Who is on your credit report? Only capital one? If so, contact them, tell them that you are inquiring about a debt listed to them from your credit report, and ask for proof of debt just like in that letter. Ask them what address to send a letter to regarding this matter.

You may want to water that letter down because its clearly intended for an aggressive debt collector who you except to be wrong, but the core information is still valid.


Btw, I found this in the FDCPA:

807 False or misleading representations [15 USC 1692e]

A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

...

(14) The use of any business, company, or organization name other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company, or organization.


Now item 14 isn't exactly applicable, but its close. And the top of the section makes it clear that the following are only examples and that they don't limit the scope of the section. To me it definitely seems 'misleading' to refuse to identify themselves.

So if they call again, say, "in connection with Section 807 of the Fair Dept Collection Practices Act, I insist that you fairly represent yourself and provide me with your name and the name of your company."

Will he know the law by heart? Almost certainly not, so he wont risk breaking it.


"Then say, in connection with Section 805, part (c), I request that you stop all telephone communicate with me only in writing from this point forward. And in connection with Section 809, I request that you provide validation of debt including (what it said in that letter)."

Or you can leave out that second part, ask for an address, and just say it in your first letter.

Btw, if you don't have those section numbers handy, just b.s. it ;)

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Author: joelcorley Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226157 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/19/2006 12:11 AM
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onesizefitsnone,

You wrote, Some of the 'blame the debtor' stuff here really raised my blood pressure. As i said in my original post, I admit I owe them something, but as DeltaOne81 pointed out, the fact that I owe them something doesn't mean that I am subjected to whatever behavior they feel like. And people writing me in caps to say I agreed to these charges or that I am trying to game the system are welcome to take their next credit card bill and send in four times their credit limit. All I want to do is pay what I owe.

For a well-educated lawyer, you seem to be woefully uninformed about contract law, consumer law and the contracts that you've entered into.

Some people here have attacked your posts criticizing your irresponsible actions; others have suggested ways for you to address your problems. You seem offended by the former and seem to ignore the latter. Personally, I think you're a habitual deadbeat who has come here looking for an easy way out of a debt you owe and you have a problem facing the truth. The fact is when you make a mistake there is rarely an easy way out.

In the post ( http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23986288 ) that began this thread, you claim to have been fresh out of bankruptcy six years ago. In your most recent post ( http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23989976 ) you claim it was nine years ago. In your Foolish interview, you admit to two bankruptcies and I quote,
The Fool: Your most heroic moment in life?
onesizefitsnone: Leaving my ex husband. It left me destitute with two small kids and a brokendown house, and two bankruptcies and a couple of moves later, I'm still proud of myself for doing it.


I'm sure there is truth in there somewhere; but I find it impossible to guess where.

Back in the original post ( http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23986288 ), you state I pulled my credit report last week out of curiosity. My credit is bad but not so awful that I wasn't able to buy a new Honda 2 years ago at a reasonable rate. Over on the Buying and Selling a Home board back in Feb 2005, ( http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22072301 ) you stated, Just about a year ago I posted on this board about buying a house with a FICO of 580, doing an 80/20, little out of pocket. and further, My question is: With a FICo that has now rebounded back up to 580, can I do an 80/20?

Apparently 2 years ago, your FICO score was at or below 580 - that is certainly a bad score. While you may consider your rate to be reasonable, I seriously doubt many others on this board would. And FWIW, my ex-wife's score is similar to yours, and I know she's a deadbeat. (Your posts remind me of her attitudes.)

I find all this behavior incredibly hard to fathom from someone who claims in her profile to be a lawyer and in prior posts ( http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23664627 and http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22779422 ) claims to have gotten into Berkeley, obtained two post-graduate degrees and professional licenses in two states.

If you couldn't be bothered to keep up with the debt, why didn't you just pay off the debt and be done with it? As much as it may irk you, that's an option even now.

With all that said, all I suppose I really wanted to say is, "I think you should know better..."

- Joel

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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226158 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/19/2006 12:12 AM
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onesize -

I'm not going to come down on you. But I do have some things to say.

Some of the 'blame the debtor' stuff here really raised my blood pressure. As i said in my original post, I admit I owe them something, but as DeltaOne81 pointed out, the fact that I owe them something doesn't mean that I am subjected to whatever behavior they feel like. And people writing me in caps to say I agreed to these charges or that I am trying to game the system are welcome to take their next credit card bill and send in four times their credit limit. All I want to do is pay what I owe

The fact that you had a credit limit does NOT prevent your debt from exceeding that amount do to fees and interest. If charged according to your original agreement, such fees and interest are valid. Sure, you can hate them, but they are still valid. Your position that you shouldn't have to pay them more than what your credit limit was is crazy.

I actually had the 'do not call me' conversation with the collection agency. He started off the conversation with, "May I speak to Jane Smith?" and followed it up by asking me to confirm my social security number. He then told me he couldn't tell me his name or his agency unless I would verify that I was Jane Smith. I asked him why anybody would discuss personal information, i.e. verifying a social security number, with someone who calls you on the phone and won't tell me who he is or where he's calling from. He repeated that he couldn't tell me who he was until I told him who I was. I said then he could stop calling the number because we had nothing to discuss. He said I'd have to give them that notice in writing, and then refused to give me the address unless I verified my identity and my personal info. He said he'd call back. I said I'd be here to talk, but I could promise him it wasn't going to get any easier. He hung up and i never heard from him again.

I'm sure I will get some posts now about how snarky I was, but I don't think i did anything wrong.


Not from me. You handled it exactly as you should have. Except that he is right, he doesn't have to abide by a request not to call unless it is in writing. And except that you might have asked him to send you something in writing.

Always be calm and polite on the phone with them, but your goal is to get as much info as you can without giving any.

Read these old posts of mine:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16385113
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16234997
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22114916
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17793001
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22628260
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17480334
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=21496228
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16665908

The idea is to get rid of any third-party collection agency and then pay what you rightfully owe (may indeed be more than your original credit limit) to the original creditor directly.

xtn

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Author: DBAVelvet74 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226210 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/19/2006 2:03 PM
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I offered to pay $250, since that had been my credit limit, it was now about a year later, and they were charging me interest and overlimit fees every single month even though the account was long closed.

Do keep in mind that just because you close an account doesn't mean interest stops racking up. They still have to pay interest on the money you borrowed.

Some will let up on the fees, if you set up some kind of payment plan, but the interest never stops.

I cannot believe that a judge would ever award the full amount they claim is owed, but at this point, I don't know what to do. I agree I have a moral obligation to pay them. I just don't agree I have a moral obligation to pay them four times what I ever borrowed because they continue to treat a closed account as if it should still be accruing charges. This is loan sharking.


True, a judge probably wouldn't grant them all the fees, but just how much interest do you think is worth after 6 years?

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Author: MazieNH Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226211 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/19/2006 2:13 PM
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Some of the 'blame the debtor' stuff here really raised my blood pressure. As i said in my original post, I admit I owe them something, but as DeltaOne81 pointed out, the fact that I owe them something doesn't mean that I am subjected to whatever behavior they feel like. And people writing me in caps to say I agreed to these charges or that I am trying to game the system are welcome to take their next credit card bill and send in four times their credit limit. All I want to do is pay what I owe.

What you owe is, unfortunately, the original amounts, plus interest and late charges that have accrued by you ignoring your debt. Unless your credit card terms and agreements say otherwise, this is the contract you signed and entered by using their cards.

I myself have certainly paid late charges, and interest charges, and continue to do so every time I do not pay off my cards in full. Not equal to 4x the original amount, because I never let it get that far behind. That is what I agreed to do when I used the little plastic card. Interest and late fees are legal charges. If I disagree with the amounts involved, then my option is to not use the card, or pay it off in full.

What I do not do is try to figure out how to get legitimate debts that I acknowledge are legitimate to "fall off" my credit report by avoiding them for seven years, then complain when that scheme doesn't work and I want to open a new credit line somewhere.

FWIW I think you did the right thing when handling the collector who called you and demanded your social security number.

If you want this to go away, you need to contact Capital One, find out if they still have the account or if not, to whom they sold it. Then try and negotiate with whoever currently owns the debt and see if they'll reduce it. Be prepared for them to say no. "Sue me" is not the most proactive response if you want this dealt with.

Marianne



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Author: DBAVelvet74 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226212 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/19/2006 2:14 PM
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I don't understand how Cap One hopes to collect when all it does is continue to re-age my account illegally.

Have you verified on the report that they are actually illegally re-aging the account, or are they continuing to legally report a deliquent account with the original date?

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Author: aj485 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226227 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/19/2006 3:38 PM
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Some of the 'blame the debtor' stuff here really raised my blood pressure. As i said in my original post, I admit I owe them something, but as DeltaOne81 pointed out, the fact that I owe them something doesn't mean that I am subjected to whatever behavior they feel like. And people writing me in caps to say I agreed to these charges or that I am trying to game the system are welcome to take their next credit card bill and send in four times their credit limit. All I want to do is pay what I owe.

I actually had the 'do not call me' conversation with the collection agency. He started off the conversation with, "May I speak to Jane Smith?" and followed it up by asking me to confirm my social security number. He then told me he couldn't tell me his name or his agency unless I would verify that I was Jane Smith. I asked him why anybody would discuss personal information, i.e. verifying a social security number, with someone who calls you on the phone and won't tell me who he is or where he's calling from. He repeated that he couldn't tell me who he was until I told him who I was. I said then he could stop calling the number because we had nothing to discuss. He said I'd have to give them that notice in writing, and then refused to give me the address unless I verified my identity and my personal info. He said he'd call back. I said I'd be here to talk, but I could promise him it wasn't going to get any easier. He hung up and i never heard from him again.

