12-28-2012 02:34 PM - edited 12-29-2012 08:05 AM
Hello, I'm new to the community and have been very thankful for the info I've been able to use. Slowly, but surely, I am on my way up on the scorefront. However, I have one CO that is now with a CA through USAA. This CO appears to be hurting my scores greatly. I honestly believe this is not my responsibility and am looking for help.
This was originally my DW's account that she opened as an indvidual account. Then, she added me as an AU a few months after it was opened. I also need to mention that we did have a joint checking account with USAA at the same time. My DW filed BK (C7) in 12/09 and everything seemed to go well. Fast forward 3 years later and I am being contacted by a CA in regards to this account. When I check my CR, it shows as my individual account as a CO and is showing as 35 times 90+ late. I wish I had been monitoring earlier...
I've DVed the CA and am waiting to see if I get a response. I've also disputed with all 3 CRAs, but all came back as verified. When I called the OC to ask about the account, I was told it was mine and to contact the CA for any information. I told the person in the "Deceased Accounts" department that it wasn't mine and asked for proof. She said she would request proof and I would receive it in the mail in about 10 days. I asked what happens if they cannot provide proof and she said "nothing."
I called back and spoke to someone else. I asked for some type of proof that I was on the account like a signed application or agreement and he said that signatures are no longer required and I probably opened the account on the internet. I have never been in the military and cannot be a member of USAA. I've also written to them, at his suggestion, requesting documentation that this account is mine.
Another interesting point is that the account does not show on any of her CRs, at all.
What should I do to convince the OC that this is not my responsibility? They take the stance that since they say it is mine, it is mine. We are going to start shopping for a house in the next few months and I need to take care of this. If they show that somehow I am responsible, I will work out some sort of arrangement with them, but it will be a big hit to my UTIL.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
12-28-2012 03:01 PM - edited 12-28-2012 03:01 PM
According to USAA, they will not go after an AU unless the owner of the account refuses or fails to pay.
•Were granted express, implied, or apparent authority to use the Credit Card or the Account. •Make a transaction that results in a direct or indirect benefit to a Cardholder or any member of the Cardholder’s immediate family.
The transactions you make plus any related interest or fees. We will not attempt to collect from you unless a Cardholder refuses or fails to pay us.*
*At our option, we may transfer amounts you owe to a separate account in your name for billing purposes and report the account to the credit bureaus. The billing-only Account will not be open to new transactions.
12-28-2012 03:19 PM
Thanks for the info. So, it sounds like I may be liable for any charges I made on the account? Even without my agreement to the terms? So, worst case scenario, they would pursue me for any charges made on my card number? They have put the entire balance under my name as an indvidual account with the same original account number.
How do I get them to talk to me? Both people I spoke with at the OC were very dismissive. If they can pursue me for "my" charges, I would be willing to work something out with them. My scores are pretty decent right now absent this account. Would it be possible to have the OC delete this CO account and open a new one with only my portion of the debt? I doubt it, but should I try to work this out through the CA?
12-29-2012 10:37 AM - edited 12-29-2012 10:38 AM
The dispute and DV processes dont have the kinda clout you are seeking.
When either disputing or asking for debt validation, neither process requires them to provide documentation in order to verify.
They require them to investigate, and report that their records are sufficient to verify.
Requiring proofs is usually reserved for the courts.
Your defense, as I see it, is your lack of any legal obligation for the debt.
You have authorized the reporting to your credit file by accepting AU status, so removal from your credit file requires removal of that AU status.
However, they will most likely deny removal of that status. Perhaps a dispute with the CRA for deletion as account not mine.
The issue of any legal action on their part is separate. I would be shocked if they brought legal action knowing you are only an AU, and thus have no legal obligation for the debt. By reporting as an AU, that is tactic admission on their part that you are not a responsible party for debt under the account.
Does your CR clearly show responsibility as only an AU?
Let them sue. Once legal action is brought, you will obtain discovery rights to any relevant information needed for your defense.
Immediate defense is lack of any legal obligation for the debt.
Meanwhile, do what you can to get the AU status revoked, thus barring any further inclusion in your CR.
12-29-2012 11:02 AM - edited 12-29-2012 11:06 AM
Thanks again for everyone's help!
Unfortunately, they are reporting this as an indvidual account. One of the OC reps I spoke to told me that I opened the account as indivudiual, which is definitely not the case. Another rep I spoke to said my wife was removed and the account was converted to an individual account 10/10, half a year after her BK was discharged. I've disputed as not mine and all 3 came back verified.
Luckily, I can still see all of the monthly statements on their website. My name is on them along with the wife's name. The last statement available is from 5/10 and they all have both of our names on them. The OC never sent a statement to me or tried to contact me.
At this point, I may need an attorney to get them to realize their error. Somehow, the OC has really screwed up their records and it is causing me grief. I've tried to talk to them and only get blown off. I've poured through this forum and others and can't find anyone in the same situation as me. Also, the day after I called and spoke to the OC, I received an alert that one of my balances increased. When I checked it, the OC had coincidentally reported the past due amount as exactly $200 more than the previous day.
Also, if this turns out that I am legitimately responsible for all or part of the balance, I want to take care of it. I just become more suspicious with the lack of information available to me.