• Report: #758580

Complaint Review: Target National Bank

  • Submitted: Sat, July 30, 2011
  • Updated: Fri, August 05, 2011

  • Reported By: payback — central Illinois United States of America
Target National Bank
Minneapolis, Minnesota United States of America

Target National Bank Target Department Sores Target Victimizes Both the Living and the Dead Minneapolis, Minnesota

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I too know how bad it can be

*Consumer Comment: Exactly

*Consumer Comment: I really don't understand what the OP is complaining about

*General Comment: Bottom feeders indeed

*Consumer Comment: No sympathy for the devil

*Author of original report: what a difference a day makes

*Consumer Comment: Just

*General Comment: Bottom feeders indeed

*General Comment: A comment...

*General Comment: Here we go

*Consumer Comment: Thank you & do not let these fools find you discouraged.

*Author of original report: Thank you!

*Author of original report: as long as that's what you believe...

*Consumer Comment: Sins of the Mother: Here comes the industry narrative reinforcing annecdote.

*General Comment: You have NOT been ripped off

*Consumer Comment: That is awful.

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     I am reporting on behalf of my deceased mother who was an account holder of Target National Bank's Red Card. Her account was opened at a time when she owned no real property but had retirement assets. My mother was a kind, warm-hearted and generous woman, but really had no talent for credit management. She had sold her home and most of her few hard assets to pay down debt, trying to avoid bankruptcy, but, by the end of the millenium, she just couldn't do it, too many credit cards had piled on with bait and switch rates and she was forced to file Chapter 7, losing her entire retirement savings and what few hard assets (car, jewelry) she still had at that time. She was left with only a modest SSI benefit and moved in with her daughter because she didn't want to apply for subsidized housing benefits. At least the original creditors took their settlements and left her in peace -all but one that is -Target Department Stores and their Red card chose to leave her account open even after they were notified &/or received a settlement from the court. Of course, they also charged juice loan level interest -most recently 24.99%.

     My mother kept the card secret from her children -made sure she got her exercise by walking to the mailbox etc, because she knew they would insist the card be closed. The addict always protects the addiction & she thought she could "handle it". She only used the card when with friends or family members from whom the Chapter 7 had been kept secret and what she used it for was mainly holiday, birthday & shower gifts -her way of "handling" it. But at double digit revolving interest with a small income and big medical insurance payments, it doesn't take much time to grow a balance-and they gave her a $10K limit -not the $250-500 that would make some sense.

     We only found out about the card when Mom was in the hospital after surgery for pancreatic cancer-we were furious, but you really don't scream at your Mom when she's fighting for her life. She continued to pay what was possible on the card each month while she was undergoing chemo and we believed we would have a year or so; time to pay most of it down, but, her cancer suddenly returned in a more agressive form and she expired 3-4 months before the earliest estimates of any of her doctors. What she had left in her account was far less than the cost of her funeral and burial -we paid the rest out of pocket & none of us is in that upper 2% they talk about. The Red card was her only outstanding debt, no one else was a user or co-signer. We notified Target Bank of her death with our apologies that she was unable to pay any more of the balance as she had no assets (which of course, they knew when choosing to extend credit after bankruptcy). We heard nothing initially, but apparently, they mistake courtesy for weakness.

      About a month later, a letter addressed "To the Estate of the Late _ _" was delivered to the address of the daughter she lived with. At the time, the daughter was helping another relative with child care and a neighbor was taking in her mail, so, an answering machine was picking up phone calls too. Target and their bank had turned over the balance to a company "specializing " in "deceased account care", Phillips & Cohen (Google them -many violations of FDCPA, many upset victims). What this firm does is attempt to squeeze, coerce, wheedle  or steal money from the relatives of deceased persons with no scruples about the fact that the LAW states that relatives are not personally responsible for the debts incurred by another family member-they even try to get people to take out loans to pay them. During the time the daughter was away, at least 21 calls were made by P & C to her phone, with several automated messages left, despite the fact the phone was never in the name of the deceased and the answering machine does not identify the name associated with the number. They never identify themselves as a collection agency, but also do not identify their company (caller ID "unavailable")name. The letter, though it does mention that family members are usually not responsible for the debt, comes with a tear-off top, marked as "enclose with payment". Ambiguous at best.

