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Iron Man,LadyNRed & anyone else that wants to help...


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I am a little perplexed and need some assistance if you would be so kind.

I am unsure of what to do here...or what would be the best thing to do here. I emailed LadyN Red...but not sure if she got it. My husband and myself got behind in our credit card payments...we have an infant who has brain cancer, and while we were buisy trying to save his life...we were laid off of work for and got behind in our payments. Things are looking up for us now...and we are trying to get things paid up to current etc. Almost all of our creditors have been VERY understanding and have worked with us. Except Capitoal One. We only owned them $800. (that is the card limit). Even while we were "bizzy" with other things for a while...we still managed to mail all our creditors a letter explaining our situation and five dollars a month. Each of them accepted our five bucks (which I thought was a show of agreement on their part to our new arrangement). (our plan was to pay everyone 5 bucks, then starting with the smallest debt...pay off each month...then taking that amount of money and using it to pay off the next lowest debt and so on, until everyone was paid off in full). Only with Capital One they didn't apparently consider that a payment. So they instead showed our payment history as nill. Only paying in the rears and NEVER showing a montly effort.

I guess they then turned over our debt to a Collection Agency. (Small Alliance). Small Alliance then called me on the phone...(they SAID they were Capitol One). they said that we would need to have three payments each month from here on out. (Jan, Feb and March). of $167.00 then and only then would our bill be in "good standing" to avoid further collections.

I had recently been given a birthday present of a little money. (don't get excited...it wasn't THAT much lol). Anyway...CA said that If I made these payments I would no longer have any over limit fees or late fines etc. They took off the then $60 in fines...took my money. then turned around the following week and put the fines back on. (they had also changed my payment due date from the begining of the month to the end of the month at my request, they said that was not a problem). My new balance is now $1296.41 all above $800 is fines and fees etc).

Now keep in mind...they told me they were Capitol One so I didn't know it was a CA.

When I called to find out why I had another $60 in fines on my account...I was told that they did not agree to taking those fines off...and would be adding more of them if I didn't pay ontime in March. Stating that I was already behind in Feb. I told them that my payment due date had been changed. (So I could come up with the money). They told me then that they were NOT going to do that and did not agree to either the payment due date change or the NO fines Jan, Feb, March.

That was also the day that I discovered I had been talking to Small Alliance the CA and not the OC. I called the OC...but when I gave them my account number for reference...they immidiatly transfer your call back to the CA.

Being that they lied to me three times...I asked to speak to the managers, supervisor (like 15 times) and was told that I would not be aloud to speak to anyone else but the manager (that lied to me). So...frustraited I came here....I learned that my arguing with them was a waist of my time and energy....

I downloaded the Vakudation templets...adjusted them to my information. and was prepaired to send them off.

but my quesiton is this. When I called the OC back and told them that I did not want to deal with the CA, they told me that if I paid the CA the two remaining payments of the $167.00 that would in effect "prove myself as worthy for the OC" then the account would revert back to the OC and I would then be a customer again in good standing.

So If I send the CA the two remaining payments am I a looser? I sure hate to do buisness with liers and thieves. But do I need to do that in order to get back on a conversation level with the OC?

I am a little confused as to what would be in my best interest at this time.

ANy idears or suggestions?

My payment for Feb is already over due...and fined etc. my payment for March is due on the 4th, there is not time to send and recieve the Validation form before the 4th at this point. Or even a guarantee that I will recieve a written agreement back from the CA in time to not further screw up the afformentioned agreement between myself and the CA, (even if they are liers).

(shrug) what to do ...what to do???? any help out there? We sure would like to get back to enjoying our baby and his new lease on life...we have been through so much...just want not to have to deal with liers adn theaves...really makes me understand why people hate credit card companies. Sure wish we didn't have one right now. =-(


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You are not in a unique situation here with regard to how creditors and their collection agencies behave. The idea is to grab as much money as possible for an long as possible, hence no payment will ever be satisfactory until the balance is cleared. How valuable is your business relationship with CapitalOne? How valuable is your credit score to you? Given the debt with CapOne is small, call a VP and see if they will negotiate a reduced payoff amount, then instruct them to close your account. (Do not take for granted you will be a customer in good standing again.)If to no avail, consider telling them you may have to file bankruptcy as a result of the medical crisis. If no luck still, then cut off all payment activity until they contact you within a few months with an offer you not refuse! IMO, you don't have much to lose here.

