My husband, 43 at the time, suddenly starting having a problem with his teeth falling out. After extensive medical testing to rule out other possibilities, ie: dead jaw syndrome, etc., he was sent to an oral surgeon. Nice man in Scottsdale, AZ named Robert Sundberg at Dream Dental. His office assistant Kathy, was nice enough to tell us that most of his dental work would not be covered by his medicare insurance, but not to worry. Humana, his medicare replacement would be billed once a year for the $1,000.00 allowed, and the rest of the $16,000.00 would be billed through a great company called GE Capital. No interest and low monthly payments at around $250.00 a month.
Unfortunately, being as young as we are and with kids to feed, we had to have a cosigner. The dental work was needed asap because of the "raging infection" in his jaw which could turn septic and fatal at any moment. So I called my dad, he agreed to co-sign, the app was approved, and the work was begun within 48 hours.
From the get-go, the problems grew. First, approving the application which listed my husband as primary and my dad as co-signer, they put the entire contract for $16,000.00 in my dad's name. Even though my husband and I began making payments early while waiting for that problem to be fixed, (which never was by the way!) suddenly our payments jumped from $250.00 per month to $350.00 per month after three months of on time, correct payments.
When questioned, they said we had been late on one payment, even though it was by check and our bank showed it was processed through them two days before the due date, they insisted that they had to raise our interest from the original 9% to 11% which resulted in a $100.00 raise in our payments. Nothing would be done. In order to preserve my father's credit, I scrimped some more and ecked out the $350.00 payments anyway.
When Katrina hit, the payment, (I had been sending to the Florida payment center which was actually closed.) was lost. I stopped payment and made a double payment online to ensure that the August payment got there on schedule. They then used the fact that the payment sent to the now closed Flroida office was late and it was my fault for not having mystically known that the office was now closed. They upped the interest rate somemore and the payments were now over $450.00 a month. After finally getting through 6 months of these payments, the interest went back down and the payments went down to $350.00.
My husband, who is disabled due to a work injury since 1999, had to have work done to knees in 2006 which had been screwed by one orthopedic surgeon and now needed revisions done to his knee replacements. This requires a 7 to 10 day stay in a physical rehab facility. Anyone who has medicare knows the kind of co-pay you have for something like this. I called and made arrangements to make $123.00 on this account in order to afford the other medical bills. (Never get hurt on the job in AZ!)
When I received a student loan in January of 2007, I made a $600+ payment hoping to take of January's payment and get ahead of the game with Feb's. (Did you know you can not make payments early? They still expect a payment the next month anyway!) No such luck. I guess GE Capital who now doing business as Care Credit thought this meant I had struck gold or found an oil reserve in my backyard. Now suddenly the payments ballooned back up to $400.00 a month.
Worse yet, periodically through out the past two years, GE Capital kept "misplacing" the information on the account that my husband and I were the ones making payments, my dad was the co-signor, and kept refusing to talk to me until my dad wrote them a letter to their El Paso office which generally took 2 to 3 months to get a reaction from.
From January, (after they received my large payment) until May of 2007, everyone at Care Credit refused to talk to me. Again, in order to save my dad's credit, I had to wait out for them to unscrew the problem and talk to me. I made a $700.00+ payment in March, since no one would talk to me and I had proof of the fact that my father had sent them at least one letter certified giving them permission to talk to me, I refused to make another payment until someone would talk to me.
Finally in May, someone agreed to talk to me, but only if I made a $458 payment. I made the payment and then the only answer I received, in garbled english at best, was so sorry, there's nothing we can do for you. They were now demanding payments in excess of $500.00 per month.
After argueing for another month, I made the only payment I could afford in July of $350.00. I had contacted Kathy, (you remember her, the lovely lady who got us financed through these cretons.) months earlier. To date, she still cannot get any resolution. She says it takes them being hounded by her to return her calls. She has made it as far as the "Practice Development Manager", who refuses to return my calls or hers. I can't find a local attorney to tackle this because of the size of GE/Care Credit/whoever.
Now they say, even though I have proof through my bank of having made over $10,000.00 in payments to GE/Care Credit...they now say we still owe over $14,000.00 on a credit line of $16,000.00. Their payment history doesn't even show the $4000+ we paid in the first 18 months. I received a collection letter last weekend which said that if I had any questions to call this number. So I called and spoke with Ryan Nelson in the Ohio call center. He was supposed to be a supervisor. Yet when I began to try to discuss this matter with him, he stated, "Unless you have a payment to make over the phone, I don't want to discuss this matter with you", and hung up on me! Now what?
One other problem is the fact that you cannot reach anyone with an American accent to save your soul. NO ONE!!!!!! there speaks english. And yet they give you Americanized names which when you call back and state you spoke with so and so, the standard reply is, there is no one in this office by that name! Of course, they're lying a##@# of when you ask for their name.
Someone help me! I need advice, now! They are ruining my father's credit and mine and my husband's sanity. I am making a complaint to the BBB citing all the complaints I have read here as back up. That's all I can do while my father's credit, which he has spent a life time building, is being gleefully flushed down the toilet and GE/Care Credit remain untouched. Hello, it's called loan sharking and usuary!
Queen Creek AZ, Arizona
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