     We consulted our attorney at once. Today a letter with reiteration that the account holder died without any estate and a copy of death certificate was sent to this company via certified mail demanding they cease and desist from calling immediately and notifying them that any further contact by phone will be recorded and referred to the Illinois State's Attorney and our personal attorney for formal complaint. But why is this even necessary?

     Yes, Mom incurred the debt, that was her choice, and, yes, it was a foolish one. But what about a company/bank which has EVERY reason to know (Chapter 7, credit history, income, age of account holder) that they are probably, if not assuredly, going to face a default in the not too distant future? What choice are they responsible for making? There is a law (Hamilton) making it a crime to provide drugs to a known addict-why is there not something similar for providing unsecured credit to a known credit risk? Target made their choice too -I guess that old 24.99% revolving interest was just too tempting for their obvious addiction to greed. This is a company without scruples and totally without honor. Our large extended family will be boycotting Target and any affiliated company or political candidate who receives contributions from them (ie a certain female presidential candidate from Minnesota & Iowa). The nice thing is that most of us are right in their favorite demographic -and so are our friends.

Inside of one year, we will be able to cost Target 2 to 3 times the amount outstanding on Mom's card when she left this life -and that's just the start. Why does it not occur to these parasites that we would rather have had her here for another few months and paid their juice loan than have her gone? No, they don't give a d**n -and I bet they call themselves Christians too. Funny, their choices and actions give no indication they've ever heard a word of the sermon on the mount. All they can aspire to is to be usurers, cheats and parasites who then style themselves as the "elite". We hope that anyone reading this report will join us in choosing to shop at other stores and websites- never at Target. We hope you will cut up the Red Card if you have one, and make another choice when you apply for credit. We also hope you will consider the consequence of voting for any candidate who would accept money from a company who uses dishonest means to obtain that money. These are grave robbers -please, shun them.  

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/30/2011 02:04 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Target-National-Bank/Minneapolis-Minnesota-/Target-National-Bank-Target-Department-Sores-Target-Victimizes-Both-the-Living-and-the-De-758580. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I too know how bad it can be

AUTHOR: MLS582 - (United States of America)

I worked for a Target store, I know that whatever I write, some people will say, its good where they work at a target store, yet I had bad things happen, there are people that had problems at a target store too. 

My mother understands your  problem.  Mother had an email about silly things people explain, for example: a person was looking for a part number, and thought it was, "made in USA" or someone thought the hours of operation on the door, was the telephone number, and a bill collector was doing research to find a person, after several calls I assume, he found someone that knew what happened to the woman, she tried to explain she died several months ago, yet he still expected to get her to pay here monthly bill, she explained she died, she told him where to find the grave, and he said that is no excuse for her not paying her bills, and another one about a call to fix a bad computer, he said unplug the power from the outlet and telephone jack, then asked what was Jack's number to call him.

Now to explain what happen to me,  2 days before Mother's Day I went to a Target store after work to get a mother a card, yet I found 3 cards I liked, I thought if I asked a friend, that worked there,  I found she was getting ready to cleanup and leave, after stocking the shelves, I hurried over to ask her a question, yet before i could get a good answer, the store manager comes up to me and stick's his face in mine and goes "duh"  and says do not bother her, she is lazy, she was gone by then, he prevented me from getting an answer, he told me he would get someone to arrest me, if I did not leave, I said ok I will just go buy it, he said I could not buy it, to leave or arrest me. therefore forced me out the door, and not to come back, and I never went back, I assumed he terminated me on the spot.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Exactly

AUTHOR: mr rik - (USA)

Don't pay em SQUAT!

