• Report: #158923

Complaint Review: MBNA Bank

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  • Submitted: Thu, September 29, 2005
  • Updated: Thu, October 13, 2005

  • Reported By:Tucson Arizona
MBNA Bank
PO Box 15027 Wilmington, Delaware U.S.A.

MBNA Bank Attempted fraud on a senile old lady Ripoff Wilmington Delaware

*Consumer Comment: MBNA Info

*Author of original report: Thanx for all the replies

*Consumer Comment: Let's talk about truth...

*Consumer Comment: Let's talk about truth...

*Consumer Comment: Let's talk about truth...

*Consumer Suggestion: Use credit and fraud laws instead of your mother's dementia to counterattack

*Consumer Comment: MBNA doesn't have a leg to stand on.

*Consumer Comment: One advantage to ruined credit

*Consumer Comment: Sorry to hear about this Larry.

*Consumer Comment: Sorry to hear about this Larry.

*Consumer Comment: Sorry to hear about this Larry.

*Consumer Comment: Sorry to hear about this Larry.

*Consumer Comment: Update! They want $36,278.82

*Consumer Comment: Maybe not a scam, but certainly stupid.

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About ten years ago my mother, then 75, began exhibiting signs of senile dementia. About the time my father died in 1997, MBNA sent my mother a credit card unsolicited. I can only guess that MBNA did this because of my parents' sterling credit history. One of the problems with sending out credit cards to people they did not personally know was that some of these MBNA cards would end up in the hands of persons no longer mentally competent to handle their own affairs.

The rest of the family was unaware that MBNA had issued this card to my mother. By the time we discovered what MBNA had done, over $12,000 worth of charges had been posted to my mother's account. Every one of these charges came from a company called Lottonet, based in Nevis-St. Kitts. (This is a Caribbean island whose primary export is financial fraud.)

Once we discovered these fraudulent charges we contacted MBNA both by phone and by mail. MBNA responded that they would not reverse the charges because more than 60 days had passed since the charges were posted.

Since then we have placed my mother in a nursing home for Alzheimer's patients and I manage her financial affairs. Over the years I have received dozens of letters from MBNA and its various collection agencies, all of them demanding payment in full of the original charges plus accrued interest. I used to respond to their letters but now they all go directly into the trash. (The last one I opened demanded over $25,000.)

I have no legal obligation to pay a fraudulent debt. MBNA could file suit against my mother if they could find her, but my lawyer tells me that I have no duty to reveal where her nursing home is. If they were to sue, the case would be dismissed as my mother is not mentally able to understand the charges and/or assist in her own defense.

MBNA will undoubtedly keep trying to collect and I will keep right on ignoring their worthless demands. In case anyone from MBNA is reading this, my mother has well over $800,000 in stocks and you ain't getting one damn dime of it!

MBNA has a great scam: send a credit card to a senile person, let an off-shore scam artist max out the account, and then claim it's all legit because the senile account holder did not object in time.

Larry
Tucson, Arizona
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/29/2005 10:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/MBNA-Bank/Wilmington-Delaware-19886/MBNA-Bank-Attempted-fraud-on-a-senile-old-lady-Ripoff-Wilmington-Delaware-158923. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

MBNA Info

AUTHOR: Paul - (U.S.A.)

The following is publically available information that can be found on a number of websites. I got it from Yahoo Finance after googling the company name.

MBNA Corp.
1100 North King Street
Wilmington, DE 19884-0131
(the phone # is there too, just go to the website)


Employees 28,000

MBNA Corporation, through its subsidiary, MBNA America Bank, N.A., provides various financial services in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Spain. The company primarily offers lending, insurance, and deposit account products and services. Its lending products include credit cards, consumer loans, home equity loans, aircraft loans, mortgage loans, business credit cards, and other business lending products to individuals and small businesses. (snipped the rest, there's more)


Key Executives

Bruce L. Hammonds , 57
CEO, Pres, Director, Member of Corp. Policy Committee, Member of Exec. Committee of MBNA America Bank N.A

