How to deal best with a delinquency reported by Capital One
October 19, 2007 8:26 PM   Subscribe

How to deal best with a delinquency reported by Capital One

Sorry for the long post I am a little frazzled at this point. I will do my best to keep things concise and to the point.

On Saturday October the 13th I was surprised to find a letter from Capital One warning me that I was past due by two payments. The letter also indicated that I owned $141.99. This was a surprise to me as the this card is only used to pay for two items. One payment comes $9.98 and is billed monthly on the 4th or 5th. The second charge is quarterly and comes to $44.07. That means that more than half of the money I owned, $78, is the result of penalties. I called customer service immediately to try and resolve the issue. My intent when I placed my first call was to settle my bill immediately. The first customer service representatives was so unhelpful that I decided to cancel my account as well; however, I was told that there would be a $15 fee for paying online and that it would be assessed to my next bill. This effectively makes it impossible to settle an account and close via the phone. Additionally I was told I could not close the account until I payed the bill, which seemed reasonable. The representative I spoke to was so confused I did not believe everything he said. After our conversation ended I called to try and determine just how much of what I had just been told was factual. The next representative helped me close my account but also let me know there would be a $15 fee to pay over the phone.

On Friday October 19th I called Capital One's customer service a third time because it had come to my attention that they had reported me to the credit bureaus for delinquent payments. I was made aware of this after being denied a new card from another company. The customer support women that I spoke with informed me that I owned only $26.99. Additionally she stated this was the amount I owned because the payment I made in September cleared on October 5th. This payment was for $115. Neither of the representative I spoke to on the 13th were aware of this payment. I find the date this check cleared to be highly suspect as my billing period ends on the 4th; lucky for Capital One that they were able to bill me an additional $39. The women I spoke with was happy to accept a payment via check at no charge, an offer that neither of the other support members offered. At this time I closed out my account by paying the remaining $26.99. I am aware that there is a 4 cent discrepancy in my numbers, I not sure if that matters or not? Additionally I asked the customer support women who I needed to speak to in order to remove the blemish on my credit report. To my surprise she informed me that they did not have a phone number and that they could only be reached by mail. Can this possibly be true?

Is there anything I can do to fix my credit? If so what is the best way to go about getting this behind me?

Additionally if it is helpful here is the details of my phone conversations.
10/13/2007 conversation time 8:10. Call placed at 3:22 PM EST
10/13/2007 conversation time 8:23. Call placed at 3:32 PM EST
10/19/2007 conversation time 21:34. Call placed at 9:56 PM EST
posted by phil to Work & Money (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A note of clarity. I made no payments over the phone until the 19th. I declined to pay over the phone on the 13th because I was informed that doing so would prevent me from closing my account, since the $15 fee would appear on my next bill.
posted by phil at 8:29 PM on October 19, 2007

Not much help but I can attest that I had almost the EXACT same thing happen with Capitol One. I made a payment via check over the phone and thought the account was up to date. 3 months later I check my credit report and see I have somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 delinquent, almost all of which were penalties. I called them a few times and got nowhere and finally gave up. Took a few years but finally disappeared from my credit report.

Sorry I couldn't be any help but you have my sympathies.
posted by Octoparrot at 11:15 PM on October 19, 2007

If you were just late, but the debt hasn't been charged off, your score will take a hit, but it won't last that long. I'd wait 6 months and apply again for a card or two.

In the future, it's best to set up electronic draft from your bank, which allows your payment to post the same day and doesn't cost anything.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 11:32 PM on October 19, 2007

1. Check creditboards to see if they have any helpful hints.

2. Deny the 30 day late on your credit report through the credit agency. Sometimes, they will remove it will no questions asked depending upon how busy are.

