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I just wanted to check in and see if I'm on the right track.

Last April (2013) I was buying a lot of household goods at Target as we set up a new apartment. When I was buying a $300 entertainment stand, the asst. manager suggested I apply for their RedCard to get the 5% discount. Like an idiot, I did. What I was buying was over the temp. CC limit, so I made a payment from another CC on the spot, which freed up the limit so I could buy the stand.

Couple weeks later, I got the real card, and put it in the file cabinet--and never thought any more about it.

The address Target had was the home we now go to on weekends, but we have someone picking up our mail and that's worked fine for over a year.

This week I got a dunning letter from a collection agency--Target discharged this in Dec. and turned it over to ARM, a CA.

I don't understand how what should have been an initial bill, a couple of late notices, and maybe a final notice went missing.

The CA has a total, but there's no paperwork anywhere as to how much of this is late charges, etc.

I've written a dispute letter to ARM, asking for verification. They're offering to settle a $469 claim for $399, but I don't want to do anything without seeing some documentation.

Does this sound right, or am I missing anything?

Target was no help, by phone or online, btw. Everything led back to the ARM folks.

cm
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I've written a dispute letter to ARM, asking for verification. They're offering to settle a $469 claim for $399, but I don't want to do anything without seeing some documentation.

Does this sound right, or am I missing anything?

Yup. Don't do anything without the paperwork, and don't agree to anything that isn't in writing.

I don't understand how what should have been an initial bill, a couple of late notices, and maybe a final notice went missing.
Something like 20 years ago, mom opened up a card at Dillard's to take advantage of a 20% off offer. We never got anything from them until a 90-day late notice arrived with the accompanying "WTF?!?" After calling their people, it turned out that whoever entered the data from the application had fat-fingered the ZIP code, and it wasn't until someone at the post office said "Hey, $CITY should be this code, let's just forward it over there and maybe they'll know what to do with it," that we finally got the bill. Once they realized it was their error that kept us from getting the bills, they cancelled not just the card, but all late fees and penalties as well.

Whether or not that's possible in your case, I can't say. Usually once an account is sold off, working something out with the original creditor beyond finding the reason why you didn't get the bills, and if it's on them, forcing them to close it in good standing, isn't an option.
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I don't understand how what should have been an initial bill, a couple of late notices, and maybe a final notice went missing.

You received the real card which means your address was correct. It sounds like you never paid the balance due, which means the balance wasn't paid.

If the account was setup for email notices, it is possible that the notices were routed to spam or your email account was wrong.

Its iffy but since you have the card, you could try to access the account history online.
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Can't access anything online, since it's been closed for months. I pulled my credit report and that's strange, too. The only time I used it was one week in late April; they've got zero for May billing, then $268 in June (which wasn't from a purchase, unless it was from 4/20 or so) and then $40 late charge every month.

No email in spam, trash, etc.

Ugh--the only negative on my credit report and it's really glaring.

I faxed a letter of dispute per their instructions but I'm going to send a hard copy by certified mail tomorrow.

As I said, ugh.

cm
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The only time I used it was one week in late April; they've got zero for May billing, then $268 in June (which wasn't from a purchase, unless it was from 4/20 or so) and then $40 late charge every month.

Was the purchase that you made for $268? Because if it was, that timing probably works from a credit reporting perspective. Most credit card companies report to the credit bureau based on when the payment is due, not when the bill is produced.

In your case, if we assume the purchase was made on 4/20, the bill showing the payment due probably would have been produced/sent in early to mid-May (in theory, anyway), with the payment due 3 - 3 1/2 weeks later - probably in early June. So the credit bureau would show it as a June balance.

Ugh--the only negative on my credit report and it's really glaring.

Yep. A charged off account generally has a pretty significant impact on your credit score.

AJ
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Well, the date explanation makes sense, then. This sounds like it's going to be a real project. Thanks for breaking the timing down.

cm
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Well, the date explanation makes sense, then. This sounds like it's going to be a real project. Thanks for breaking the timing down.

cm

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How much was the payment you made with the other credit card?

The difference between the price of the entertainment center and the limit?

Is there any mention of the payment by the other card on the Target card. Did the payment show up on the other card?

Jean
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How much was the payment you made with the other credit card?

The difference between the price of the entertainment center and the limit?

Is there any mention of the payment by the other card on the Target card. Did the payment show up on the other card?


On that same day, I made payments of $141.97, $132.78, and $22.95. 3 days later, I paid $294.08. All those were with my other CC. The stand was between $150-$190, and I *think* it was that first day.

There's no mention of anything--I don't have a bill from Target, and never set up an online account (tried now, but since it's been charged off and closed, I can't.)

I've got 99% of receipts from that time period, just not this one.

cm
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Ugh--the only negative on my credit report and it's really glaring.

I faxed a letter of dispute per their instructions but I'm going to send a hard copy by certified mail tomorrow.

As I said, ugh.

cm


Unfortunately, mistakes happen and only time may fix the consequences.

The balance stated doesn't seem unreasonable for overlimit and late charges. After the first month, the interest and late fee, probably took the account over the $300 limit.
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cabinsmama,

You wrote, I've written a dispute letter to ARM, asking for verification. They're offering to settle a $469 claim for $399, but I don't want to do anything without seeing some documentation.

Does this sound right, or am I missing anything?


It sounds like you actually owe this debt. But it also sounds like Target might have violated the Fair Debt Collections Act.

Have you considered a different tactic? Perhaps offering them the full amount in exchange for removing it from your credit report? Of course the problem here is that if Target (the original creditor) is also on your report, you might not be able to get them both to agree to removing their marks.

I might take a carrot and stick approach here. Tell them you think Target violated the Fair Billing Act by failing to provide a bill at your address. Tell them you're willing to pay them off to make it all go away; but you're also willing to fight since your credit report has been damaged by Target's incompetence. If they can agree to get it all fixed, you're pay... If not, tell them you might have to file suit so you can force discovery...

Ideally you'd want written correspondence from a lawyer ... but that's pretty extreme as engaging a lawyer would cost $$$ and if it were worth it would depend on how much you think you might miss out on with this ding on your report.

In theory, all of this may be fixable with enough time and money ... but whether its worth it is a largely subjective matter.

- Joel
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