My credit rating in jeopardy


A little over a year ago I took out a home equity line of credit with Charter One bank so I could have a back porch built. I'd wanted a porch ever since we bought this house in 1991, but I'd always planned to wait until Michael was finished with school. Last year a guy I work with convinced me to build my porch now and enjoy it rather than waiting four more years.

I set up on-line-banking payments through Wachovia, the bank in which I have my checking account, and I ignored all mail that came from Charter One. Earlier this month I realized my checking account was out of balance and I tracked it down to the April payment to Charter One, which for some reason hadn't been paid. I called Charter One and spoke with customer service to verify that the payment information I'd set up with Wachovia was still correct. It was, but I didn't trust the process anymore so I cancelled the online payment and put a check in the mail. I put 39 cents postage on the envelope, oblivious to the recent rise in the postage rate. The day after I mailed the payment I flew to Albuquerque for a business trip. When I returned my son informed me that the check had come back in the mail due to insufficient postage. I groaned. I added two one-cent stamps and put it in the mail again.

About four days later I got a call from Charter One bank. I returned the call and was told my payment was 27 days late. I explained the situation and the person with whom I spoke laughed and commiserated with me and said she'd "close the case". A couple days later I checked online and was relieved to see that the payment had been credited to my account the day she called.

A week later I got a nasty letter saying that I owed a payment of $0.0 which was 30 days overdue. Moreover, because the payment was so late, I had been charged a fee of $0.0, and I therefore owed a total of $0.0, which they expected to receive without delay. I ignored it. Last night I got a computer-generated phone call from a collection agency, requesting that I return their call. I did no such thing. This is now fascinating me, and I'm curious to see how far this process will go and if/how it will ever be resolved.

August 2011

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