Woman Sues Capital One For Debt Collection Harassment After Letter Demanding $286 Million
(Philadelphia, PA) -A woman saying she was harassed by Capital One for a disputed $4,000 credit card debt has filed suit after the bank demanded more than $ 286 million dollars. Attorney Craig Thor Kimmel of Kimmel and Silverman, P.C., an Ambler-based consumer law firm, has filed the suit on behalf of Patrice Perry in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.
According to the complaint, Capital One first demanded Perry pay $3,845 for purchases on a credit card. Perry disputed the debt and turned the letter over to her family lawyer, who wrote Capital One to cease and desist contacting Perry directly. Disregarding the letter, Capital One allegedly stepped up collection efforts, placing more calls to Perry and claiming that it was doing so because the lawyer did not make a substantial settlement offer to resolve the account. Telephone calls were made to her home and workplace, where she alleges, her employer does not allow personal calls.
Subsequently, Perry received more letters, each demanding different amounts, some higher than others, all threatening legal action if not paid promptly. The letters failed to state how the varying amounts were calculated or if amounts sought were based upon any contract between Capital One and Perry authorizing such charges. After a second cease and desist letter from the family lawyer was disregarded, Capital One in response sent a letter demanding immediate payment of $286,651,237 from Perry. The letter went on to instruct Perry to mail full payment in the envelope provided. It was at this time that Perry’s family lawyer contacted Kimmel, who assumed representation.
The complaint alleges the $286 million demand was so outrageous that it could not be the result of a computer glitch, and that it required human intervention to be sent. Perry alleges the basis for sending it was embarrass, humiliate, intimidate and cause emotional distress, of amounts incapable of being understood.
The lawsuit alleges that Capital One was compelled to cease communication upon receipt of the initial letter from her family lawyer and used false, deceptive and misleading communications to collect a debt.
Perry further claims that Capital One threatened to report the disputed debt to the credit reporting agencies, which would adversely affect her FICO credit score and unnecessarily make her other creditors insecure.
“Harassing calls, disregard for a lawyers written instructions on two occasions, demands for payment of differing and arbitrary amounts and the final letter seeking more than $286 Million, demonstrates serious abuses at the collection office of Capital One.” says Attorney Kimmel. “From this example we see how a financial terrorist works in today’s economic times and that is by escalating tensions, pushing the person to the limit, and making threats, without regard for civility, accuracy or the legal rights of the individual. No one should ever suffer the indignity and humiliation my client has experienced.”
Kimmel advises consumers to be guarded with creditors and debt collectors working for them. He recommends seeking legal advice before paying disputed debts, entering repayment agreements or providing/confirming personal information. Under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act consumers have substantial protection from this type of behavior with the debt collector, who must pay all legal fees of the consumers lawyer”, says Kimmel, “and most states, like Pennsylvania in this case, offer similar protections from creditor abuse of the type Capital One undertook with Ms. Perry.”
For more information regarding consumers’ rights in dealing with debt collection harassment, please visit www.creditlaw.com.
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