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Comenity Bank Debt Collection Practices Investigation

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The name “Comenity Bank” may sound vaguely familiar, or not familiar at all, but you certainly know some of the companies for which Comenity services credit cards. They include Abercrombie & Fitch, AdWords Business, Ann Taylor, Big Lots, Crate & Barrel, Eddie Bauer, Game Stop, J. Jill, Motorola, Orbitz, Pottery Barn, Victoria’s Secret, Wayfair, Woman Within, Zales, and many others. The company also handles credit cards for medical, education, hotel, and other purposes.

But are they treating consumers fairly when it comes to debt collection? We’re currently investigating.

We know that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) sued Comenity over misrepresentations to consumers about credit card add-on products and that Comenity was forced to refund $61.5 million to customers.

We also know that lawsuits have been filed alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by Comenity when trying to collect debts—the plaintiff of one claiming that Comenity called her 500 times and the plaintiff of another claiming that Comenity called her 600 times!

Online sites are full of complaints about suspicious or unmerited late fees, one complaining of “[e]xcessive & compounding late Fees accrued even after I'd paid a late fee and fees associated with the additional late fees.”

Others complain of those questionable “no interest if you pay within X months” arrangements, where, if you’re a single day late, you’re charged interest back to the purchase date. One person who believed their account was paid off in full in time said, “I get a phone call from them saying I owed them $1,130.35…. [G]oing over put all of the interest back on my account that wasn’t paid for 2 years.” Another said, “Unfortunately, I … failed to pay off my full balance by one month. Therefore I was saddled with the accrued interest from the past year…. Five hundred dollars is a lot of money…”

As another person wrote, “A class action I suppose is the only way to have some justice.”

We’re with you there, but we need to hear from people who have had bad experiences with illegal collection practices by Comenity, and who have evidence to back it up.

Here are some kinds of behavior that state and federal laws forbid:

  • Harassing you, for example by making your phone ring repeatedly.
  • Sending debt collection letters that are confusing.
  • Sending debt collection letters that contain misstatements or misrepresentations, such as misstating the amount of the debt, falsely claiming that the sender is lawyer, or threatening to take action that the sender can’t legally take.
  • Trying to collect debts which you have already paid or which have been discharged in bankruptcy.
  • Trying to collect old debts for which the statute of limitations has expired.
  • Adding extra fees and charges to the amount you owe.
  • Talking about your debt to third parties, such as family, friends, or employers.
  • Robo-calling you on your cell phone about your debt.
  • Calling you too late at night or too early in the morning, or calling you too many times.
  • Refusing to stop calling when you ask them to.
  • Threatening you.

Laws vary in different states, but the TCPA—which forbids robo-calls about debt to cell phones—is a federal law that applies in all fifty states.

If you’ve experienced questionable debt collection practices with a Comenity Bank credit card, fill out the form on this page and attach evidence, such as letters received or cell phone numbers called and dates of calls.

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