Annual salary: $3.54 million



John R. Cochran III, 53
COO, Member of Corp. Policy Committee, Member of Exec. Committee, Chairman of MBNA America Bank N A, Chief Exec. Officer of MBNA America Bank N A, Pres of MBNA America Bank N A of MBNA America Bank N A

Annual salary: $3.39 million


Richard K. Struthers , 49
Vice Chairman, Member of Corp. Policy Committee, Member of Exec. Committee, Chairman of MBNA Delaware, Chairman - MBNA Europe Bank Limited, Vice Chairman of the MBNA America, Chief Exec. Officer - MBNA Europe Bank Limited, Chief Exec. Officer of MBNA Delaware, Chief Loan Officer of MBNA America, Director of MBNA America, Director of MBNA Delaware of MBNA Europe Bank Limited.

Annual salary: $2.72 million



Kenneth A. Vecchione , 50
CFO, Vice Chairman, Member of Exec. Committee, Vice Chairman of the MBNA America, Chief Financial Officer of MBNA America Bank N.A, Chief Financial Officer of MBNA Delaware of MBNA America Bank N.A

Annual salary: $2.18 million
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#2 Author of original report

Thanx for all the replies

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

My thanks to those of you who have posted your replies to this thread.

Ed, long ago I gave up trying to dispute this with MBNA, NCO, and the various law firms that have submitted claims and threats. Government agencies are unlikely to do much of anything for an individual. As I stated to an earlier reply, having my mother's credit trashed is not a bad thing. No one will be able to gain anything by stealing her identity and she has no need for credit now as she is in a nursing home. This dispute is not likely to be resolved until one of the parties takes the other to court. There is nothing for me to gain by initiating such an action. Oddly, MBNA has little to gain from doing so either. It costs them 37 cents once a month to send out a collection letter and they live on the hope that someone will pay the claim. If they were to go to court, it would cost them at least twenty thousand dollars and they have a high probability of losing.

James, you are correct on one point: I was not there when this all started so I can only deduce what happened from what I was able to find. Whether MBNA sent an unsolicited credit card to a senile person or whether MBNA sent a credit card in response to an unsolicited credit card application sent to a senile person is splitting hairs. What difference does it make? The end result was that a senile person ended up with a credit card.

You are also correct that MBNA had no obligation to conduct a mental health examination before issuing a card. They did, however, have the right to request an examination and chose not to. One of the risks that MBNA takes in running a phone-and-mail-order credit card operation is that because they have no personal relationship with their cardholders they will undoubtedly send some cards out to minors, pets, deceased persons, inmates, identity thieves, and mentally incompetent persons. None of the banks my parents did have a personal relationship with issued a credit card to my mother.

As far as reporting the phone call to the police, just what was I supposed to report? That a person other than myself received a telephone call from someone using an alias at a time she did not notice on a date sometime prior to this? Do I report this to the police in Ohio where my mother lived at the time, the police in Arizona where I live, or the police department in the country where the phone call I did not witness originated? Can you name a single police officer who would leave the donut shop to take this report?

James, are you seriously suggesting that a mentally competent person would call an off-shore company and hand over their credit card information to buy $12,000 worth of "winning lottery information?" What proof do you have that my mother telephoned them? I say they obtained her card information through fraud. What evidence do you have to dispute that? Back in 1998, when this all started, Lottonet was listed on the BBB website as a fraudulent operation.

I hate to burst your bubble, but my mother had already been diagnosed as mentally incompetent by her own physician, a geriatric physician, and the county Adult Protective Services before I learned of the existence of the MBNA credit card. The Social Security Administration also recognizes her as being unable to manage her own affairs. What evidence can you offer that she was not mentally incompetent when the charges were posted against her credit card?

The fact is, James, that MBNA had an opportunity to reverse the fraudulent charges at a time when they still had recourse against Lottonet. That would have been the right thing. Instead, they seek to profit from fraud against a senile old lady. That is the wrong thing.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Let's talk about truth...

AUTHOR: James - (U.S.A.)