I'm sure I will get some posts now about how snarky I was, but I don't think i did anything wrong. I don't have to be bullied into giving my social security number to any jerk with my phone number, and he would not identify himself, or his agency. For all I knew he could have been someone who had gotten hold of my credit report and wanted me to confirm the details.

As for the bankruptcy, that was 9 years ago, but I'm hardly going to file bankruptcy over $2,000. My point was that I'm trying to pay the money back. I don't understand how Cap One hopes to collect when all it does is continue to re-age my account illegally. I can't discuss the account with anybody who has either the brains to explain how they calculated the amount or the authority to compromise the amount.


onesizefitsnone,

I doubt you're still reading this thread, and you probably won't want to read this post, as you will perceive it as 'blaming the debtor' again. There are a couple of things that many people have tried to point out, but you don't want to accept - you haven't seemed to acknowledge that you could owe anything over your original credit limit and seem upset that people are suggesting that you may very well owe that much. You also have had several suggestions that you need get copies of the agreements governing your accounts, which you have not acknowledged.

However, if you are still reading - As an attorney, you should know that understanding the contract governing the accounts is paramount to defending yourself against what you believe are invalid charges that Cap One has added to your account. GET THE AGREEMENTS! (Yes, I used caps, because it's been suggested multiple times with no acknowledgement that you agree that it's important.)

As for how you owe more than your credit limit:
Just as an example, $250 with 6 years of interest compounded daily at penalty rates of 28% becomes $1340. 6 years of late fees at $29 per month is $522(not including interest). 6 years of overlimit fees at $29 per month is also $522 (not including interest). This is how your 'credit limit' of $250 becomes more than $1000 when you ignore it.

If you truly want to pay what you owe, you either need to take Cap One at their word and pay what they say you owe, or you need to figure out what charges would be valid under the contract you agreed to and pay that amount. In either case, getting out for $500 on the 6 year old debt is probably a very good deal.

As far as your claim that Cap One is re-aging the accounts, you have also had several suggestions to determine if they are truly reporting new activity each month, or just reporting that you continue to be late and overlimit, with delinquency dates of 6 and 2 years ago. Without that understanding, you will not be able to contest the way that they are reporting you to the credit bureaus under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Since you don't seem to want to take the suggestions of the people on this board, another option is that you could try suing Cap One. I'd be interested in how much you end up paying that way, since you probably do owe them somewhere in the neighborhood of what they claim, based on the examples above. Since they have the records and you probably don't, it will be difficult for you to prove that you don't owe them the money. I guess there's always discovery, but that will just get you copies of their records. If you don't have anything refuting their records, your only hope is to find violations of the card agreements, which credit card companies are usually fairly good at obeying.

If you wanted to find an easy way out, you picked the wrong forum. There are other forums on the internet where you will probably get more support, however that doesn't mean that you will win your battle with Cap One. The Fool community usually has a pretty good grip on the realities of the situation. If we seem harsh, it's because many have been where you are, owned up to it and have paid or are paying their way out of it. The sooner you realize that the way to fix your past mistakes is to acknowledge them and deal with them, the sooner you will begin to get them under control.

AJ

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226228 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/19/2006 3:50 PM
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You know, AJ, I wonder if we all misunderstood, and she just wanted to vent.

Nancy
among those who suggested getting hold of the agreement, and checking the dates on the report

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Author: aj485 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226229 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/19/2006 3:58 PM
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You know, AJ, I wonder if we all misunderstood, and she just wanted to vent.

Nancy
among those who suggested getting hold of the agreement, and checking the dates on the report


Yeah, Nancy, I guess that maybe we take people's requests for advice too seriously here! :)

AJ

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Author: catscanner Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226246 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/19/2006 11:30 PM
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Run your credit report from all three agencies. Cross reference the reports. You should then be able to determine who actually has the charge off. BUT, it sounds like Cap One hasn't charged it off.

cat

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Author: onesizefitsnone One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226251 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/20/2006 7:43 AM
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I was not writing for the thrill of venting, but for information. i did get some good information. I hesitated to respond again, though, because in addition to some solid, thoughtful suggestions, I was treated to several boatloads of self righteous crap.

If you read my original post, I freely admitted that I didn't pay the bill. I also wrote - hoping to forestall what happened - "obviously this is all my fault. so we don't need to go over that." Yes, I am a lawyer - my many long years in underpaid public interest work are a big part of what has put me in this financial position - and I focus on solving the problem without reference to whether the virtue of my clients renders them deserving of assistance. And while I did get some help here, I also received pious lectures about needing to be more anal with bill paying, was accused of trying to game the system and shouted at in capital letters about having agreed to the terms of the credit card contract. All of this culminated in the moral enema administered by Joel Corley, who, I am flattered to see, spent a hell of a lot of time reading every post I ever made to bolster the conclusion that I am a habitual deadbeat just like his ex wife. If I had wanted to hear this kind of abuse I could have called a collection agency or, better yet, my older sister.

Many thanks to those who gave advice instead of recrimination. I have pulled the credit reports, and they are indeed re-aging the account every month instead of reporting the delinquency date. If I am going to look at this in contract law terms, my knowledge of which has been questioned by an engineer who reads fantasy novels, when one party breaches a contract the other party has a duty to mitigate damages. Ordinarily creditors do this by writing off an account and taking what they can in a tax benefit and/or selling the account off to a collection agency. I don't see how Cap One can simultaneously have an account placed with a third party collector AND simultaneously treat the account as open and accruing late and overlimit fees. As to whether or not the account has been "closed", it strikes me that the test is whether, if I paid the account off today, Cap One would let me go use the card tomorrow. They can call the account whatever they want, but if you cannot make new charges, it's closed.

Getting hold of the agreements will be very tough. We can all agree that I have to abide by the agreement; the issue is which agreement we are talking about. Cap One will happily send along whatever they are dispensing now, but those are not the terms I agreed to. What I need to see is what was in effect six years ago and two years ago respectively. I am entitled to the benefit of the lousy bargain I made, not the even more inequitable one being foisted off on current customers. Either one is still a contract of adhesion, meaning that the parties have unequal bargaining power and the deal is take-it-or-leave-it. I took it. I admit I took it. That was never on the table. Same thing with everybody who has ever bought insurance. Consumer law is based on the notion that where one party dictates the terms in toto, it may be inequitable to enforce it using the principles that underpin the classic contract model of two parties with equal bargaining power duking it out in negotiations until the deal is fair to both.

Does that mean I don't have to pay the bill? Of course not, and if I weren't going to pay it, I wouldn't have started the whole conversation here. The issue all along has been the terms. I continue to believe that a bill for $45 cannot legitimately grow to $1,000 even in 6 years. If Cap One can show me where I ever agreed to an effective interest rate of 67 percent per year, I'll shut up and pay today.

To those of you who helped, especially DeltaOne81, thank you. To those who behaved as if I was parking my Cadillac in front of the food stamps office, well, here's hoping you are held the literal letter of every single piece of fine print my kind can draft, after you have lost a long marriage to late onset schizophrenia and your dream job to a male with political connections.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226252 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/20/2006 7:53 AM
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What I need to see is what was in effect six years ago and two years ago respectively. I am entitled to the benefit of the lousy bargain I made, not the even more inequitable one being foisted off on current customers. Either one is still a contract of adhesion, meaning that the parties have unequal bargaining power and the deal is take-it-or-leave-it. I took it. I admit I took it.

Hi,

The reason I had originally suggested getting a copy of the terms of agreement is that on all of my copies (which I tend to keep because I'm too lazy to go through the file and throw them out) is that somewhere buried in the fine print is some sort of announcement to the effect of "We have the right to change the rules whenever we feel like it."

I had wondered if you were venting because you weren't responding to the helpful posts, just the hostile ones. Sorry for the confusion.

Good luck in your battle. (And I think you realize it will be one).

Nancy
P.S. JoelCorley is a programmer.

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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226262 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/20/2006 10:30 AM
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Getting hold of the agreements will be very tough. We can all agree that I have to abide by the agreement; the issue is which agreement we are talking about. Cap One will happily send along whatever they are dispensing now, but those are not the terms I agreed to. What I need to see is what was in effect six years ago and two years ago respectively. I am entitled to the benefit of the lousy bargain I made, not the even more inequitable one being foisted off on current customers.

On the contrary, you are entitled to the agreement as amended from time to time by Cap One, unless you can prove that you rejected one of their revisions in writing at some point. If you can prove that, you need the agreement just prior to the one you rejected. If you can't, you are stuck with the current agreement.

I believe this is called a "contract of adhesion"; you have no ability to amend the contract, but the courts are supposed to interpret any ambiguity in the contract in your favor. You can bet that Cap One has plenty of experience with the courts and there won't be anything significant in their contract that can be interpreted against them.

I continue to believe that a bill for $45 cannot legitimately grow to $1,000 even in 6 years. If Cap One can show me where I ever agreed to an effective interest rate of 67 percent per year, I'll shut up and pay today.

