A woman in Pennsylvania has filed a lawsuit against Capital One after a dispute over a few thousand in credit card debt spiraled out of control until, she alleges, it culminated in the credit card company sending her a letter demanding the immediate payment of more than $286 million.
According to the lawsuit, the woman had originally received a notice from Capital One regarding a balance of around $3,800 on her account. She claims she disputed the charges and referred the company to her lawyer.
The suit alleges that Capital One disregarded this request and continued to contact her and her family members about the debt. After receiving further statements and demands for payment, the plaintiff says she eventually received notice that she owed Capital One $286,651,237 and was to remit payment immediately.
The plaintiff’s lawyer believes that the $286 million amount was not a computer error but was an attempt to “shock and intimidate” his client and destroy her credit standing.
The suit also alleges that Capital One filed suit against the plaintiff but that no one from the credit card company showed up at the hearing.
Says the plaintiff’s lawyer in a statement to Consumerist:
Harassing calls, disregard for a lawyers written instructions on two occasions, demands for payment of differing and arbitrary amounts and the final letter seeking more than $286 Million, demonstrates serious abuses at the collection office of Capital One… From this example we see how a financial terrorist works in today’s economic times and that is by escalating tensions, pushing the person to the limit, and making threats, without regard for civility, accuracy or the legal rights of the individual. No one should ever suffer the indignity and humiliation my client has experienced.
When reached for comment, a rep for Capital One tells Consumerist:
As a matter of policy, we don’t discuss the details of pending legal matters.
However, there are very rare occasions when human error has led to inaccuracies in a customer billing letters. This is clearly one of those instances.
We understand, and sincerely regret, the confusion that receiving an invoice of this size must have caused. We are working to resolve this issue.
What’s in Your Wallet? [Courthouse News]