Recently I was out with some co-workers who had mentioned when they checked their bank balances, they had negative amounts and they couldn't understand why this was the case. I jokingly suggested that I needed to check my balance as well since we all used the same bank.
Sure enough upon getting home from work that very evening, I had a negative balance so I figured maybe this particular bank had some sort of glitch, so I called.
The lazy rep tells me that there was a "legal hold" on my accounts and that I needed to contact the Civil Court in New York county for more information and gives me a telephone number. I Google the number only to find numerous complaints referring to this Paul J. Hooten who had frozen people's bank accounts without any warning.
I called my bank back and was lucky enough to get a representative who had no problem doing their job, as opposed to the lazy one who only provided the telephone number. Thanks to her I was able to obtain the so-called amount of the judgment Hooten had entered against me, as well as additional helpful information.
I was at least able to get some legal advice today and learned there is a new law effective as of January 1, 2009 which is supposed to enforce the proper procedure banks and the scam artists such as this Hooten are supposed to follow TO THE letter, before anyone's accounts are allowed to be frozen since mine and thousands of other people this Hooten has filed judgments against on debts way beyond the statute of limitations were done improperly.
Ironically after speaking to the 2nd rep at my bank, I checked all three of my credit reports and there were no derogatory remarks to be found which makes this whole thing smell RANK.
I have things that didn't clear as of yet, as well as upcoming bills and NO MONEY to my name that I can access, at least -- and all the bank could say was that I would be liable for any insufficient funds fees incurred if anything was returned unpaid. Meanwhile they froze my accounts on the word of this snake without even allowing me to dispute the debt.
I cannot believe that people are allowed to get away with these things, but I certainly intend to fight this and do everything I can to put this Hooten out of commission because I will not let him get rich off of me, while I am placed in this awful position having to explain I need payment plans because I have no money. Yet this snake has a levy for TWICE the supposed amount I owe in collections (because NY State law allows this), and my accounts cannot be unfrozen until this amount is met.
Strapped & Cashless
New York, New York