If your agreement was for 12% interest and a $29 late fee if not paid on time, that $45 grows to more than $1000 in 29 months. At 18%, it's 27 months. At 0%, it's 33 months. Add a $29 over limit fee for any month the balance exceeds $250, and the balance breaks $1000 in 21 months at 0% interest. It defies belief that any credit card agreement issued in the past decade would have omitted late payment fees or over limit fees.

If the collection agency only wants $900 as payment in full, late payment and over limit fees stopped being added well before the six years you mention. Negotiating the payment down to $500 means you would, in effect, be paying over limit fees and late payment fees for less than a year if those fees were $29.

Double those numbers for doing this twice, and you have your current situation. Maybe interest and fees should have been shut off after the accounts were sold to collection agencies, I don't know. But it is implausible that the accounts would have been sold to collection agencies with balances under $500 each.

Food for thought: How much are you willing to spend to defend a contention that you owe something less than the $500 + $900 the collection agency offered to settle for? Maybe you could get each account knocked down to $500, but you might be able to do that well just negotiating with the collection agency. I suspect you couldn't win anything lower than that in a court of law, given a credit card agrement anything like what is typical.

And on a completely different topic, how did your boyfriend's credit card situation get resolved? http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23304132&sort=whole

Patzer

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Author: DBAVelvet74 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226265 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/20/2006 10:41 AM
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Cap One will happily send along whatever they are dispensing now, but those are not the terms I agreed to.

They will send along the current terms of your account.

It won't be what you agreed to originally, but it will reflect any changes that they have made along the way that you didn't opt out of.

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Author: onesizefitsnone One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226271 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/20/2006 11:40 AM
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Patzer,

Thanks for asking. We checked the credit report and found no lates. However, his FICO had dropped into the upper 500s. We think it was because of the new mortgage and the closing of the credit cards, which fouled up all his ratios of debt to credit. He just got a new car loan at 3.9% so I'm thinking things are back to normal with him.

It's not at all implausible that an account would be sold to collections for less than $500. It happens all the time with medical accounts, with which I am personally familiar because my ex husband had all kinds of bills after his psychiatric hospitalizations, most of which weren't covered by insurance becuase they were mental illness, not physical illness. (Insurance companies now have to cover both exactly the same, but this was back in the dark ages in the mid 90's - hence the bankruptcies and foreclosure, because he also lost his job and his insurance.) I'm pretty sure that my Cap One went to collections very quickly, but no later than $400.

My whole issue with them is continuing to treat what is a closed account as an open account. If an account has gone to a collection agency it is closed; you can't be "overlimit" every month, because you no longer have a limit to be over. (You can be made to pay interest, that's another matter.) Nor can you be subject to continued revisions to the agreement. Your account is closed, and by the terms of the agreement itself the new terms can't be applied to closed accounts. Otherwise I could get a credit card from someone, pay it off and close it, and still be subject to any blatantly ridiculous change in terms, including one that says I still have to make a monthly payment even though I don't owe money. There is no distinction between the bank closing the account because it's unpaid, and the consumer closing the account on their own. Closed is closed. The obligee has damages for the breach, but can't keep amending the contract to inflate the damages, and also has a duty to mitigate.

So I don't think negotiating a $45 debt to $500 is unreasonable. It caps the damages but at a date well beyond the date of breach.





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Author: aj485 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226273 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/20/2006 12:01 PM
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I have pulled the credit reports, and they are indeed re-aging the account every month instead of reporting the delinquency date.

Then you have an action against them, please pursue it!

Getting hold of the agreements will be very tough. We can all agree that I have to abide by the agreement; the issue is which agreement we are talking about. Cap One will happily send along whatever they are dispensing now, but those are not the terms I agreed to. What I need to see is what was in effect six years ago and two years ago respectively.

Having worked in the subprime credit industry 6 years ago, I can tell you that many of the terms 6 years ago (before Providian was sued and agreed to a $300+ million settlement) were more onerous than the current terms, with the exception that late and overlimit fees may have been in the $19 range instead of the $29 - $35 that they are now. Penalty rates may have been slightly lower, but they were at least 25% (as compared to the current 30+%) Credit card companies are required to keep copies of the terms that were in force by date. You may be able to do discovery as part of your action above to get the agreements.

I don't see how Cap One can simultaneously have an account placed with a third party collector AND simultaneously treat the account as open and accruing late and overlimit fees. As to whether or not the account has been "closed", it strikes me that the test is whether, if I paid the account off today, Cap One would let me go use the card tomorrow. They can call the account whatever they want, but if you cannot make new charges, it's closed.

As I mentioned in a previous post, 'closed,' 'inactive,' and 'written off' have significantly different meanings. An account only needs to be late to be placed with a collector, it can still be open and accruing fees and interest. In many cases, 'closed' accounts can also still be accruing fees and interest, depending on the agreement. It is only when an account is written off that the fees and interest stop, and prior to the Providian settlement, I believe there were some accounts that had been written off that had terms where they could still accrue fees and interest (the more onerous terms).

As I also mentioned in a previous post, Cap One may not have written off your account because of your prior bankruptcy, as they know you cannot declare BK again for a minimum of 7 years, so they may still view the account as closed, but collectible.

The issue all along has been the terms. I continue to believe that a bill for $45 cannot legitimately grow to $1,000 even in 6 years. If Cap One can show me where I ever agreed to an effective interest rate of 67 percent per year, I'll shut up and pay today.

Well, here is a table showing how a $45 balance can grow to over a $1000 balance with no payments made, $19 late fees, $19 overlimit fees when the balance is more than $250 and a 25% interest rate. It takes just over 2 years to get to more than $1000.

Beg Prin Late Fee OL Fee Interest End Prin
4/1/2000 $45.00 $0.00 $0.00 $1.06 $46.06
5/1/2000 $46.06 $19.00 $0.00 $1.09 $66.15
6/1/2000 $66.15 $19.00 $0.00 $1.57 $86.72
7/1/2000 $86.72 $19.00 $0.00 $2.05 $107.77
8/1/2000 $107.77 $19.00 $0.00 $2.55 $129.32
9/1/2000 $129.32 $19.00 $0.00 $3.06 $151.38
10/1/2000 $151.38 $19.00 $0.00 $3.58 $173.96
11/1/2000 $173.96 $19.00 $0.00 $4.12 $197.08
12/1/2000 $197.08 $19.00 $0.00 $4.66 $220.74
1/1/2001 $220.74 $19.00 $0.00 $5.22 $244.96
2/1/2001 $244.96 $19.00 $0.00 $5.80 $269.76
3/1/2001 $269.76 $19.00 $19.00 $6.38 $314.14
4/1/2001 $314.14 $19.00 $19.00 $7.43 $359.57
5/1/2001 $359.57 $19.00 $19.00 $8.51 $406.08
6/1/2001 $406.08 $19.00 $19.00 $9.61 $453.69
7/1/2001 $453.69 $19.00 $19.00 $10.73 $502.42
8/1/2001 $502.42 $19.00 $19.00 $11.89 $552.31
9/1/2001 $552.31 $19.00 $19.00 $13.07 $603.38
10/1/2001 $603.38 $19.00 $19.00 $14.28 $655.65
11/1/2001 $655.65 $19.00 $19.00 $15.51 $709.17
12/1/2001 $709.17 $19.00 $19.00 $16.78 $763.95
1/1/2002 $763.95 $19.00 $19.00 $18.07 $820.02
2/1/2002 $820.02 $19.00 $19.00 $19.40 $877.42
3/1/2002 $877.42 $19.00 $19.00 $20.76 $936.18
4/1/2002 $936.18 $19.00 $19.00 $22.15 $996.33
5/1/2002 $996.33 $19.00 $19.00 $23.57 $1,057.90
6/1/2002 $1,057.90 $19.00 $19.00 $25.03 $1,120.93
7/1/2002 $1,120.93 $19.00 $19.00 $26.52 $1,185.45

Please note that during the 2000 - 2002 timeframe was when late and overlimit fees started being increased, and that the agreements were updated and changed unilaterally, giving the consumer the option to keep the original terms only by closing the account to new charges.

Some of the fees and terms may be slightly different for your particular account, but these terms were typical of sub-prime accounts in that time-frame, and even if your interest rate started out lower, you would have been ratcheted to the penalty rate after 2 - 3 missed payments. After 6 years at these terms, the balance is actually over $6k.

It's not so much the interest that is adding up, it's the late and overlimit fees because no payments are being made on the account.

AJ


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Author: DeltaOne81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226274 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/20/2006 12:04 PM
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Onesize,

I think we need to straighten some stuff out here.

Can you describe to us what you see on the credit report? What was making you think the debt was being redated? Also, does it say closed (by grantor) or something?

Is there a separate entry on your credit report for the debt now owed to the collection agency? Or is this continuing to show up in the Capital One entry? If so, perhaps Capital One still owns the debt, but has just hired a collection agency to collect it for them (on a commission basis). This isn't being sold, really, but could be a confusing distinction.

Finally, we can all guess to high heaven where the balance came from, but no one will no one will know anything until you write that letter to the current owner of the debt and request (among other things) a description of where they received and how they calculated the currently owed amount. Then we can look over it and see where it came from, and how legit it may or may not be.

This really will require some legwork, and not just guesstimates like we've been doing. I think we've all had enough of those.

