Report: #373320


  • Submitted: Tue, September 16, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, December 23, 2008
  • Reported By: Haslet Texas
    6501 Legacy Drive
    Plano, Texas

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I received the last statement for my JC Penney credit card in Dec 07. The account was paid in full at that time. I do not remember using the card since that billing cycle in Dec. I rarely use the card - maybe 1-2 times per year. I only opened it when a JC Penney's store opened close to my rural home. Otherwise I never shopped there because the stores were too far away.

Sunday Sept 14th at 10;15 am I received a call from a collection agency that my account has been turned over to collections for non-payment.

I have no idea what the charges are for and never received a statement from JCP. I only receive statements when I actually use the card, and had no reason to be expecting one. So was never aware of these charges.

Sometime after that last statement in Dec that was sent the correct mailing address - JCP changed my mailing address without my authorization - virtually guaranteeing that I will never receive anything via regular mail from them again.

When the account went into default - No attempt was made by JC Penney's to let me know by phone there was a problem with the account.

The first I was aware that there were outstanding charges was when the collection agency called.

The collection agency told me they had received from JCP my street address as my mailing address, NOT the PO Box I provided when I opened the account and where they had sent everything prior to this incident.

I also called JC Penneys and they also have my street address as my mailing address. No one will tell me why the address was changed in my account records. JCPenney claims they no longer have any of my files.

Per the Fair Credit Billing Act JCPenneys is at fault. The rules state "failure to send bills to your current address" makes it their fault. My mailing address never changed - so there was no VALID reason for the change in the first place.

I have received all mail to a PO Box for the last 14 years as I live in a rural area and we do not receive home delivery from the US Postal Service.

If you have a mailing address that is different from your street address - it could happen to you. this is the third creditor to make this unauthorized change to my mailing address.

I could use the assistance of an attorney knowledgable in Fair Credit billing laws. I can find lots of attorneys who will help with Debt Collection law issues, but no luck finding anyone who knows fair credit billing laws.

They are 2 different things.

Haslet, Texas
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/16/2008 07:34 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report


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

GEMB in writing acknowledged that they did indeed change my address without my consent - they claim it was done as part of an address validation they do on all accounts. This took place on Dec 10 2008.
11 days before they posted the fraudulent charges to my account.

Yet they still insisted that I ordered the gift card online, while deliberately withholding the recipient information from me. When I again demand recipient info
they sent me my own email address - which is part of my account information.

So failing to provide accurate debt validation I again disputed the charges as fraudulent with the Office of Thrift Supervision.

The Office Of Thrift Supervision called me this morning to inform me that GEMB is finally removing the fraudulent charges from my account. These should have been removed with my initial dispute not 4 months later!

In my opinion - it was either a computer glitch that resulted in my card being charged instead of the correct account holder OR someone on the inside took advantage of the unauthorized address change and ordered the card for themselves knowing I would not find out about it for a long time and be able to dispute it.

I am cutting up my card and will never use my JC Penney credit card again as long as GE Money is involved.

They are predatory lenders and I will have nothing more to do with them.

Thanks to the Office of Thrift Supervision - consumers like myself are able to get these problems that GEMB creates for its customer resolved when GEMB ignores and refuses to correct all complaints.
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#2 Author of original report


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

I just heard from the Office Of Thrift Supervision

After GEMB corrected almost all of the problems they created with my account in Oct
-removed account from collections
-Removed negative credit reports
-credited all late fees and interest
-fully reinstated my account with same credit limit it was before this all started.

GEMB still claimed I purchased a gift card on their website but failed to provide any recipient info and then claimed I had it sent to myself.

So was still holding me responsible for the fraudulent charges that I did not authorize and a gift card I never received or was ever used by anyone to the best of my knowledge.

OTS just called and told me that GEMB is removing the fraudulent charges from my account and the most recent late fees and interest they added in spite of the fact the charges were still in dispute.

By the way - my credit limit was not lowered as was everyone elses.

However -strictly based on GEMB's incompetent staff - I WILL NEVER USE THIS CARD AGAIN! And I will be extra careful to make sure that I never get another account with GEMB ever again.

Just waiting to hear that the US will FINALLY be suing them as they were in Australia and New Zealand! GEMB IS A PREDATORY LENDER AT ITS WORST!
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#3 Author of original report

Update - GEMB ignored the letters I sent directly to them

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

But did respond to the complaint I filed with the Office of Thrift Supervision.

They are removing the account from the Collection Agency - I still have to get copy of the letter they sent so I have it when the CA resells it later.

Removing inaccurate negative posting from credit reports.

Removing all late fees and interest associated with the unknown gift card they still claim I purchased.

Still no explanation as to why they removed my PO Box from my account info - referred to it only as inadvertantly retaining incorrect information. Nor why no one bothered to check 2007 records for correct address to correct their own mistakes.

