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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

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Lawsuit: Capital One Sent Me Letter Demanding $286 Million

Comments 7 Comments

  1. Is the demand for 286 million in and of itself harassment? That would be an interesting issue to argue. It is quite common for debt collectors to ignore attorney’s letters, which does damage the attorney-client relationship. Some people, unfortunetely, based an attorney’s value on whether the debt collector’s will abide by the attorney’s demands. This story will be an interesting one to follow.

      Comment by Debt collection abuse in Massachusetts, George E. Bourguignon, Jr. on December 13th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    • The worst mistake a consumer can make is to send a cease and desist request to a credit card company. Because credit card company account managers can no longer contact the customer, the account is sent to a legal collection agency, where they can and will continue to contact the customer. It’s a sure way to get yourself sued for the full balance. You’re much better off working directly with the credit card company. A word of advice from someone who works in recoveries.

        Comment by Jane Doe on February 26th, 2011 at 10:55 am

      • Anyone reading that response by “Jane Doe” should ask themselves how many “understanding” “fair” or “nice” collection departments of a credit card company they’ve dealt with. These are the same people who charge high interest and surprise fees of all sorts.

        An account that has gone into default will be sent to a debt collector at some point. Debt collectors must follow rules that most creditors do not, at least under Federal Law. A creditor can engage in practices that would be entirely actionable if performed by a debt collector.

        We do not agree in any way with the advice in the commentator’s post.

          Comment by admin on February 28th, 2011 at 4:03 pm

        • She should pay her bills and this would not happen.. Besides the mistake on the one letter for the payment of $286,651,237 they did nothing wrong. You can just hire an attorney to send a letter to stop them from collecting a debt unless the attorney was hired to file a BK. If she owed the $$ she should have paid it to stop the calls and mail request for payment. Now guess what she doesn’t have to pay but in the long run we will have to pay it for her in higher taxes and fees to the credit card companies. THANKS TO YOU MS. PERRY FOR NOT PAYING YOUR BILLS AND PASSING THE BUCK TO ME TO DO SO FOR YOU!!! She is a dead beat turned victum! I believe any judgement ordered should not go to her it should be charged as a fine and given to charity.

            Comment by Smith on March 30th, 2011 at 4:52 pm

          • Listen Capital One is the pits. My account went over the limit because they had refunded back over $4,000 that was disputed, then I charged about $2,000, seeing I had the credit available.
            Weeks later, they re billed the $4,000, then that put me over the card limit. They immediately put my account with their collection dept., with no explanation, and no time to discuss this matter with them.
            They keep calling even after I called them and explained the problem and that I would keep paying my monthly minimum plus, as I always have. Never late, never missed a payment, so I cannot understand why they sent me to collections!

              Comment by mel on May 23rd, 2011 at 8:37 am

            • Capital One is one of the most formidable agencies that one can come across. The lady has done just fine to have sued the agents for their violations of the laws. I am sure Perry must have gone through a lot of discomfort with Capital One’s harassment’s and so decided to go legal.

                Comment by FDCPA on June 16th, 2011 at 4:26 am

              • Does anyone know if she won the case and if she received anything? Would love to know the outcome as I believe I have a case against them.

                  Comment by Dawn smith on August 28th, 2020 at 10:47 am

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