Relax.
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#3 Consumer Comment

I really don't understand what the OP is complaining about

AUTHOR: voiceofreason - (United States of America)

Neither Target nor whoever they fobbed the bad debt off to, think the OP is required to pay the debt off, nor do they really expect the OP to. They send out what they send, and make the calls that they do, in the mere hopes that maybe the OP would paid it. All this OP has to do is tell them flat out she ain't paying nuthin, and be done with it. If there's an executor handling her mother's affairs, she should direct them to the executor. If nobody is handling probate, since there's nothing left to handle, tell them "tough luck, Charlie and get lost!" This whole business of boycotting Target over this is kind of over the top. All relatives of folks who've died penniless go through this. Nobody can force you to pay and they can't get anything from you that you don't voluntarily give them.
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#4 General Comment

Bottom feeders indeed

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

I never claimed to be rich.  If I were I would have been able to pay these bills off all at once.  And yes you assumed I somehow was involved with Target.  I have never been in one let alone work in one.  Most people make that assumption on here when they don't get showered in what they want to hear.  At any rate, this topic is done, and good luck with your boycotting of Target.  I'll be watching the news.
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#5 Consumer Comment

No sympathy for the devil

AUTHOR: Eddie zilker - (U.S.A.)

Why is it that when you don't get the answer you want you automatically
assume we work for X company.  (?)

I actually don't automatically assume anything.  Instead, I
attack the substance of the argument and use the conclusions of that
attack to point to a very clear and persistent pattern of holding
complainant's feet to the fire for their part in getting fleeced, in the
first place.  It actually doesn't matter whether you're a troll, an
unwitting apologist, or a paid, industry shill.  Regardless of who you
really are, you're presenting a viewpoint which is consistently
favorable to the industry and completely devoid of any concern for the
aggrieved consumer.

My only interest is, no matter who you are, to expose amoral banking practices
as amoral, and when you supply content which serves that industry's
public relations narrative, I will expose that as nothing more or less
than false argument made constituent through its enumerable fallacies.

Bottom line is a bill is a bill.  Pay it and be done with it.  Merchandise was
bought and needs to be paid for.

A credit line with a $10,000 limit and high interest rate
was extended to someone, regardless of her ability to pay, precisely
because she'd already filed for bankruptcy and would not be able to
discharge her debt, again.  In offering that credit card, the company
fully understood it had the capacity to derive more money from the
consumer only making minimum payments on the entire loan amount and that
the aggregated payment amount could far exceed the initial purchase
value.  As has already been established, the OP's mother should not have
opened that line of credit, in the first place.  However, Target should
never have extended her that line of credit and did so knowing it would
be able to disenfranchise her for much more than the retail value of
her purchases.

That's not just a bill.  More to the point, it's an unethical
exploitation of a vulnerable person who, in spite of her human frailty,
deserved more dignity than she could afford at Target.

Sheesh, I bet you voted for Obama.

I bet you're no where near as rich as the people you're
speaking on behalf of, who you vote for, and who could honestly care
less about your welfare.  I bet you've scarcely bothered to research or
read any of the actual legislation that affects the issues you're
attempting to speak to, here, and that most of the conjecture you post
is predicated by your faith in a very limited scope of news sources with
significant conservative bias.
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#6 Author of original report

what a difference a day makes

AUTHOR: geteven - (United States of America)

Goodness, Christiana, you sound like a completely different person -I hardly know what to think...but a sincere blessing is always welcome.

         
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#7 Consumer Comment

Just

AUTHOR: mr rik - (USA)

Just don't pay em SQUAT.  What's the big deal?
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#8 General Comment

Bottom feeders indeed

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

To the OP, it seems as though you misunderstood SOME of what I was trying to convey.  We lost 4 family members in a very short time, boom, boom, boom, boom.  We wondered and prayed it would stop.  Since then we have been trying to tie up loose ends and have found the best way to get rid of these pesky debts is to simply pay them.  We have received MANY collection letters on my MIL (she was not my Mom, but my MIL) and decided the best thing to do is pay them.  I know she would have done the same for us, as she was a good woman, like your Mom.  Most of us will agree our Moms are the best.  The majority of her debts were medical and many of them waived the final bill as a kindness to us.  I understand Target did NOT give you that kindess and the only thing you can do is either pay it or be dogged for the rest of eternity and they WILL continue.  Its unfortunate that we have to deal with this during our worst times, but they are out for the almighty dollar and will do whatever they can do get it.  Just because we lose someone doesn't mean they will give us a free pass.  Money IS the root of all evil.  My apologies for being rude. That was NOT my intent.  God Bless you and your family during this time.  I can sympathize the situation.  And THAT was said in all sincerity. 
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#9 General Comment

A comment...

