I live in New Orleans and was forced to leave my home for Hurricane Katrina. I contacted Cross Country at the early part of September to find out if my payment made it out of the post office or if it was destroyed along with the post office in N.O.
Upon calling Cross Country I was told my payment had not been received and my new balance now included a past due amount. When I explained my situation, and promised to make a payment for half the amount, I was read the riot act. I offered to pay the original amount but due to the circumstances it would take me a few days to get the money together. I was told I could pay via western union or money gram. I explained that along with my loss of home my husband and I also lost jobs and there was no money coming in at the moment so I could not afford the expense of those companies.
After a few days I called back asking them for their payment address and I was told I was sent to collections already. I questioned this since I was always an on time payer and usually paid more then what I owed. I was told that I was still responsible even during acts of God. When I told them that was absurd and I was trying to cooperate and get them payment that I could not afford they told me it was their policy to send any account to collection that was a possible non payment account.
How can a company assume that one late payment due to circumstances out of anyones control become a non payment account? I was not even 30 days past due.
Fast forward 6 months, I am back at home and have been harrassed daily by their collection department asking for payment in full, including the monthly finance charges, monthly late fees, and whatever else they want to charge. I refused to pay after I was told I was in collections until I spoke to the collection agency.
I have sent numerous requests for my final statement, any statement, collection letter, or any legal form of paper that states my pay off balance. I have not received a statement or letter at all from Cross Country/Allied Bank or collection agency. This has been added to the collection part of my credit report, my amount on my credit report being shown as due is about $600 over the amount of my credit limit and yet when they call they refuse to speak to me but rather just demand payment in 24 hours in full.
I sent a ceist and desist letter to have the phone calls stop but they claim they are/have not received any of these letters. I went so far as to send a return receipt letter and still they call and claim they never received a letter or request or ceist and desist all calls letter. I have the signed receipt.
I have called my state attorney office as well as a local attorney who stated that LA residents (by NFIC I believe) were to be given a 90 day waiver of fees or payment but that interest could still be charged. During the months of Sept-Nov. companies were not to turn any accounts to collection or bring people to court for collection accounts. Cross Country says they dont have to follow this rule. I have paid my total amount owed on the card but refuse to pay the $600 that I have never seen proof of but told I still owe.
How do they expect me to believe my credit went from owing $287 to $993 in 6 months?