State numerous calls were made - when NONE were ever made.
I expected this response and had not yet indicated that my husband is retired and home during the week. He has been an approved contact on my account since it was opened. I would not have taken numerous calls to get the address corrected.

Still claim I ordered a gift card on the website - failed to provide recipient information, so do not know who it was actually sent to.

So almost there..
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#4 Author of original report

Experian Removed this NEGATIVE item from my credit report

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

Once I realized what JCP/GEMB did to my account, I pulled my credit reports and disputed the charge off/sold negative report they posted with the CRA's.

As of this morning the negative report posted by JCP/GEMB has been deleted from my Experian report.


Now just waiting for confirmation that the collection agency will be informed to cease collections. I have demanded a copy of the letter sent to the CA for my records, so if the CA sells it again I have proof that the Original Creditor removed it themselves.
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#5 Author of original report

Responses I recieved back from GE Money/JCP and Collection Agency

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

I received what I expected
Ge Money/JCP referred me to the collection agency in regards to my dispute.
They did however provide copies of all my statements and provided proof that my address was changed without my knowledge or consent.
Statements from Mar 07 - Dec 07 clearly indicate my PO Box.
All statements from Jan 08 show that the PO BOX was removed from mailing address.

GEMB/JCP did not provide any documentation proving that I authorized the charges.

The collection agency just sent a bill as Debt Validation. It just states they purchased the debt from GEMB/JCP. No proof that it was an authorized charge.

So back to letter writing.
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#6 Author of original report

GE Money Bank is responsible for JC Penney Credit Cards

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

What little I have been able to find out -

from my credit report
approx $100 in charges posted to my account in Jan 08. Same time address was changed without my knowledge or consent.

Account was sold as "JUNK" debt to one of the worst collection agencies in regards to violating FDCPA laws. Sherman Acquisitions

No responses to debt validation requests sent by certified mail return receipt.

Googling GE MONEY BANK complaints- I have found hundreds (139 on ROR alone) on various complaint boards - they violate the Fair Credit Billing Act on a regular basis and its not just refusing to send statements to the correct billing addresses.

Have turned the matter over to the Office of Thrift Supervision.
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#7 Author of original report

JC Penney - Lost account holders information

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

While researching GE Money Bank/JCP on the internet I stumbled upon this news article from Jan 2008,289142,sid185_gci1294758,00.html

GE Money Bank -JC Penney - lost a tape with 150,000 social security numbers back in Oct 07! And they did not announce it until Jan 08.
And they are not all specific to JC Penney Customers, - all the retailers they do credit card services were impacted.


At the same time fraudulent charges were posted to my account and my address changed without my knowledge or consent.

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#8 Author of original report

I spoke with my local Post Office this morning

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

And they confirmed that they return all mail addressed to my street address as Undeliverable as Addressed.

They know my husband and I very well and have acknowledged that they have had to do this with some of our mail. AND THEY ARE REQUIRED TO DO THIS by USPS regulations.

I have asked them to provide a letter for me in regards to incorrectly addressed mail so I can include it in my disputes against these illegal actions with JC Penneys
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#9 Author of original report

Making unauthorized changes to mailing address in my account records

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

by creditors is considered Mail Fraud as well.

I just filed a complaint with the US Postal Service.

This goes with complaints filed with the US Federal Trade Commission and the Texas State Attorney General.
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#10 Author of original report

If I do not use the card I do not expect a statement

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

This is not a case not paying a valid bill -It is a case of not knowing that a bill existed at all, because of unauthorized changes to my account.

If I had used the account I would have called when a statement did not arrive - I would not have allowed it go this far as 2 other creditors have made this same unauthorized change to my mailing address in the recent past.
Both those cases were resolved in my favor as the changes made are considered attempted fraud.

I expect these to be fraudulent charges for worthless membership programs that work with JC Penneys and already had my account information provided to them by JC Penney's.

JC Penney's required that I provide my physical address when I applied for the account. They were supposed to note in my file that all mail be sent to the PO Box provided and never send anything to my street address. They substituted my mailing address with my street address and this is not the first time a creditor has made this same change.

JC Penney's made no attempt to contact me by phone when the first statement was returned to correct their illegal changes.

JC Penney's in violation of the Fair Credit Billing act when they changed my mailing address without my knowledge or consent. I have had a PO BOX for 14 years and nothing has changed that required any changes in their records.

They are required by law to send things to my CURRENT MAILING address, when they changed it themselves they violated federal laws.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Sounds like you both made a mistake.

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

I have a JCP card and never had a problem because I am always aware of spending money. Either you used the card to charge something or you didn"t. Either way there is no rip off here. You owed them money, you should be more careful. Now if you can prove that the charges were not valid, then dispute them.

I also live in a rural area and occaisionally I write both my physical address and my mailing address on labels. This is because DHL. UPS, FEDEX can only deliver to my physical address, the post office does not. I have made this mistake before but, did not blame anyone but me. How else did they get it?

Pay your bills.
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