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

   First of all my condolences for your loss.



   A Chapter & Bankruptcy does relief the debtor of paying the covered debts. However if the debtor wishes they can pay those debts after the bankruptcy. It shouldn't be done because if one debtor is paid in allows the others to start lcamoring for them being paid.   However, if I read your original post correctly, your first complaint was of the company keeping the card open. As the card was open when the bankruptcy was filed the company can either keep it open or close it. A lot of their decision is based on the payment history. But the major reason Target is expecting payment is that your mother continued to use the card after the bankrupcy was filed and discharged. The bankruptcy will only cover the debts in effect as of the date of filing. Anything rang up after that date is fair game for the company to pursue. I've not heard of the lawyers so I'll accept that they're doing business as you described. Basically you taken the correct steps to close this situation. I would recommend returning any further letters unopened and not talking to them on the phone. Hopefully you can get this situation remedied quickly.

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#10 General Comment

Here we go

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

Why is it that when you don't get the answer you want you automatically assume we work for X company.   Bottom line is a bill is a bill.  Pay it and be done with it.  Merchandise was bought and needs to be paid for.  Sheesh, I bet you voted for Obama.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Thank you & do not let these fools find you discouraged.

AUTHOR: Eddie zilker - (U.S.A.)

Sadly, having been around these parts for a while, I can say this place has no shortage of people like Christiana; who seem hellbent on making sure that no indignation goes unpunished.  It's such a consistent pattern in reinforcing the same bogus industry narrative that I'm a little hard pressed to believe it's just simple internet trolling.  While I'm sure there are some trolls among them along with some people whose own belief system relegates them to functioning as banking industry apologists, there seem to be too many of them who are far too consistent for recreational internet trolling.  Regardless, their arguments are pretty easy to poke through.

As consistent as they are at shaming people, they are remarkably inconsistent with being able to construct lucid arguments without having to resort to logical fallacy.  Some of them have above average intellects but, because their arguments are bound to an industry narrative born entirely of self-serving public relations pablum, even the intelligent ones have a genuinely difficult time being able to reconcile their arguments with a genuine test of their intellectual integrity.  One of their favorite tactics, you've already noticed.  They love to omit the totality of the circumstance being reported in favor of focusing on a lynchpin nuance. 

Remember, no matter how hard these people try to make it seem otherwise, the truth is on our side.  If you get pissed off and want to savage them, verbally, wait until you're cooled down to post.  The one nuance in their over-arching strategy that makes dealing with them somewhat challenging is that they are actively, albeit unwittingly, trying to subvert the meaning of philosophically nebulous ideals in morality - and that's just part and parcel to the industry narrative of the "beneficent bank as victim".
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#12 Author of original report

Thank you!

AUTHOR: geteven - (United States of America)

To Eddie,

               Thank you so much -I think you're a kindred spirit. I did reply to "Christiana". Somehow, I am capable of putting my vulnerability on the back burner when I'm in the whirl of righteous anger. Once again, someone mistakes courtesy for weakness. When will they learn not to tick off the wrong person....I'm planning on compiling a file on this no matter how it proceeds or turns out  and sending copies to our State's attorney, all of my elected representatives and that interesting new consumer bureau in DC. It's an election year and they'll all be looking for something to distinguish themselves, so you never can tell. I hate the idea that this is happening to anyone, not just our mom, there's no reason for it, and it deeply disgusts me.
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#13 Author of original report

as long as that's what you believe...

AUTHOR: geteven - (United States of America)

To
"Christiana" comment #2
     First, I'll be honest -I suspect you are a "troll" -your tone harbors all the usual earmarks and it's well known bottom feeding companies assign employees to rebut posts they see as damaging. If you're not, I apologize for lumping you in with bottom feeders. And, if you indeed are not an "interested party", I must say you really don't read very carefully; I mentioned this was Mom's only outstanding debt. We have already dealt with medical, medical equipment, co-pays, etc, etc, etc -WE meaning the family, so you can can the attitude on that point. Obvoiusly, it's not easy for your family & I do not denigrate your feelings or deny your right to feel frustration -we feel it too. 

