Capital One Admits It Wrongly Tried To Collect On Credit Card, Then Continues Trying To Collect Anyway

Earlier this year, a woman in Chicago won what she likely thought was a small victory. She and her lawyer were able to convince Capital One that she had never had a credit card from the bank, and thus does not owe the $1867.18 Cap One had sued her for. But rather than remedy the situation, the woman says Capital One just made it worse.

According to a lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in Illinois, the first time the woman heard about a Capital One credit card in her name was when the bank sued her for the outstanding cash in September 2011.

After some investigation, she found that the card had been issued to someone in her name, but with an address she hadn’t lived in since 2001.

“Plaintiff never authorized or requested Capital One Bank to issue her a credit card and did not authorize anyone else to obtain such a card for her,” reads the complaint.

Then in February 2012, Capital One lawyers reviewed all of her documents and agreed to drop the suit and alert the credit bureaus of the bank’s error.

“Instead,” claims the suit, “Capital One… changed the address on the account to plaintiff’s current address and sent the supposed account to [third-party collections agent].”

The collections folks then began attempting to get the money the plaintiff never owed in the first place, while Capital One sent her monthly statements for the account that was never hers.

By sending those statements, the plaintiff alleges that Cap One effectively violated the Truth In Lending Act by issuing her a credit card that she did not request. She also alleges invasion of privacy and violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.

The plaintiff claims the debt collection agency violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by attempting to collect money that all evidence shows she never owed.

She is seeking damages of just about every sort (statutory, actual, compensatory, punitive), in addition to costs and legal fees.

Our favorite line from the complaint is a masterpiece of understatement:
“Plaintiff has been greatly annoyed and inconvenienced by the conduct complained of herein.”