We'll start from the beginning...
You state that MBNA sent the card to your mother unsolicited. Either you don't know the whole story, or you're lying. Banks haven't been able to send out unsolicited credit cards since the 1980's. This means that your mother applied for the card either online, over the phone, or by sending in an application.
When taking an application for a credit card, it is not necessary for a bank to test the mental state of the applicant.
You mother states that she "remembers" someone calling her and asking for her credit card information. From your description of her mental state, it's amazing how she remembers this little detail AFTER the fact... Was a police report ever filed to back-up this little fact?
Now, for the kicker... Lottonet is a company that sells "winning lottery information". Meaning, your mother called either a long-distance phone number or a 1-900 number and willingly handed over her credit card information in exchange for supposedly "winning" lottery information.
Your mother's own greed got her into this situation, and you're trying to get her out by using her mental state NOW as an excuse. She was well enough to apply for the card, well enough to use the card (granted, she was a bit naive to think that the lottery numbers she was buying would be winners), and now she's gotta pay for it, sickness or not.
You sound like a fairly intelligent person... Don't let your personal feelings or pride get in the way of doing the right thing.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Let's talk about truth...

AUTHOR: James - (U.S.A.)

We'll start from the beginning...
You state that MBNA sent the card to your mother unsolicited. Either you don't know the whole story, or you're lying. Banks haven't been able to send out unsolicited credit cards since the 1980's. This means that your mother applied for the card either online, over the phone, or by sending in an application.
When taking an application for a credit card, it is not necessary for a bank to test the mental state of the applicant.
You mother states that she "remembers" someone calling her and asking for her credit card information. From your description of her mental state, it's amazing how she remembers this little detail AFTER the fact... Was a police report ever filed to back-up this little fact?
Now, for the kicker... Lottonet is a company that sells "winning lottery information". Meaning, your mother called either a long-distance phone number or a 1-900 number and willingly handed over her credit card information in exchange for supposedly "winning" lottery information.
Your mother's own greed got her into this situation, and you're trying to get her out by using her mental state NOW as an excuse. She was well enough to apply for the card, well enough to use the card (granted, she was a bit naive to think that the lottery numbers she was buying would be winners), and now she's gotta pay for it, sickness or not.
You sound like a fairly intelligent person... Don't let your personal feelings or pride get in the way of doing the right thing.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Let's talk about truth...

AUTHOR: James - (U.S.A.)

We'll start from the beginning...
You state that MBNA sent the card to your mother unsolicited. Either you don't know the whole story, or you're lying. Banks haven't been able to send out unsolicited credit cards since the 1980's. This means that your mother applied for the card either online, over the phone, or by sending in an application.
When taking an application for a credit card, it is not necessary for a bank to test the mental state of the applicant.
You mother states that she "remembers" someone calling her and asking for her credit card information. From your description of her mental state, it's amazing how she remembers this little detail AFTER the fact... Was a police report ever filed to back-up this little fact?
Now, for the kicker... Lottonet is a company that sells "winning lottery information". Meaning, your mother called either a long-distance phone number or a 1-900 number and willingly handed over her credit card information in exchange for supposedly "winning" lottery information.
Your mother's own greed got her into this situation, and you're trying to get her out by using her mental state NOW as an excuse. She was well enough to apply for the card, well enough to use the card (granted, she was a bit naive to think that the lottery numbers she was buying would be winners), and now she's gotta pay for it, sickness or not.
You sound like a fairly intelligent person... Don't let your personal feelings or pride get in the way of doing the right thing.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Use credit and fraud laws instead of your mother's dementia to counterattack

AUTHOR: Ed - (U.S.A.)

Attempting to defeat any liability for the debt on account of your mother's senility won't stop MBNA or debt collectors from pursuing the matter. (Don't get me wrong, I'm sympathetic to what your family is going through; collectors get paid to collect so that's what they focus on - they're not paid to show compassion.) It may be an effective defense in a courtroom, but it probably won't stop them before this matter would get to that point.