Looking forward to helping you work through it once we have all the necessary details,

Fred


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Author: aj485 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226276 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/20/2006 1:08 PM
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If an account has gone to a collection agency it is closed; you can't be "overlimit" every month, because you no longer have a limit to be over.

onesizefitsnone,

This is an incorrect assumption on your part. Accounts that are closed to new charges can still be accruing late fees as well as interest. They also still have a credit limit that can be exceeded, triggering overlimit fees. In fact, on an account that is closed to new charges, the credit limit can be decreased as the balance goes down, assuming that payments are being made. This is because the account is closed to new charges by the consumer, so there should be no additional credit needed, and to help prevent the consumer from making new charges, the credit limit is decreased to a few dollars over the current balance - typically enough to cover the month's interest plus a small fudge factor.

It is ONLY after the account is written off that fees and interest will stop accruing. That is why it is important to understand the terminology on your credit report - are the accounts written off, and if so, what is the date of the write-off? Up until that date, fees and interest continued to accrue.

AJ

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Author: catscanner Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226294 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/20/2006 9:13 PM
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Just pay the damn bill and don't get into this mess again.

You signed the credit app, you recieved the disclousres, you are responsible. Now, as others have said, if you can talk down the collections to a more reasonable amount, go for it. But quit harping about taking them to court, etc. Just deal with, close it up, and don't repeat the same mistake.

cat (sorry, but tough love is about all the love I can muster up for this situation.)

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Author: Booa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226405 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/22/2006 5:37 PM
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I don't see how Cap One can simultaneously have an account placed with a third party collector AND simultaneously treat the account as open and accruing late and overlimit fees. As to whether or not the account has been "closed", it strikes me that the test is whether, if I paid the account off today, Cap One would let me go use the card tomorrow.

To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if Cap 1 *did* let you make new charges if you paid off the account tomorrow. They might even let you make new charges *today*, before paying off the account. (Not that I would--I think that would definitely restart the clock on the account.) But Cap 1 is one of those sub-prime lenders, so...they'd probably let you make new charges, but keep charging you the default interest rate, or 30% or thereabouts. I think some people on this board have experience directly with that, so maybe you could ask about that?

Does that mean I don't have to pay the bill? Of course not, and if I weren't going to pay it, I wouldn't have started the whole conversation here. The issue all along has been the terms. I continue to believe that a bill for $45 cannot legitimately grow to $1,000 even in 6 years. If Cap One can show me where I ever agreed to an effective interest rate of 67 percent per year, I'll shut up and pay today.

I'm not going to tell you Cap 1 doesn't suck--they very often do. And yes, it's outrageous that your bill for $45 should grow to $1000 in 6 years. I don't think anyone is saying it's *not* outrageous--it is, it's grotesque, it's all kinds of ridiculous. Sadly, it's *possible*, with late fees and overlimit fees and what not, but hopefully your agreement precluded this amount of outrageousness. But I agree, it's horrific.

Now, having said that...you want to buy a house in the near future. I realize it's a crazy idea, but would you be willing to pay, maybe, half of what Cap 1 thinks you owe them, $500 or so, in return for them taking all that ugliness off your credit report? Yes, it's basically extortion, and probably you could fight and have it go back down to $45, possibly, but--is it worth it to you? How much fighting and energy would it drain from you? Would it be gone by the time you wanted to buy your house? How much would it cost you in a higher interest rate on the house if it's still on there when you're applying for a loan? How much would that higher interest rate cost you over the life of the mortgage? I'm guessing more than $500, though of course I could be wrong.

In any case, what I'm saying is--did it totally suck that Joel Corley had to give his ex-wife money in their divorce? Oh, *hells* yeah. It was all manner of grotesque. But was it *worth it*? To see the back of the psycho hose beast? Um, a bargain at the price. So, maybe the way to go is to try to sue them or dig up your agreement or ask them for a copy of the agreement or any number of lawyerly things, and I'm not saying that's the wrong way, I'm not an expert and certainly not a lawyer. But, another option is to try to negotiate with them, pay half the amount or some percentage you feel is reasonable in return for (in writing, from them) an agreement to *vacate* your account--to remove it from your credit reports, all of them, and to never have it return.

Grotesque, and wrong, but maybe...worth it. Just something to think about.


--Booa

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Author: lanshark Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226675 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/26/2006 9:02 AM
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OneSize,

On the first account, provided you neither paid nor promised to send in a check to pay, you may owe no further money due to your state's statute of limitations. (check your state)

Regarding the second account, I would insist on the collection agency sending you an itemized detail of what you owe for that account. Your dispute on this account may be that you never received the bill. If that's true, there's nothing morally wrong with telling a creditor that it's their mistake and there's no responsibility for you to pay for their continued mistake.

But, I wouldn't agree to pay them anything at all until you have their offer(s) in writing.

- Lan

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Author: Shirtless1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226740 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/26/2006 8:40 PM
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Sorry if it's not cool to use Onesizefitsnone's string to ask my own question but I'm troubled anew by here circumstances and my question has at least one thing in common with her.

First let me just get out of the way that what happened to Onesize, a $45 charge growing to $1,000 seems like usury to me. We do have laws and beliefs among most of us in this country that there is a limit to the penalty that should be imposed on even a deliberately reneged debt.

Some of the responses as I read through her string were scolding and legalistic about "you agreed to the terms, you have to pay whatever they say." Well I agree that Onesize's side of the story has me on her side (I do acknowledge that Cap One may have their side). From what I've read Capital One's (or the collection agency - this really sounds more like collection agency behavior than cc) actions are usury and if they aren't illegal they should be.

My question is about this reoccuring reporting of unpaid debt as "in collection" month after month after month. All this talk about late payments being on your report for x amount of time. Well what about unpaid debt? What is the limitation on that? Can they just keep reporting that forever or is there a time limit where forgiveness creeps on to the report?

I have on 2 of my 3 credit reports, I just learned today, a debt collector reporting every month that I am in collection on a $179.00 debt to MCI for an unpaid long distance bill. This is for an account I never opened or owned or ever made long distance calls on in a state I was not resident of. But that seems not to matter, somehow my name got on this account along with a woman name Geraldine Fejardo who I never heard of. Anyway, if I simply ignore this illigitimate debt, will it eventually work its way off my credit report?

Anyone know? Comments?

Thanks,
Shirtless1



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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226741 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/26/2006 9:01 PM
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My question is about this reoccuring reporting of unpaid debt as "in collection" month after month after month. All this talk about late payments being on your report for x amount of time. Well what about unpaid debt? What is the limitation on that? Can they just keep reporting that forever or is there a time limit where forgiveness creeps on to the report?

I have on 2 of my 3 credit reports, I just learned today, a debt collector reporting every month that I am in collection on a $179.00 debt to MCI for an unpaid long distance bill. This is for an account I never opened or owned or ever made long distance calls on in a state I was not resident of. But that seems not to matter, somehow my name got on this account along with a woman name Geraldine Fejardo who I never heard of. Anyway, if I simply ignore this illigitimate debt, will it eventually work its way off my credit report?


Unpaid debts stay on your report for seven years and a half years, as we explained to Onesize. However, under certain circumstances, creditors have been known to have a judgment placed against you (they have to go to court to do this). Judgments stay on your report forever.

What you need to do is write the collection agency and demand proof that this debt is yours. Don't go into details, just demand that they prove that this is your debt. Probably someone mistyped a social security number, and that's how it ended up on your record. Either that, or you have an ID theft problem.

If they offer proof, we'll take it from there.

I'm sorry you didn't like our explanations to Onesize. I don't recall a lot of people stating that the credit card company was wise and wonderful to have such high rates and penalty fees. What we were trying to say is, "they are legally allowed to bill you like that. Stop complaining and deal with it".

Nancy

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Author: DeltaOne81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226744 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/26/2006 9:47 PM
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You should definitely deal with this, and the sooner the better.

Here are sample letters to write:
http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forms/

And this is probably the one you want:
http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forms/sampleletter9.shtml

Send this letter, certified mail to the collection agency. Do not ignore it.

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Author: Shirtless1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226782 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 3:00 PM
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I'm sorry you didn't like our explanations to Onesize. I don't recall a lot of people stating that the credit card company was wise and wonderful to have such high rates and penalty fees.

Well I never said anyone said that either. But I'm not bickering. I take your point. I think you're saying you guys weren't taking the cc companies' side. But to my reading some of the replies almost were. I admit to having only scanned a lot of the replies as it was a long string. I apologize if I misunderstood. Or if my question had already been answered earlier in the string.

It's the stop complaining and deal with it part I guess that rubs me wrong. Your advice there may be the best advice she (or I) can get. Yet philosophically it strikes me as an injustice. I apologize if all this has been covered ad nauseum in other strings here too but it does seem like the concepts of innocent until proven guilty and protections against unreasonable penalties have not creeped into our credit reporting system yet. It seems quite arbitrary and out of my control. I have no doubt that I can prove this isn't my debt in a court of law to any 12 reasonably intelligent people. But of course I won't get that day in court for a measly $179.00 mistake. But my avenues for redress here seem woefully inadequate and I think this may be what I have in common with Onesize. It's almost like my only recourse is to write and beg the offending collection agency who is libeling my good name to please stop. If they choose not to, well I can put a comment in my credit report. Whoo Hoo. Will a comment on an invalid debt boost my credit score?

My other choice is to pay the $179.00 that isn't mine just to make it go away. So the bullies and the cheaters of the world win another one. I feel like someone's taking my lunch money all over again.

They should have to prove a debt is legitimate before anything can be reported on someones credit report. It shouldn't be up to me to prove it isn't legit.