     You seem to miss the point entirely that Target Bank CHOSE to leave open an account after Chapter 7, which disperses all assets. No one applied for the card at that point -they CHOSE to take a settlement on the previous balance and leave the account open hoping to get more -and at 24.99% over 10 years -they did exactly that-they personify the term "Predatory Lending". All the offers of new cards that arrived after her bankruptcy were thrown away! As for treating our mother as though she were a child or a dog -we had more respect for her as a human being  -not to mention we never dreamed any company would be so foolish or unscrupulous as to leave an account open- not a usual practice at all, and certainly a foolish business practice. As to whether I would want to be paid after providing a service? In pure theory I would, however; 1) I personally would adhere to an honest business model and 2) I would realize that if I chose to make a risky loan and I lost out, that was both a consequence of MY choice and part of the cost  of doing business. I would not then hire a junkyard dog to coerce someone not LEGALLY responsible for the debt to pay it-particularly were that person a grieving family. 

    As to your last point, perhaps it's true that in the scheme of things Target won't feel our boycott -ah! But WE WILL. We choose not to underwrite immoral lending practices and/or immoral and illegal collection practices! WE will know it "Christiana" -and that's enough. And then too, the more people we can tell, the more Target will feel it. You make the classic cop-out argument, so I'll return the classic response - as long as that's what you think, you're right, they won't. 

     And just as a final, so you know what I think of your little attack -it's Sunday, you can run over to Target and charge a ladder on your Red card -you'll need it if you try to talk down to me again. 
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#14 Consumer Comment

Sins of the Mother: Here comes the industry narrative reinforcing annecdote.

AUTHOR: Eddie zilker - (U.S.A.)

Notice how the wily Christiana completely ignores the information concerning unfair collection practices, the over-extension of credit, and exorbitant interest rates to confuse the issue with her tale of woe which frames her and her family as "doing the right thing" for paying a very different sort of bill.  In her story, bereft of any sympathy for yours, even her mother is placed in a heroic light; as a responsible borrower who only deferred payment of doctor's bills while painting your mother as something of an irresponsible deadbeat.  It's like she's taken your own honesty about your mother's part in the situation and used it against you.

Perhaps she believes, being at an emotionally trying time in your life, that you needed a stern lecture to whip you into shaping up and flying right.  She's just trying to help you see the light, after-all.  If all of these people would just stop complaining about them, it would make these abhorrent industry practices that much more reasonable.  They actually are "legal" and certainly wouldn't be if they were amoral, would they?  Or maybe she's just trying to take advantage of your possible emotional vulnerability.

So callously, Christiana picks at those emotionally charged touchstones of your value-system, attempting to etch into them some feeling of shame and remorse, on your part; particularly for having expressed your indignation.  Fortunately, the residue of cow manure isn't permanent and washes off, fairly easily.
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#15 General Comment

You have NOT been ripped off

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

You seem to want to put this financial blame on anyone other than who is at fault.  Target's credit card bank is simply wanting payment on whatever your Mom racked up.  There is NO rip off.  She bought merchandise and its time to pay up.  If she was so bad with her finances then perhaps you should have intervened, as you stated yourself she didn't make wise choices of where her money went.  My Mother In Law died last year of liver cancer and to this day we are still getting bills from her various doctors and I immediately pay them.  They provided a medical service for her and I most certainly feel morally obligated to pay that bill off and I know for certain she would do the same if it were reversed.   We are in no position to pay it all back at once but it WILL be paid in full and harbor NO ill feelings towards ANY of her debtors who are rightfully requesting her bill be paid.  You have NOT been ripped off, as they provided a service and now its time to pay up.  You say you are not responsible for her bills and that very well may be true, however, I would imagine if the shoe were on the other foot you would want to be paid for a service you provided, ASAP. 

Boycotting Target may make you feel like you have accomplished something but in scheme of things they won't notice. 
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#16 Consumer Comment

That is awful.

AUTHOR: Eddie zilker - (U.S.A.)

Sorry to hear about your mother and this situation.  It is entirely unjust and remarkably callous of that collection agency, as well as Target.  Keep this updated, please.
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