Submit a fraud statement (explaining how your mom was coerced into giving her info to Lottnet, and show how ALL the charges came from Lottnet) to all three credit bureaus, MBNA, any and all debt collectors, the FTC and the Attorney General's Offices in your state, in NCO's state and in Delaware (MBNA's headquarters). (One letter, written to MBNA and copied to all parties along with BRIEF explanatory cover letters, should cover the bases nicely. Let MBNA and the debt collectors disprove the blatantly obvious fraud . . .)

If MBNA / debt collectors cannot validate that the alleged debt is your mom's and was not incurred due to fraud then they must delete it from all records and cease and desist all pursuits of it. In effect, they must prove that Lottnet had absolutely no involvement in this situation and that your mother acrively authorized all transactions. They must also validate any alleged interest and fees. Until then, they can't collect and they can't place it on her credit reports.

Don't ignore any collection letters; challenge every one. (It's annoying but once you've drafted a letter that you're comfortable using then modifying it slightly and resending it as needed is easy - you can do it during TV commercials.)

When they break the laws, when they fail to validate the alleged debt (once you challenge them to do so) and yet continue to pursue collections, when they call you after being instructed not to do so, etc., they lose all legal grounds on which to collect the alleged debt (which provides you with even more ammo to show the legal nonexistence of the alleged debt) AND you can invoice them for $1,000 per legal (FCRA or FDCPA) violation.

Assuming you have some form of power of attorney or guardianship over your mom's financial affairs you would have further power to pursue them for defamation, slander, libel, harassment, deceptive business practices, etc. - the list goes on.

I've tangled with MBNA and NCO myself in the past. (Once NCO received notice of the Attorney General investigation they immediately ceased and desisted any and all activities regarding the alleged debt - they sent it straight back to MBNA within 6 hours.) Ironically, MBNA ignored an official mandate of "permanently de-list and never again attempt to collect the alleged debt" yet MBNA (after waiting a while) re-listed it on my credit report. (I'll be submitting my own report soon.)
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#7 Consumer Comment

MBNA doesn't have a leg to stand on.

AUTHOR: Jessica - (U.S.A.)

Larry those idiots at MBNA don't have a leg to stand on. Sounds like your mother got scammed into giving away her info over the phone and those people used it to open an account. Those people probably opened an account with her info on the internet. MBNA won't have any record of an application. Whatever address they used was probably not your moms, they probably had the card sent directly to them. They have to take this as a loss, they have nothing here. Eventually they will realize it. They have to give you all info pertaining to the original application. It's a matter of time before they put it all together.
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#8 Consumer Comment

One advantage to ruined credit

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

Jessica,

Thanks for your input.

My mother told me once during the time when the charges were first posted that someone from "the bank" called and asked for her credit card information. She pressed them for an explanation and they said that the bank's computer had crashed and they were trying to rebuild their database. This preposterous story was good enough for her so she gave the caller her account information. I can only assume that this how the Lottonet people got her account number.

One good thing about having a trashed credit history is that no one will be able to use my mother's information to open fraudulent accounts in her name.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Sorry to hear about this Larry.

AUTHOR: Jessica - (U.S.A.)

What a frustrating situation, Larry. Maybe I can offer some insight. I used to work for a major credit card company and I am very familiar with the laws governed by the OTS.

It is true that the 60 day dispute timeframe is not of MBNA's choosing. It is a regulation. However, they are perfectly capable of running an investigation on a dispute whenever they want. The company I worked for, under certain circumstances, would dispute a charge with a vendor even after the 60 day mark. It just comes down to customer service at this point. They can 'chargeback' any vendor for an unauthorized charge. Also, they cannot just randomly send a card out to your mother. If she already had an account, they could upgrade it without her permission and send a new account for that reason but they cannot just send a credit card completely unsolicited and never signed for. That's why the invitation mailers go out. They notify people they qualify for an account and give them the chance to accept it. Was anyone else living in the residence with your mother at the time that could have possibly signed a solicitation letter to get the card for their own use? I know it's a horrible thought but I dealt with that situation many times while working in customer service. Also, the first use of the card is the same thing as accepting the terms and conditions of the account. So to MBNA the very fact that the card was ever used is an acceptance of the contract or terms/conditions of the account. That is basically why they aren't budging from trying to collect this money. Especially because it is for such a high amount. They are required to keep, on file for 7 years, copies of all applications. Ask them for a copy of your mother's application (or the solicitation letter, they have to keep that too). Tell them you won't even consider dealing with them until you see one. Tell them you need to know exactly when the account was opened and that you want to see copies of all receipts on the account (they can request these from the merchants) . Eventually they will realize they have to write this debt off. If you can prove that at the time your mother was incompetent they have nothing to go on. They just try to push it and push it until someone gives in and pays something. Don't give them a dime!! Maybe even write on the collection letters 'return to sender'.