Perhaps I should take this up with my congressman. :)

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226784 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 3:12 PM
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It's almost like my only recourse is to write and beg the offending collection agency who is libeling my good name to please stop. If they choose not to, well I can put a comment in my credit report

Well, you're not begging them. You're ordering them to prove that you owe this debt. That's what we're telling you to do. Write them and demand proof that this debt is yours.

And you're quite right that there isn't a lot of consumer protection in these cases. There used to be a national cap on finance charges. The credit card companies sued to have it removed. There used to be laws against usury charges. A court said that the credit card companies could be bound by the state where they were chartered, rather than the state in which they were doing business. So Delaware and South Dakota removed their limits on interest rates, and interest rates shot skyward.

It would be a tremendous help to people if they were informed that a new debt was being put on their report, or if collection agencies had to prove that they had made a legitimate attempt to locate a person before adding something to a record. But the laws aren't in place, and I don't think it will happen soon.

Please let us know what happens when you write the collection agency.

Nancy

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Author: Shirtless1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226785 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 3:13 PM
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Thanks DeltaOne81 and Nancy for the great responses.

These links are terrific. I will save them for the future.

I wrote my own letters already though, of course not as professional and legal sounding as those, but they were clear and to the point. Three went to 3 collection agencies over a year ago (how 3 got involved I don't know). Two of the 3 closed the matter, and sent me a response to that effect. The last started reporting me as "in collection" only after they got my letter. I wonder if sending them the letter was my mistake as they then knew of my existence and like the Borg will never relent. At least for 7 1/2 years.

I have just yesterday sent letter to initiate an inquiry into the debt through the collection agencies. Perhaps they will resolve it to my satisfaction and all my fury that I should have to do such a thing will pass and I'll recognize that this is just the way our flawed system works. If they do not, I am the kind of anal retentive type who will fight back with them. I found a link in there too to an ebook on suing the credit reporting agencies.

Maybe this will all make an activist of me and I'll dedicate the next decade of my life to credit reporting reform and start organizing the million credit consumers' march.

Shirtless1

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Author: Shirtless1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226786 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 3:18 PM
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Well I did write that letter a year ago. They did not reply. So demanding they do something which I have no ability to enforce is really of little value. I think begging will get you further than writing a letter demanding something when all they have to do is throw out your letter. (yes I sent it registered mail too)

As I mentioned in a reply to DeltaOne, sending them the letter demanding the prove that was my debt seemed to put me on thier radar and that was when the delinquent reporting began.

I'll continue the story when I hear back from the credit bureaus on the status of my complaint.

Thanks again.
Shirtless1

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Author: DeltaOne81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226787 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 3:19 PM
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It's almost like my only recourse is to write and beg the offending collection agency who is libeling my good name to please stop. If they choose not to, well I can put a comment in my credit report. Whoo Hoo. Will a comment on an invalid debt boost my credit score?

Nope, this is one area where the law and justice *has* creeped into our credit reporting system.

Basically what is seems you're saying is that "it probably won't work, so I don't see why I should try". Well, first, even if it probably wouldn't work, you should still try. Second, it absolutely completely *will* work... BY LAW.

I direct you to the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

For example, from the FDCPA:
(b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.


I.e. you ask for debt validation. They HAVE TO PROVIDE IT. And MUST STOP COLLECTION until they do.

They will send you proof, and you will point out that they are incorrect, because "this is not my name", "this is not my SS number", "I never lived at this address", or half a dozen other things that prove that its not yours.

The fact is, its QUITE EASY to get incorrect debt taken off of your credit repot. You're talking here like the system is stacked against you. But actually, the system is stacked against the debt collector. So much so, in fact, that it is more much likely that a scamming person could get legitimate debt removed than a honest person would have to leave inaccurate debt on. THAT is innocent until proven guilty.


Here's something from the Fair Credit Reporting Act:

(A) In general. If, after any reinvestigation under paragraph (1) of any information disputed by a consumer, an item of the information is found to be inaccurate or incomplete or cannot be verified, the consumer reporting agency shall promptly delete that item of information from the consumer's file or modify that item of information, as appropriate, based on the results of the reinvestigation.


I.e. if the collectoin agency won't remove it, and you tell the credit reporting agency, "this isn't my debt, I never lived at that address", or whatever, they would have to be able to able to VERIFY that you did. Even if they are unsure, they *have* to delete it, as it cannot be verified.


The fact is, you're assuming the deck is stacked against you going in when it very much is not. You can easily have this removed by writing a couple letters, sending them certified mail, and just being a little bit pushy. If you chose not to do this, you have no one to blame by yourself.

Generally, its a good idea to try before you give up.


Oh, and this is coming from someone who agrees that people were being too harsh on Onesize and hopes he/she can get the information from the collection agency and work out something amendable to both parties.

But your situation is no way resembles that. You are in the right here, they are wrong. Stand up and protect your rights! If you do not protect them, you've voluntarily lost them. Rights that Congress went out of their way to give you.


So the bullies and the cheaters of the world win another one. I feel like someone's taking my lunch money all over again.

Only if you give up and don't bother to try.


They should have to prove a debt is legitimate before anything can be reported on someones credit report. It shouldn't be up to me to prove it isn't legit.

The bureaucracy of that would be incredible, especially when its so easy to get something removed.


Perhaps I should take this up with my congressman. :)

He'll/she'll tell you they already passed the FCRA & FDCPA, and why aren't you using them like they were intended?


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Author: Shirtless1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226788 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 3:27 PM
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You're talking here like the system is stacked against you. But actually, the system is stacked against the debt collector.

An excellent reply. You are correct. I am a bit defeatist about it. But not just because I don't want to try. I did send that letter to the collection agency registered mail, a year ago, and nothing happened. So what next? They're in LA. I'm in Wisconsin. Even if BY LAW they must reply, if they don't there's nothing I can do.

Perhaps you're right though and I'm condemning the system before I've tried everything. I am now waiting on the results of credit bureau disputes. But I do feel like it the clerk at the credit bureau just arbitrarily says "it's legit" I'm stuck.

I guess I'd feel better if I could stand in front of her and with all my oratory prowess make my case so she can then look at me with appropriate awe and inform me of the gross injustice done to me by the evil emperor... ok I guess I'm getting carried away now.

Shirtless1

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Author: DeltaOne81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226789 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 3:34 PM
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As I mentioned in a reply to DeltaOne, sending them the letter demanding the prove that was my debt seemed to put me on thier radar and that was when the delinquent reporting began.

Wait, I'm confused.

But before we get started. Collection agency (CA) is a company that tries to collect on debt. Credit reporting agency (CRA) is a company that just manages everyone's data on their credit reports - i.e. they're that ones that receive the reports. Okay, now we're on the same page.


Why did you write to 3 collection agencies? Did they all show up on your report? Did they all claim you owed them different debts? The same debts? Or did you just start randomly sending to collection agencies?

Did they contact you first or did you first see it on your report?

It seemed the situation with the first two went exactly as it was supposed to. And the third one lost the letter or something. There it was unfortunately your fault for not following up.

Did you send the letters certified mail? Did you ask for validation of the debt? If so, you have proof right?

It seems to me then that by the FDCPA, Section 809, part (b)... the Collection Agency has violated the law by continuing to attempt to collect the debt after being asked for validation without every providing it. That you dispute the debt, it is not yours, and they must either provide you with an attempt to validate the debt, or stop colleciton. Period.


So demanding they do something which I have no ability to enforce is really of little value. I think begging will get you further than writing a letter demanding something when all they have to do is throw out your letter. (yes I sent it registered mail too)

You absolutely can enforce this. You can take it to small claims court and get an order for them to cease and desist. You can contact your start Consumer Protection department of Attorney General's office. Furthermore you can send them a cease and desist letter, mentioning the above FDCPA section, and telling them that they either validate your debt or stop collection and remove it from your report immediately.

No, begging will not get you further. These are not your friends. They do not respond to emotions. CAs are closely monitored under the law, and telling them that they are violating the law can get them in deep trouble. Begging makes you sound like you don't know that you have the power. Quoting the law makes them run scared.

And glad to see you do have proof of mailing, which I didn't notice at first. Use that to prove that they must stop all collection of the debt until they can validate it (which they can't do because its not legit), as you already sent them a letter.


You have the power here, seriously you do. You just have to fight for it a little bit. You're talking about how you want to have all these rights - when you basically already have them. So use them!

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Author: DeltaOne81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226790 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 3:38 PM
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Even if BY LAW they must reply, if they don't there's nothing I can do.

Yes there is. There's plenty you can do. As I said in my post that I'm sure you'll read shortly.


Perhaps you're right though and I'm condemning the system before I've tried everything. I am now waiting on the results of credit bureau disputes. But I do feel like it the clerk at the credit bureau just arbitrarily says "it's legit" I'm stuck.

Nope, you're not. Same remedies as above. Other people can probably suggest more.


I guess I'd feel better if I could stand in front of her and with all my oratory prowess make my case so she can then look at me with appropriate awe and inform me of the gross injustice done to me by the evil emperor... ok I guess I'm getting carried away now.

I know, it'd be nice if you could stand in front of them and argue your case. But you can't. You still have plenty of options though.

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Author: Shirtless1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226791 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 3:45 PM
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You absolutely can enforce this. You can take it to small claims court and get an order for them to cease and desist. You can contact your start Consumer Protection department of Attorney General's office. Furthermore you can send them a cease and desist letter, mentioning the above FDCPA section, and telling them that they either validate your debt or stop collection and remove it from your report immediately.

