I too have been a victim of Advanta Bank. I have had a business credit card with them for over 2 years. I made my payments on time and almost always paid more than the minimum balance. Prior to them closing the account in May, 2009 with only a few days notice, I noticed that the interest rate was steadily rising. Now, it is virtually impossible to make even the minimum payment. The balance owed had ballooned to $23,000.00. I phoned Advanta on July 1, 2009 and told them that I would not be able to make the payment which was due on July 4th in time, but that I would send them the payment before the end of the month so that it would not be 30 days past due. I have excellent credit...in the 800s...and I explained to them that it was very important for me to not have any "past due" accounts since I was in the midst of obtaining additional financing for my business. Less than 1 week after making this phone call, I started getting telephone calls from Advanta at my home, on my cell phone, and at my business regarding my "past due" account. There were as many as 5 calls per day.
On Monday, July 13th, Advanta called my home. My husband intercepted the call. He spoke to Mercedes regarding the account wherein she said it was "past due". On Tuesday, July14th, he placed another call and spoke to Brian Valenzuela at 800-360-7397. Brian was asked to reduce the amount owed so that we cold pay it off completely. Brian said it could not be done. He said that we had to either make the scheduled payment or wait 90 days and it would go to collection. Then a settlement would be offered. Brian was told that that was not acceptable. Why should someone who wanted to pay the account be forced into collections? Later that day, around 2:00pm, Brian called and offered a settlement of $6,996,00. The following morning at 9:00am my husband and I phoned Advanta. We finally got Brian on the phone and told him that we would pay the $6,996.00 immediately by electronic check.
He told us that there had been a mistake in the system and a settlement offer should not have been made. He said something happened with the computers and a lot of people who were offered settlements by mistake. We asked him to please go back to his boss or to talk to whomever he needed to in his organization and have this settlement offer approved. He promised to call us back within the hour. That was 4 days ago.
We continue to get repeated phone calls. The last one was from Linda who explained that the numbers were on an "automatic dial" because we are "past due". Trying to explain does no good whatsoever. Each time a call has come in I have asked to speak to Brian and have yet to be connected.
This entire situation is outrageous and grossly unjust, not just for me but for the other million or so other small business owners who were unfortunate enough to accept an Advanta Business Card.
An injunction needs to be filed immediately stopping them from any further collection activity, from any form of credit reporting, from any type of correspondence including phone calls, and to freeze all accounts until there is an outcome from a congressional investigation and class
action law suit.