April 14, 2004
Via Certified Mail / Return Receipt Requested
CitiFinancial Dispute Department
P.O. Box 22064
Tempe, AZ 85285
Re: Haverty's Furniture Account XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX
Financed through CitiFinancial Retail Services
I am in receipt today of your correspondence dated April 8th via regular U.S. mail. Once again, you state that my account is being reported correctly to all three major credit reporting agencies - in your opinion - and ALL interest charges and late penalties added to my account over the last six months are accurate too. However, they are not. I have provided explicit documentation that proves these inaccuracies, yet you continue to report that I was 30 days late' in January 2004 and refuse to correct all your billing/posting errors starting in September 2003 through March 2004.
If you do not cease reporting this incorrect information, I will be forced to take further action. Please be advised that your blatant disregard and violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and my rights as a consumer have caused harm to me by seriously affecting my otherwise unblemished credit rating, causing denial of fair credit, as well as causing me to be charged higher interest rates and unfavorable loan terms.
Note that the FTC has maintained that incorrect credit reporting is the legal equivalent of prohibited collection activity. You cannot validate these inaccurate notations on my billing statements starting with the misapplication of my $250.00 principal pay-off payment in September 2003 and by your continued assessment of interest charges/fees based on the wrong amount showed as the balance due for that portion of my account through March 2004. The principle portion of that plan should have a ZERO balance as of September 12th (your posting date). If the original interest charge of $118.56 is accurate due to posting my payoff balance seven days later than the cut-off date for interest free, I would have owed $118.56 by the December 19, 2003 statement with a new payment due date of January 14, 2004. That is when you made the first notation on my billing statement that YOU settled my original' dispute. According to your own written policies and by law, I do not have to pay any disputed charges and cannot be charged additional interest or penalties while the amount of $118.56 is in dispute NOR can you report me late to ANYONE. With that said I DID NOT HAVE TO MAKE A PAYMENT TO THE ACCOUNT IN ANY WAY IN EITHER OCTOBER, NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER 2003 BUT I DID!!!
If your December 19th billing statement had been correct - reposting the disputed interest charge of $118.56 as valid, I STILL would have owed only $18.56 on that portion of my account. My payment (posted on November 1st) would have reduced the disputed interest balance by $100.00 if it was ACCURATELY applied to the right plan by your company remember the second portion of my account had a ZERO PAYMENT/INTEREST clause till April 21, 2004. By late December - early January 2004, I was at my wits end trying to figure out what I owed since you were consistently misapplying my payments to the wrong plan and adding more and more interest charges and even another late penalty of $29.00 to a balance due that should have been only $18.56. The 12/19/03 statement was now showing an incorrect plan balance of $287.66. THEREFORE, I am demanding that you cease reporting that I was late by 30 days in January 2004 when ACTUALLY two more payments were made, one posted on January 28, 2004 and the another payment posted on February 2, 2004 AND DELETE THE LATE COMMENT FROM MY CREDIT FILE.
As per FCRA,
Section 616 Civil liability for willful noncompliance [15 U.S.C. section 1681n]
(a) In general. Any person who willfully fails to comply with any requirement imposed under this title with respect to any consumer is liable to that consumer in an amount equal to the sum of
(1) (A) any actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure of damages of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000.
Section 617 Civil liability for negligent noncompliance [15 U.S.C. section 1681o]
(a) In general. Any person who is negligent in failing to comply with any requirement imposed under this title with respect to any consumer is liable to that consumer in an amount equal to the sum of
(l) any actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure;
(2) in the case of any successful action to enforce any liability under this section, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court.
As a summary I state the following:
Your company has failed to send the legally required validation of this debt accurately and in good faith. You have been notified that your actions are detrimental to me and that your company has violated (including but not limited to) the Consumer Credit Protection Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act. Your company should know that this continued reporting of inaccurate information is damaging to me. You have communicated and are continuing to communicate incorrect and defamatory information to third parties including but not limited to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
As a result of these blatantly reckless, wanton, and intentional acts, I have suffered and continue to suffer general and specific damages. I am also very upset at your company's intentional infliction of emotional distress, other diminishments of quality of my life and refusal to follow the law. Please understand that I am extremely concerned regarding the harmful resultant consequences of the actions your company has taken. Please be advised that, if this matter is not resolved expeditiously, I will take any and all necessary step to protect my rights.
If you wish to resolve this matter, this will be your last opportunity to do so. The 30 day late' comment must be deleted from my credit files with the three major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) within 5 days from the tracked and verifiable receipt of this letter. Forward a letter to me via email and U.S. mail stating it has been removed and will not reappear on my credit reports again. I will accept nothing less.
Please be aware if this comment is not deleted within 5 days of receipt, I will file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, Greg Abbott - Texas State Attorney General, and the Better Business Bureau (both local and national agencies). Also, note that section 1681s-2 (b) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act creates a cause of action for a consumer against a furnisher of erroneous credit information (Nelson v. Chase Manhattan).
This Notice' is an attempt to correct all your records and billing statements from September 2003 through March 2004; including acknowledging the early pay off on the second portion of my account (due 3/21/04) on February 2, 2004 but incorrectly continuing to charge even more interest fees totaling $2.79 which was posted to my account on February 19th. Please also note that all information received from you will be collected as evidence should any further action be necessary.
I look forward to you resolving this matter within 5 days upon your receipt of this letter.
Equifax (a.k.a. CSC Credit Services)
UPDATE: TRANSUNION IS THE ONLY CREDIT AGENCY THAT HAS DELETED THE '30 LATE COMMENT' FROM MY CREDIT REPORT ON 4/7/04. THE OTHER TWO CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES CLAIM THEY ARE 'STILL' INVESTIGATING - EVEN AFTER SUPPLYING THEM WITH OVER 40 PAGES OF SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION [ALL SENT VIA CERTIFIED/RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED - US MAIL.]
ALSO - I DID NOT HEAR FROM CITIFINANCIAL WITHIN THE 5 DAYS AS STATED IN THIS 'FINAL' CERTIFIED LETTER TO THEM SO YESTERDAY I FILED A COMPLAINT WITH STATE'S ATTORNEY GENERAL OFFICE OF TEXAS AND THE OFFICE OF CONSUMER CREDIT COMMISSIONER [WHO ENFORCE THE CONSUMER CREDIT LAWS FOR THE STATE OF TEXAS]. I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED OF THEIR RESPONSES BUT I AM JUST ONE STEP AWAY FROM FILING A LAWSUIT AGAINST CITIFINANCIAL AND HOPE OTHERS WILL FILE COMPLAINTS WITH THEIR STATE ATTORNEY'S OFFICE SO A CLASS ACTION SUIT CAN BE FILED FOR CITIFINANCIAL'S REPEATED VIOLATIONS OF FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT, FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT AND THE CONSUMER CREDIT PROTECTION ACT, ETC.
I UNDERSTAND THAT A '30 DAY LATE' COMMENT SEEMS SMALL AS COMPARED TO OTHER COMPLAINTS ON THIS SITE - BUT THAT ONE INACCURATE STATEMENT HAS CAUSED MY CREDIT SCORE TO DROP 83 POINTS IN FOUR (4) WEEKS THEREBY DELAYING MY PLANS TO OBTAIN A HOME EQUITY LOAN AT A FAIR AND JUST RATE.
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