I will do just this if the credit bureaus do not find with me (provided I can still find that little registered letter tag - it's been a year and I'm not an accountant or a lawyer. Normal people have a hard time keeping track of a tiny piece of paper for a whole year). You are more generous to them in assuming the letter was lost. I assumed the worst that it was a coven of evil doers who not only read the letter, but passed it around and laughed at it maniacally before tossing it in the fire.

Perhaps a more reasonable view of the world and this system will serve me better here.

But what do people who aren't member of the Motley Fool do? They are all being screwed.

And I'm still not convinced it's not a coven of evil doers.

Shirtless1

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226792 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 3:47 PM
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And I'm still not convinced it's not a coven of evil doers.

It doesn't matter what they are or aren't.

They still have to obey the law.

Nancy
I don't get the part about three collection agencies either


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Author: Shirtless1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226793 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 4:00 PM
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I don't get the part about three collection agencies either

I received three letters. I can't remember if it was in serial or in parallel about this $179 debt. It was from 3 defferent collection agencies. I think I have the distinction between collection agencies and credit reporting agencies. I know it's the CA's and not the CRA's that are the bad guys here. One was in PA, One in LA and I don't even remember the third. Kansas perhaps. I assume MCI must have turned this debt over to all three to recover. What the status of this debt as charged off or bought by these agencies is I never knew enough to inquire of. But none of this appeared on my credit report until about 2 months after the third received my letter in February of 2005 (for a spring of 2003 debt). It sounds to me like this debt was just grouped on computer files by MCI as part of their automated unpaid account system and sold in mass to these agencies. If it was duplicated and errantly sold to three different ones or if they are allowed to sell it to three different ones for collection I don't know. I'd kind of like to know myself how and why this happened. It sounds like it was a glitch in MCI's practices all the way around that has me in this mess.


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Author: DeltaOne81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226794 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 4:01 PM
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I will do just this if the credit bureaus do not find with me

Good :)

Although I think there's a darn good chance they will. They're pretty afraid of being sued under the FCRA too. I find that when I dispute anything, they tend to just delete the lot of it.

For instance, I had an old closed account that said "closed by credit grantor". Which doesn't effect your score, but doesn't look good. And it was entirely untrue. So I disputed, making it quite clear that the account was legit, but that field was not. What did they do? Deleted the whole account from my report. Alright, a closed account won't help my score anyway, but just goes to show you how they err on the cautious side of things.


(provided I can still find that little registered letter tag - it's been a year and I'm not an accountant or a lawyer. Normal people have a hard time keeping track of a tiny piece of paper for a whole year).

If you don't, start over again. But don't wait a year :). Send them another letter through certified/registered mail again. Wanna go all out, do return receipt and then you *really* have proof they got it.

Give them a month or two, then write again telling them since you haven't received validation (if you haven't), that you demand they remove it. Give them a month or two and check again. If they haven't, dispute with the CRAs again, quoting the law and offering proof of mailing.


You are more generous to them in assuming the letter was lost. I assumed the worst that it was a coven of evil doers who not only read the letter, but passed it around and laughed at it maniacally before tossing it in the fire.

They may very well be. And I wasn't being naive really, but just giving them an innocent until proven guilty label too on their intentions. Even though I share your suspicions. Nonethless, what they would be guilty of is violating the law about providing validation. And that's why you would have to go after them and not just let it slide.


But what do people who aren't member of the Motley Fool do? They are all being screwed.

Hell if I know ;). But I agree with you that knowledge or rights and personal finances is a major issue in this country.



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Author: mastiffmama Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226797 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 4:43 PM
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I will do just this if the credit bureaus do not find with me (provided I can still find that little registered letter tag - it's been a year and I'm not an accountant or a lawyer. Normal people have a hard time keeping track of a tiny piece of paper for a whole year).


This time keep a copy of the letter, staple the tag to the letter, and put in in a file. It's harder to lose if it's big.

mm
(aka Normal Person, not an accountant or a lawyer)

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Author: catscanner Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226800 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 10:01 PM
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Every 4 months I order a free credit report for myself, my wife, my 21 year old son and 17 year old daughter from 1 of the 3 major reporting agencies.

Recently I found that a charge off of $9000 had been added to my report.

Me, who has a credit rating over 780, no lates, etc.....

So, I file a dispute indicating that it's not mine, different name, never lived at address, etc. They removed it promptly and that's that.

So, do the footwork and file the dispute.

I file for even a mispelled name or bad address, or accounts that are reported open that I have closed. It all adds up to a true credit history and that's what you really want.

cat

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Author: catscanner Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226801 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/27/2006 10:05 PM
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I will do just this if the credit bureaus do not find with me (provided I can still find that little registered letter tag - it's been a year and I'm not an accountant or a lawyer. Normal people have a hard time keeping track of a tiny piece of paper for a whole year).
---------------------
It should be in your "credit reports" file where you have a current copy of 1 of the 3 credit reports you order every 4 months is. You do that every 4 months right?

Sorry, a bit facetious. But really, something as important as a certified reciept dealing with a credit report error should be kept. Keep all your financial ducks in line. When I need a loan for a mortgage I can pull everything I need quickly for the broker to prescreen me. THey can't believe how fast I get the stuff they need. Just stay organized.

cat

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Author: aj485 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226834 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/28/2006 2:21 PM
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It's the stop complaining and deal with it part I guess that rubs me wrong. Your advice there may be the best advice she (or I) can get. Yet philosophically it strikes me as an injustice. I apologize if all this has been covered ad nauseum in other strings here too but it does seem like the concepts of innocent until proven guilty and protections against unreasonable penalties have not creeped into our credit reporting system yet. It seems quite arbitrary and out of my control. I have no doubt that I can prove this isn't my debt in a court of law to any 12 reasonably intelligent people. But of course I won't get that day in court for a measly $179.00 mistake. But my avenues for redress here seem woefully inadequate and I think this may be what I have in common with Onesize. It's almost like my only recourse is to write and beg the offending collection agency who is libeling my good name to please stop. If they choose not to, well I can put a comment in my credit report. Whoo Hoo. Will a comment on an invalid debt boost my credit score?

My other choice is to pay the $179.00 that isn't mine just to make it go away. So the bullies and the cheaters of the world win another one. I feel like someone's taking my lunch money all over again.


Shirtless1,

As one of the posters who was probably perceived as telling onesizefitsnone to stop complaining and deal with it, I see your two situations as very different. onesizefitsnone admitted that the debt was hers, but didn't want to accept the fact that the valid debt that she ignored could possibly have grown to 4 times her credit limit. I and others tried to explain, several times, that not only could it grow that high, but that by ignoring the debt for 2 - 6 years, it could be even higher and that she was probably getting a good deal in settling for what the collection agency was asking.

On the other hand, you are stating that the debt is not yours. You should follow the advice of the other posters on this thread and send a letter to demand validation of the debt. If the collection agencies refuse to validate this debt and continue to report you as delinquent, you can and should sue them under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. That is the legal power that you have.

AJ

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Author: Shirtless1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226837 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/28/2006 3:00 PM
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As one of the posters who was probably perceived as telling onesizefitsnone to stop complaining and deal with it, I see your two situations as very different. onesizefitsnone admitted that the debt was hers, but didn't want to accept the fact that the valid debt that she ignored could possibly have grown to 4 times her credit limit. I and others tried to explain, several times, that not only could it grow that high, but that by ignoring the debt for 2 - 6 years, it could be even higher and that she was probably getting a good deal in settling for what the collection agency was asking.

AJ,

Yes I realize that distinction made it harder for her to justify getting help to get out of her predicament. And I was perhaps too quick to feel I was in the same boat even though the debt wasn't mine.

It feels like the decision that the debt was or wasn't mine was going to be determined by someone else's judgement. Judgement I don't necessarily trust. So I see a similarity that such a thing could happen to me if this collection agency had just arbitrarily started charging me fees and exhorbitant interest. It sounds like the experienced members of this board have learned trust in these judgers (I didn't want to say deciders). And perhaps I will learn to trust them and the system more if I have success with it too.

But I don't want to get too complacent about onesize's situation either and just say "well that can't happen to me." I still think that Onesize was being bullied excessively for her poor judgement to let the debt slide. Yes she's owes something. She does not owe over $1000 if her cited details are accurate. I had never heard before that we no longer have any usury laws in this county. This is very disturbing to me. I want to be protected from usury even if I'm not the sort to ever renege on a debt.

So I see this difference between Onesize and me as small in that I am merely a false accusation away from being subject to the same victimization of (IMHO) usury. Not only do I not want to be a victim of legal usury, but I don't want deliberate renegers to be a victim of it either.

First they came for the debt renegers, and didn't speak up because I always paid my debts....

Shirtless1


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Author: Shirtless1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226844 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/28/2006 4:39 PM
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Well, this is where we disagree

Well we agree in this anyway: This is where we disagree.

Your table is just a demonstration of usury. If the fine print said she will lose one finger for every day she is late in paying, would you simply compose a table of how many fingers she must lose and to stop whining because she agreed to it when she opened the account? At least in this case there'd be the upper limit of 10 fingers. There is no upper limit in your table.

Usury is not contingent upon something being legal or not. It can be perfectly legal and even agreed upon up front and still be usury and immoral. In fact severe usury has often been legal and people have at times in history been imprisoned for something similar to a $45 debt that they let get out of hand whether because of negligence, malice, or higher priorities in their lives.