I hope these suggestions help you get some answers. If not, I would just ignore them. You aren't obligated to give them anything. It just sucks that your mother's once 'sterling credit' has to be tarnished. Good luck!
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#10 Consumer Comment

Sorry to hear about this Larry.

AUTHOR: Jessica - (U.S.A.)

What a frustrating situation, Larry. Maybe I can offer some insight. I used to work for a major credit card company and I am very familiar with the laws governed by the OTS.

It is true that the 60 day dispute timeframe is not of MBNA's choosing. It is a regulation. However, they are perfectly capable of running an investigation on a dispute whenever they want. The company I worked for, under certain circumstances, would dispute a charge with a vendor even after the 60 day mark. It just comes down to customer service at this point. They can 'chargeback' any vendor for an unauthorized charge. Also, they cannot just randomly send a card out to your mother. If she already had an account, they could upgrade it without her permission and send a new account for that reason but they cannot just send a credit card completely unsolicited and never signed for. That's why the invitation mailers go out. They notify people they qualify for an account and give them the chance to accept it. Was anyone else living in the residence with your mother at the time that could have possibly signed a solicitation letter to get the card for their own use? I know it's a horrible thought but I dealt with that situation many times while working in customer service. Also, the first use of the card is the same thing as accepting the terms and conditions of the account. So to MBNA the very fact that the card was ever used is an acceptance of the contract or terms/conditions of the account. That is basically why they aren't budging from trying to collect this money. Especially because it is for such a high amount. They are required to keep, on file for 7 years, copies of all applications. Ask them for a copy of your mother's application (or the solicitation letter, they have to keep that too). Tell them you won't even consider dealing with them until you see one. Tell them you need to know exactly when the account was opened and that you want to see copies of all receipts on the account (they can request these from the merchants) . Eventually they will realize they have to write this debt off. If you can prove that at the time your mother was incompetent they have nothing to go on. They just try to push it and push it until someone gives in and pays something. Don't give them a dime!! Maybe even write on the collection letters 'return to sender'.

I hope these suggestions help you get some answers. If not, I would just ignore them. You aren't obligated to give them anything. It just sucks that your mother's once 'sterling credit' has to be tarnished. Good luck!
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#11 Consumer Comment

Sorry to hear about this Larry.

AUTHOR: Jessica - (U.S.A.)

What a frustrating situation, Larry. Maybe I can offer some insight. I used to work for a major credit card company and I am very familiar with the laws governed by the OTS.

It is true that the 60 day dispute timeframe is not of MBNA's choosing. It is a regulation. However, they are perfectly capable of running an investigation on a dispute whenever they want. The company I worked for, under certain circumstances, would dispute a charge with a vendor even after the 60 day mark. It just comes down to customer service at this point. They can 'chargeback' any vendor for an unauthorized charge. Also, they cannot just randomly send a card out to your mother. If she already had an account, they could upgrade it without her permission and send a new account for that reason but they cannot just send a credit card completely unsolicited and never signed for. That's why the invitation mailers go out. They notify people they qualify for an account and give them the chance to accept it. Was anyone else living in the residence with your mother at the time that could have possibly signed a solicitation letter to get the card for their own use? I know it's a horrible thought but I dealt with that situation many times while working in customer service. Also, the first use of the card is the same thing as accepting the terms and conditions of the account. So to MBNA the very fact that the card was ever used is an acceptance of the contract or terms/conditions of the account. That is basically why they aren't budging from trying to collect this money. Especially because it is for such a high amount. They are required to keep, on file for 7 years, copies of all applications. Ask them for a copy of your mother's application (or the solicitation letter, they have to keep that too). Tell them you won't even consider dealing with them until you see one. Tell them you need to know exactly when the account was opened and that you want to see copies of all receipts on the account (they can request these from the merchants) . Eventually they will realize they have to write this debt off. If you can prove that at the time your mother was incompetent they have nothing to go on. They just try to push it and push it until someone gives in and pays something. Don't give them a dime!! Maybe even write on the collection letters 'return to sender'.