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First and most important, I hope your son is recovering nicely and is cured. How horrible. As to your post, I would call the CA. Tell them you want to pay the money as stated. BUT, due to previous "misunderstandings (lies)", etc., you now want this in writing. In other words, they need to send you the requirements in writing. And you, upon receipt of this will remit immediately the funds, as agreed. Impress on them your willingness to clear the matter, yet, you want to protect yourself from further misunderstandings.

It amazes me how many companies look at money over human life. How sad.

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Wow! What a story!!!!

First, when you start playing the CA's game, they quickly realize that you do not know your rights or the law. They start messing with you big time. They have committed several FDCPA violations, but, because you don't have a recording or anything in writing, you would have a tough time in court. If you keep talking to them, by all means get a tape recorder. Tell them you are taping the conversation (this should straighten up their act).

However, as you discovered, talking to these jerks on the telephone is a waste of time. Do it all in writing. Create the paper trail. Works well in court.

Also, the reason the OC handed you over to the CA is that if the OC gets involved while a CA is handling the case, they can become liable under the FDCPA. I don't have the court case handy, but the ones who know the law won't talk to you at all if it's gone to 3rd party collections.

Also, file a complaint with the FTC at https://rn.ftc.gov/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01 If they get enough of these, hopefully they'll take action.

Don't you wish you had an uncle Guido who knew how to "take care of things" for you?

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Thank you so much for your advice. It really helps to know what others who know more about this stuff would do in the same situation.

Retmar: Thank you for your well wishes...my baby boy was diagnoised at 4 months old and has made it to 3, he is very strong...but they will not consider him in remission until he is 5 years old and with no tumor or cancer re growth. At that time he will still need further surgeries, but they want to wait to make sure the cancer does not come back. So it's one of those on going things. Having him in our life is SO worth all this other crap. That's probably more then any of you wanted to know. But still thank you for asking.

Ghacorp: I figured that my situation was not unique...that is why I brought it here. =-). Husband wants to preserve my credit rating and buiness relationship with Capitol One. But I have my reservations as that is not who I am currently haveing to deal with. The CA is horrible in this case...(I guess their biz name is FMA Alliance, ltd). I would LOVE to negotiate with the VP from Capitol One, as I would settle with them gladly. But as "bw444" stated. The VP at Capitol One will not talk to me while the CA is handling my account. =-( thank you for your advice...got me to thinking about what is more important to us in this situation. Really...with everything else we are dealing with..I just want it to go away...was willing to deal with the CA even...only they do not play by the rules. It may seem like a small amount of money to some...but to us...it's food and medication for my baby. I think I am going to end up making the next two payments to the CA...but feel like such a sucker doing it. I sure hope it does go back to the OC. At least then we can negotiate a settlement and close the account. Again, thank you.

BW4444: Can I just tell them that I am taping the conversation even if I am not? lol....Hate to fork out the money for a telly recorder from Radio Shake when the same penny's could be paying off my bills. I think I will take your advice and just do it all in writing. (maybe use my spell check so they don't know what an idiot I really am lol).

As for the OC not wanting to step on the toes of the CA, I kind of figured that after they would not talk to me. But the fact that they do not identify themselfs when the call is transfered as NOT the OC. when talking to you...is pretty underhanded! I must be slow...took me a little bit to figure out I wasn't talking to the OC lol@me.

Just so you know...I did file a complaint with the FTC, only like you mentioned I do not have any proof really...so would have to recored them etc. I think this industry needs some "sting" oporations funded by the FTC, I can't imagine they wouldn't be able to catch these skummy people left and right!

As far as Uncle Guido...well...I do have a few of those...but I have a feeling that would get me into more trouble then it would solve lol.

What I would like to know is...do the CA's ever send you account back to the OC like I was told by the OC? So is there any chance that once I pay the remainging two payments of $167. each that I will then be a customer again of Capitol One? Or is that a pipe dream?