I do not think it makes it right. Onesize also deserves some relief from these usurious practices even if it was all her fault and she agree to the abuse on page 1 million of her 10 million page cardholder agreement.

Shirtless1

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Author: aj485 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226850 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/28/2006 6:58 PM
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Well, this is where we disagree

Well we agree in this anyway: This is where we disagree.

Your table is just a demonstration of usury. If the fine print said she will lose one finger for every day she is late in paying, would you simply compose a table of how many fingers she must lose and to stop whining because she agreed to it when she opened the account? At least in this case there'd be the upper limit of 10 fingers. There is no upper limit in your table.

Usury is not contingent upon something being legal or not. It can be perfectly legal and even agreed upon up front and still be usury and immoral. In fact severe usury has often been legal and people have at times in history been imprisoned for something similar to a $45 debt that they let get out of hand whether because of negligence, malice, or higher priorities in their lives.

I do not think it makes it right. Onesize also deserves some relief from these usurious practices even if it was all her fault and she agree to the abuse on page 1 million of her 10 million page cardholder agreement.


I disagree that my table is a demonstration of usury. It is a demonstration of what happens when someone ignores their lawfully agreed upon contractual commitments. If onesizefitsnone had begun making even the minimum payment in the 2nd or 3rd month of the table, she could have avoided almost all of the late charges, all of the overlimit charges and she probably would have had a slightly lower interest rate.

With credit card companies, ignoring problems does not make them go away, it makes them worse. If there is an issue where you thought you made a payment, but it didn't get credited to your account, you need to take the initiative and have the credit card company investigate where the payment went. It only takes a small mis-key by one of the low-paid off-shore keyers to send your payment to someone else's account.

You may consider the fees to be usurious, but they wouldn't have gotten that way without continued ignoring of the monthly requests for payment that Cap One sent. Calling Cap One to ask about the payment would have started an investigation and stopped the fees until the investigation was completed. onesizefitsnone would have had the desired relief from the 'usurious' practices had she done one of these simple actions.

AJ

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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226853 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/28/2006 9:20 PM
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Usury is not contingent upon something being legal or not. It can be perfectly legal and even agreed upon up front and still be usury and immoral. In fact severe usury has often been legal and people have at times in history been imprisoned for something similar to a $45 debt that they let get out of hand whether because of negligence, malice, or higher priorities in their lives.

I do not think it makes it right. Onesize also deserves some relief from these usurious practices even if it was all her fault and she agree to the abuse on page 1 million of her 10 million page cardholder agreement.


There is an economic an moral connection between usury limits and availability of credit. I can agree with you that the terms that ran the $45 debt up to $1000+ could be considered morally usurious. However, that's the rules that were laid out for this particular borrowing.

What do you suppose would have happened if the rules stated that the maximum amount owed would be some number that you would find reasonable? I think onesize would have been denied credit entirely. Now, this might have been a better result for her than what actually happened; but it would also mean that she could *never* develop good credit, no matter how well she got her act together. Given a history of two bankruptcies, I doubt that any commercial lender would have extended any credit to her at all without terms that you would consider usurious to compensate the lender for the high-risk loan.

Fair is fair. The terms are unreasonable. But, fair is fair. If Cap One is obligated to use reasonable terms, they should be allowed to decline credit. And if usury limits are low enough that no company will risk lending to people who have been through bankruptcy, these people will never have an opportunity to establish good credit.

Which is worse, exhorbitant charges to people who ignore valid debts, or trapping people who have turned their lives around in no-credit purgatory forever? No system is perfect. If you fix the perceived problems with the current system, and you create a system with *different* problems.

Patzer

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Author: Shirtless1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226854 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 12:23 AM
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If Cap One is obligated to use reasonable terms, they should be allowed to decline credit.

Since when is Cap One not allowed to decline credit? Of course they are.

I do understand that the cc company has a case to make too in these instances. But I'm sure I could name terms which even those here who have more sympathy to the cc company than me would agree are preposterous. My little finger example was ignored as not serious. Even if we keep it to money, just selecting a very large and absurd amount like, in paragraph MCXIICIX subparagraph MCVVIII clause 23 sentence 4 of the second addendum to the twelvth abridgement of the agreement, any customer who misses 3 consecutive payments shall be assessed a late charge of a billion dollars to be paid in full no later than the 30th day blah blah blah.

Don't roll your eyes. My point is even you guys I would hope agree that such a practice would be absurd and uncollectable. Apparently a $45 debt being allowed to run up to over $1000 is not over your personal threshold of reasonableness. It is over mine. I guess my point is there needs to me some reasonable upper limit enforced. And perhaps I shouldn't be able to set what that limit is but neither should those who think lopping off fingers is ok as long as it's in the agreement.

And I don't buy this argument that if we put caps on how much they can soak an errant account will just mean they won't offer credit. I have confidence in the market's ability to exploit every opportunity to make a profit. And Cap One has the opportunity to make a profit at way less than 67% a year interest.

- Shirtless1

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Author: Booa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226855 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 1:17 AM
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So I see this difference between Onesize and me as small in that I am merely a false accusation away from being subject to the same victimization of (IMHO) usury. Not only do I not want to be a victim of legal usury, but I don't want deliberate renegers to be a victim of it either.

First they came for the debt renegers, and didn't speak up because I always paid my debts....


Oh, hold on now. You've crossed a very important line with that last comment. We are all perhaps only a false accusation away from being in *a situation where we've been falsely accused, but are INNOCENT of what we are accused of* (which is your situation). We are not all a false accusation away from having *actually* ignored a debt and are upset with the consequences of that decision. That takes a little more active participation on one's part, and is a different beast altogether.

There's a quote from Carolyn Hax that I'm very fond of, and it goes, "Whenever you decline to act on your convictions, you leave it up to time and fate and other people to act on them for you. And you can't assume time and fate and other people won't steer your life into a tree." The CC companies tell you up front they will steer your life into a tree given the slightest provocation--one's responsibility in that situation is to not let them.

Again, we all make mistakes. That's human, and I'm not saying it's unforgiveable, or even that it justifies what the CC company has done. But "I didn't mean it to turn out this way," is the difference between murder and manslaughter, not murder and "Oh, okay, we'll let it go this time." And, if she'd called one month after the $45 was due, and paid it then, she could have probably gotten a mulligan--they probably would have even taken off the late fee (depending on her previous relationship with them).

I am sorry to be so harsh to onesizefitsnone, but the power to stop herself from being in this situation was in her hands all along--she could have paid the original bill, all $45 of it. But, okay, we all make mistakes, she missed it, or forgot about it. Okay. But years later, when she became aware of it again, she could have negotiated with Cap 1 or the collection agency (it's still not clear to me who has the debt) to pay it. Or she could negotiate with them now, and pay about half of it in return for having it taken off her credit report (which I think she's going to do, so, a cheer of support from me to onesizefitsnone :-)).

What she cannot do is avail herself of the law that allows *you*, as a person who has actually not reneged on a debt, to deal with your situation. You have avenues of recourse that she does not, because she originally did not pay her bill, and I'm not saying she's a bad person for that, or that the CC companies are doing the right thing by tacking on all those fees, but she is a person who did not pay her bill. That's all she's guilty of, but it's enough. It gives the CC company a large amount of power, because if she asks them to validate the debt, they can. It is entirely possible that she *does* owe over $1000--read any of the posts on the thread discussing how late fees and over-the-limit fees can spiral out of control. NONE of us are saying that that's a good thing, or the right thing, or what we want in society, but if you choose a course of action, you also choose the consquences of that action. Wishing you hadn't signed a contract won't make it so--the business world tends to be very "no takebacks" about that sort of thing.

I am not saying there should be mercy, no flexibility, in the system. onesizefitsnone can negotiate the amount she owes with Cap 1, but she can't just say, "Well, that's not fair, so that's not what I owe." I agree it's not fair, but if you agree to something and then ignore it, and then don't want to deal with the consequences of your action--i.e., nonpayment of the original bill, well, the consequences may be grotesque and all out of proportion to your original action, but *that doesn't make them go away*. If people sounded like they were siding with the CC company, it wasn't for love of the CC company, I promise you--we'd all much rather say, "That sucks!" and "You stick it to them, onesizefitsnone!" I think that's part of why people sounded exasperated--they couldn't say what they wanted to, but instead had to say what experience has led them to believe is true.

I do not want to come down hard on onesizefitsnone, and I realize that probably seems crazy after what will probably read like an excoriation of her--it's just that you think you're in the same situation, and well, you're not. I wish she was in *your* situation, frankly. :-( But I hate to see anyone abdicate responsibility for their actions and hope that that is enough for a "get off the hook free" card (). We will not get anywhere abdicating our power over our own selves, and indeed we will not be here when they come for the debt renegers if we do that.


--Booa

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Author: Booa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226856 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 1:18 AM
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AJ, for the love of God, hit return every once in a while! :-)


--Booa

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Author: Booa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226857 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 1:26 AM
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I do not think it makes it right. Onesize also deserves some relief from these usurious practices even if it was all her fault and she agree to the abuse on page 1 million of her 10 million page cardholder agreement.

I don't think anyone is saying it's *right*, I think they're saying it's *fact*, and whether facts are morally right or not, they must be dealt with. Outrage is completely appropriate in this situation, but will not help a bit unless it is translated into *action*.

She deserves relief, I agree 100%. I hope she is able to negotiate for some lesser amount and to have it taken off her credit report. But deserving something doesn't mean we'll get it, unfortunately. We certainly won't get it unless we do something about it.