3. If you need to deal with Capitol One for anything else, escalate to a supervisor, or escalate to the supervisor's supervisor. I had a serious problem with Chase and I escalated to the VP of the department and he finally helped me. I would also call Capitol One (a supervisor) and ask the 30 day late to be removed from my credit report.
posted by hazyspring at 5:22 AM on October 20, 2007

I have checked my credit report and found this gem

Status: Open/Past due 30 days. $19 past due as of Oct 2007.
Status Details: As of Jul 2014, this account is scheduled to go to a positive status.

Does that really mean that my credit has taken a hit for the next 7 years over $19?

Is it possible to fin out exactly what day this was added t? I am curious because there was only a three day windows in October before my check cleared.
posted by phil at 6:39 AM on October 20, 2007


If they're going to add a $15 charge to your bill for paying over the phone, add the $15 to your payment, so that when the charge arises, you've already paid it off.

Similarly, people who have interest on their bills, and then pay exactly that amount are often surprised to find more interest on their next bill. There's no grace period on interest--the whole time the bill was coming to you, and waiting for you to pay it, more interest was accumulating. If you overpay your bill, though, and get that interim interest taken care of (you can estimate based on the interest for the month that's already on the bill), when the next bill comes it'll be clean.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:11 AM on October 20, 2007

Deny the 30 day late on your credit report through the credit agency.

This is your next step. (But, a better jargon word to describe it is 'dispute': you are disputing the line on your report.)
posted by gimonca at 8:06 AM on October 20, 2007

Yeah, you have to take it to the credit agencies. FWIW, I contested a years old capital one late fee with Experian online and they took it off. I had actually been late, but I claimed I was unemployed and since they have a "payment protection" thing on the card, I shouldn't have had to make payments. I never bothered to actually tell them I was unemployed at the time, but experian took the charge off. I never bothered with the other agencies, since I don't really need any credit at the moment.
posted by delmoi at 10:31 AM on October 20, 2007

You can dispute it, but if it's just a 30 days thing, it's really not a big deal, as long as you can put it on context of other activity. Ideally, you'd have not closed the account, just paid it off and left it open, so that it would start showing up current and diminish the degree to which the late would factor into your score.

But really, as long as you've got other things being reported positively, a 30 day late isn't the worst in the world. For example, my wife recently forgot to pay one of her cards that I'm an authorized user on, and even though the 30 day late showed up on my report, my score is still well over 700 because I've got other good activity.

You can try disputing it online and hope you get lucky, but I wouldn't worry beyond that, and I say this because creditboards has been mentioned. The people who come to CB with their problems are in WAY worse share than a single 30 days late status on one account, and therefore much more complicated and time consuming strategies are usually recommended, which wouldn't be appropriate for you, I don't think.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 11:20 AM on October 20, 2007

The part you never mentioned is how you came to be past due by two payments. Did your check get lost in the mail? Did your electronic automatic draft not kick in? These are things that are not your fault, and would give you more leverage, both in terms of disputing and in possibly getting some economic relief from Capital One (maybe if you press for a manager).

If the answer is "I went on vacation" or "I just forgot," there's no way that even disputing it on your credit report is going to help. It's an accurate portrayal of what happened and to change it would be fraudulent, so no matter how annoying to them you might be over the phone neither the credit card company nor the credit bureau is going to want to take on that liability.

However, everyone who's saying a 30-day is not such a big deal is right, so long as you already have a solid credit history with plenty of other cards/entities on there without any wrinkles in them. Though if you don't, of course, now is not really the time to be applying for more.
posted by RobotHeart at 5:27 AM on October 21, 2007

Oh, and Phil, re: when it hit the credit bureau, that stuff is usually automated and would happen the day your account was eligible for it to have happened. There wasn't some employee hitting "enter" on a keyboard and then crowing "We got him!" and high-fiving all his friends :) Nor does that happen when fees bill either; it's all done during automated computer file maintenance, though it sounds like the first person you talked to may have indulged in some schadenfreude that may have added insult to injury for you.
posted by RobotHeart at 5:31 AM on October 21, 2007

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