Second query is: if I send them the Feb payment accompanied with a Validation Form...what would they most likely do at that time? HOw would that effect the proposed March payment?

Again...thank you for trying to help. These people (CA's) are cold hearted, souless people who deserve all the uglyness in their lifes...but people like you...even it all out again...put everyone in the light on a level playing field. Thank you. =-)

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go to http://www.planetfeedback.com and write a letter to Capital One explaining your situation and what you want to do - explain that you want to pay them off and get back in their good graces but you have been lied to repeatedly by the CA so you don't know who to trust or where to turn.

In about a week or so, Eugene Cooke will probably call you (he's a consumer relations guy at Cap One). He's a really nice guy and he will tell you what you need to do.

HTH :)

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Pat yourself on the back, Cookiemnster, that's a good idea. At least worth a try.

As to sending a DV, no need. It won't get the response you want. Remember, you are trying to save your credit, not ruin it.

So, for now, follow the above advice. If it takes too long for a response, then contact CA and ask for everything in writing as to the agreement and follow it until you get the call. This way, you won't get farther behind. Put the money aside so when you have your answer whether from the phone call or agreement from CA, you will have the cash to remit immediately. This will really show that you are determined to solve this problem. Just stand up to the CA. Make sure it states it will return to OC when current.

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First off, let me re-advise everyone out there that I am not a licensed attorney (yet!) therefore my assistance should not be construed as legal opinion or attorney advice.


Now that my butt's covered against any claims for detrimental reliance....

Hi ba!

First off, I hope this finds you and your family in good spirits and your little one in better health....

All of the creditors knew better than to come after you becaue you informed them of your exigent (demanding, severe) circumstances and you were performing in good faith on the contracts with all of them. Doesn't matter that you sent in $5.00. YOU WERE PERFORMING IN GOOD FAITH!!!

CapOne's action may have been seen as unconscionable (unreasonable, "shocks the conscience") in the court if it had to go that far. Any trier of fact (judge or jury) would have put the standard of preserving and protecting life above property any day if any of the creditors would have tried to litigate this.

What they don't realize is that they could have, with your proper proof, forgiven the debt, report debt as paid as agreed, and wrote it off just the same. Geez! If they did that, you probably would have been customers for life wouldn't have you? And it could have made positive news for them too (ummm, press release anyone?)....meaning more customers. They are idiots I say!

As far as CA stuff goes:

Actually, if you don't have a recording, you can keep a log of all telephone calls and the substance of those calls in a book or some organized fashion. You can always chickenscratch points of the conversation for your recollection and then organize them later into a notebook of some sort with a little more detail. Make sure to staple the chicken scratches together if you have any and save those in a separate envelope as well, they can be admissable if necessary.

It's wise to follow-up with a memorialization letter stating the date, time rec'd, time ended, who spoke too, and substance of conversation. These documents will be admissable in court record to show what transpired at that instance in time. Therefore, you'll have material evidence to submit to support your claims later.

If they are identifying themselves as Capital One, they are violating FDCPA:

15 USC 1692(e)(xi): "a debt collector may not make any false or deceptive representations...".

15 USC 1692(e)(xiv): "using a business name other than the true name of the business..."

[There's also case law that backs this up, but I don't have in front of me.]

I agree with everyone else's advice to you. Try to negotitate with Cap One and talk with that guy. I use them too, but never have been late so I haven't had to deal with their dark side.

When you do talk to him, ask him if they can at least forgive the interest and not ding the credit report. Hell, student loans from EdFund do their best to help you out before they do any derogs. as long as you contact them or perform in some fashion to pay.


[Edit by IronMan on Saturday, February 22, 2003 @ 02:33 AM]

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Never assume that a creditor will not negotiate with you while in third party collections or litigation phase as OC's can pull the plug on proceedings at any time. Many Collection Agencies are now setup whereby their clients can get real time updates online about any case currently in collection. Someone in authority at Capital One can speak with you and resolve the situation directly if they chose to do so, but in many cases they simply will not and that may be the situation here.

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