I don't think anyone's telling her to stop whining, either. (I didn't really think she was whining, just venting.) But whether whining or venting, I think people here would like to see multitasking of whatever with addressing the problem.


--Booa (going to shut up now...)

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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226858 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 1:39 AM
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Just to shake things up a bit...

Imagine that it was Cap 1 that owed the money for years and onesize that was trying to collect it. If onesize had a law or contract that stated that she could collect those kinds of fees & interest would she hesitate to tack those on to the original charge?

Would we all be egging her on to stick it to CapOne? I think so.

Jim

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Author: catscanner Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226861 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 2:53 AM
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It's like how I deal with my tenants.

If they are late with the rent the first time I note it and make a notation that if they are late again I will collect the first late fee and any subsequent late fees. I don't call them and tell them that is what I am going to do, They signed a contract. I always clearly indicate what will happen if they are late, detailed in a personal letter recapping all important clauses in the lease.

That's that. They sign it,they are responsible. I cut them some slack on the first late fee if they pay on time for the rest of the lease.

cat

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Author: Shirtless1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226862 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 2:53 AM
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Would we all be egging her on to stick it to CapOne? I think so.

Well maybe you guys would be but I wouldn't be. I will give Cap One the same protections against usury by onesize that I think she deserves from them.

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Author: Shirtless1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226863 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 3:04 AM
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An excellent reply booa. You guys are all much smarter and more experienced than me but I stand firm still on this one point. One size is being bullied unfairly.

You've crossed a very important line with that last comment.

Again: I understand the distinction in our situations.

Yet even though it's a fact and even though the best advice you can give her is to accept that and start to deal with it, I can't help but pipe up to say I sympathize. For while I agree the innocent victims of harsh usury policies deserve the greatest sympathy, I even have sympathy for the guilty victims of it.

Your point is spot on, I am treading on saying the protections afforded to the innocent to correct the errors of the system should be exploited to right the different error of immoral yet legal usury charges for onesize. Were the late charge a billion dollars. I would say yes. To heck with all this blather. Do not pay. Exploit the system.

For a $45 charge leading to $1000. You know, it's a gray issue for me. I don't want to spark a debate on philosophical issues regarding whether two wrongs make a right but this is how good people cut some corners and make the exploitation work in their favor for once.

sl1

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226865 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 6:45 AM
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For a $45 charge leading to $1000.

It's called compound interest, and it's how people who just pay the minimums on their cards manage to run up big bills. They might not put thousands of dollars in purchases on their card, but the interest keeps pushing it up and up. And until lately a lot of card companies kept the minimums low enough so that some people, if they only paid the minimum, would never be out of debt.

That's changed. Now the minimum payments have been pushed up, and people can eventually get out of debt.

The nice part is that compound interest can work towards someone's benefit, too, once the money is invested or put in a high-interest savings account.

Is what happened to onesizefitsnone fair? No. But life isn't fair. Please understand me when I say that people have shown up on the board with horror stories that make hers pale in comparison, including husbands and wives who ran up huge bills without the spouse's knowledge. That wasn't fair, either. And they still had to pay.

Please let us know what happens with the collection agency. You have the law on your side, and you can use it to help yourself.

Nancy

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Author: dtschet Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226870 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 1:32 PM
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Crap One has huge profits each quarter.

The corpration recognizes that gains come mainly from fees.

Don't expect them to go away.

It is what makes Crap One great.

d.

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Author: catscanner Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226872 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 2:03 PM
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For a $45 charge leading to $1000.

It's called compound interest, ...............
--------------
And this concept is the same for when you put money on deposit, invest etc. Interest compounding upon interest, either for or against your benefit, is an amazing principle.

cat

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Author: OtherVoices Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226874 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 4:07 PM
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I'm a little late to the party, but something struck me while reading this thread. I agree that it's possible the charges have accrued enough interest and late fees to get up to $1000. Cap One was the first credit card I got without having my parents cosign for me when I was about 18. They allowed me to make purchases over and above my credit limit (I was naive to think the store would just deny the charge). They would then tack on over the limit fees that pushed me further over. My minimum payments at the time brought it just under the limit, but the interest would push it over again and another over the limit fee would be added. They refused to remove any fees and as soon as I had the money to pay it off I closed the account. I'll never get a card from them again, even if it was my fault that I didn't keep track of my spending at the time and charged too much.

I'm not trying to come down on the OP, but I'm wondering if there's something missing in the story.

About 18 months ago I had a little bill of $45, paid it on their website. It never went through. I never heard anyting from them, and $45, I'm sorry, I am not quite anal enough to track everything I get.


If they weren't anal enough to track a payment that apparently never went through, did they "forget" about charges they made as well? Maybe there was more than a $45 balance, but other charges didn't post until after the closing date for that statement cycle. Or is it possible the ex-husband was on the account, or had access to the card and charged some things that they didn't know about?

It would probably be too costly to request copies of old statements to see what all the charges are, and I wonder, if you ask for verification of debt can all the charges be broken out to see what the original purchases were, what the interest is and what the late fees are? It might answer some questions about how Cap One got to their current amounts.



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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226877 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 5:53 PM
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If they weren't anal enough to track a payment that apparently never went through, did they "forget" about charges they made as well? Maybe there was more than a $45 balance, but other charges didn't post until after the closing date for that statement cycle. Or is it possible the ex-husband was on the account, or had access to the card and charged some things that they didn't know about?

You don't even have to get that complicated. Assume a naive cardholder, who did not read the terms and does not know what is coming. Assume there is a small balance carried forward from last month, maybe without even having a charge this month. What happens?

A bill arrives for $45. The cardholder pays it in full, thinks she is done with CapOne, and never opens another piece of mail from them. Next month, the last dab of 2-cycle billing interest gets put on the account. Cardholder, thinking account is paid, never opens the mail. At the end of the cycle, a late fee is applied. Repeat with late fees and interest until over-limit fees apply, then repeat with late fees, over-limit fees, and interest until CapOne sells it to a collection agency.

The financial world is not kind to people who assume it works the way they want it to work and never verify what actually happens.

Patzer

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Author: dtschet Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226878 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 6:00 PM
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Ah Crap One, where a $1.27 finance charge can send you over the limit and add a charge of $30 to your bill.

Stock in the company? I bet you love it!

d.

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Author: Bob78164 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226880 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 6:41 PM
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onesizefitsnone writes (in part):

Six years ago, when I was fresh out of bankruptcy and newly divorced, having to change careers, I got a Capital One card with a credit limit of $250. I charged some stuff, what, I don't remember anymore. I missed a payment.

I reply:

In many states, the statute of limitations for claims on a written contract is four years. I don't know which state's law governs your contract with Capital One, of course, but it sounds like you may well have some recourse under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. There are almost certainly attorneys out there who can advise you of your options. --Bob

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226881 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 6:42 PM
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A bill arrives for $45. The cardholder pays it in full, thinks she is done with CapOne, and never opens another piece of mail from them. Next month, the last dab of 2-cycle billing interest gets put on the account. Cardholder, thinking account is paid, never opens the mail. At the end of the cycle, a late fee is applied. Repeat with late fees and interest until over-limit fees apply, then repeat with late fees, over-limit fees, and interest until CapOne sells it to a collection agency.

The financial world is not kind to people who assume it works the way they want it to work and never verify what actually happens.


You don't have to be anal to deal with credit card companies (although it helps) but you do have to be deeply suspicious. I once called Cap One and complained bitterly because they hadn't sent a statement.

"But you don't owe anything. You paid your card in full and haven't used it since."

"Yes, but I need to SEE it and make sure the payment went through."

And one time I slipped. (Okay, I had a lot on my mind at the time, including a dying job). I received an envelope that said Cap One, opened it, and discovered that I owed finance charges and interest. Called them the next day.

"I never got the December bill. Believe me, I would have paid it."

CSR examines my previous flawless account, and notices that I owed exactly $4.65 prior to the most recent bill. (I had overpaid the November bill, since I knew I had new charges, but obviously not enough).

Quick reversal of the finance charges, but I still had to pay the interest. Check went out that night.

The OP said that she wasn't anal about credit cards or her finances, and that clearly includes not balancing her checking account.

But you know something? She's actually lucky that it was Cap One, and 30%. People have come here with Providian rates of 45%. And the banks admit that they make most of their money from the finance charges. Not the interest, not the merchant fees. The finance charges from people who don't pay on time, or who go over their limit. That's where the big money is.

While hunting for some information the other day I stumbled over a PBS Frontline report on credit cards. There's some fascinating information in it.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/credit/

Nancy

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 226882 of 308478
Subject: Re: Capital One Never Stops Date: 4/29/2006 6:50 PM
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In many states, the statute of limitations for claims on a written contract is four years. I don't know which state's law governs your contract with Capital One, of course, but it sounds like you may well have some recourse under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. There are almost certainly attorneys out there who can advise you of your options. --Bob

Bob,

Credit card companies operate under the laws of the state in which they are chartered, which tends to be either Delaware or South Dakota, both of which have very leniant attitudes when it comes to business law.

Federal law regarding how long a debt can be reported is seven and a half years. The OP's problem is not the six year old bill that she is still ignoring, but the two year old bill that ballooned from $45.00 to $1000.00.

Seven and a half years is length of time that the debts can be reported. Due to various laws, she can get phone calls and letters about them for many, many years.

Nancy

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