I hope these suggestions help you get some answers. If not, I would just ignore them. You aren't obligated to give them anything. It just sucks that your mother's once 'sterling credit' has to be tarnished. Good luck!
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#12 Consumer Comment

Sorry to hear about this Larry.

AUTHOR: Jessica - (U.S.A.)

What a frustrating situation, Larry. Maybe I can offer some insight. I used to work for a major credit card company and I am very familiar with the laws governed by the OTS.

It is true that the 60 day dispute timeframe is not of MBNA's choosing. It is a regulation. However, they are perfectly capable of running an investigation on a dispute whenever they want. The company I worked for, under certain circumstances, would dispute a charge with a vendor even after the 60 day mark. It just comes down to customer service at this point. They can 'chargeback' any vendor for an unauthorized charge. Also, they cannot just randomly send a card out to your mother. If she already had an account, they could upgrade it without her permission and send a new account for that reason but they cannot just send a credit card completely unsolicited and never signed for. That's why the invitation mailers go out. They notify people they qualify for an account and give them the chance to accept it. Was anyone else living in the residence with your mother at the time that could have possibly signed a solicitation letter to get the card for their own use? I know it's a horrible thought but I dealt with that situation many times while working in customer service. Also, the first use of the card is the same thing as accepting the terms and conditions of the account. So to MBNA the very fact that the card was ever used is an acceptance of the contract or terms/conditions of the account. That is basically why they aren't budging from trying to collect this money. Especially because it is for such a high amount. They are required to keep, on file for 7 years, copies of all applications. Ask them for a copy of your mother's application (or the solicitation letter, they have to keep that too). Tell them you won't even consider dealing with them until you see one. Tell them you need to know exactly when the account was opened and that you want to see copies of all receipts on the account (they can request these from the merchants) . Eventually they will realize they have to write this debt off. If you can prove that at the time your mother was incompetent they have nothing to go on. They just try to push it and push it until someone gives in and pays something. Don't give them a dime!! Maybe even write on the collection letters 'return to sender'.

I hope these suggestions help you get some answers. If not, I would just ignore them. You aren't obligated to give them anything. It just sucks that your mother's once 'sterling credit' has to be tarnished. Good luck!
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#13 Consumer Comment

Update! They want $36,278.82

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

Talk about timing! I filed the original report just three days ago and today I got another collection notice from MNBA's lap dog, NCO Portfolio Management. They now claim that my mother owes them $36,278.82.

Their letter starts off "Assuming your failure to previously pay this obligation was due to an oversight, . . ."

It's not an oversight. It's a screw-you-and-the-donkey-you-rode-in-on refusal to pay these bloodsuckers.

Basic contract law: you cannot form a contract with a mentally incompetent person. The sixty-day limit on objections does not apply because there was no legal contract between MBNA and my mother from the outset.

My next step is to print this entire thread out and send it back to NCO. I'll let you know what their response is.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Maybe not a scam, but certainly stupid.

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

I am sorry that you and your family are dealing with your mother's Alzheimers. It's not easy watching someone deteriorate so slowly before you eyes.

As to MBNA. I doubt they check anyone's mental capacity prior to sending out credit card offers.

The 60 day requirement is, I believe, a banking regulation and not of MBNA's choosing.

You may wish to speak to an attorney concerning MBNA's ability to place a claim against you mother's estate after she passes.

I was given power of attorney for my own mother's financial affairs after my father died in 1999. 5 years after her death and I am still receiving credit card offers in her name.

Credit card issuers can be very frustating to deal with. I hope all works out for the best.
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