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WAMU Credit Card Services Complaint - Mistreatment of Long-time Customers

Review by DaisyS on 2008-09-05
I was with WAMU Credit Services for ten years. Due to a death in my family, I was so distracted, I overlooked a payment--the first time in all those years. WAMU immediately sent my account to collection. Nothing I could do--no matter how many letters I wrote or calls I made--would undo the damage to my account and credit rating. The account is closed and will be paid off this fall. But get this: I was sick last month, and my payment was SIX DAYS late.

They sent my account to collection again even though I had been perfect all year and pay more than the limit. Do yourself a favor: Stay away from this company!
Comments:10 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-09-06
Posted by aButterfly on 2008-09-05:
They rose my interest rate up sky high after one late payment. Late mind you by 5 days.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-09-05:
You are correct that you have done some damage to your credit report, but the damage done is about as minimal as possible. Your report will show that you were late twice, less than 30 days. If you were applying for a mortgage, you'd likely be asked why you were late, and you reply due to sickness. Case closed.
The reporting is all automatic. You can't realistically expect them to lie and say that you weren't late... you were! It just isn't worth losing any sleep over, the hit you will take is minor, and temporary. Learn from the experience, life goes on.
Posted by BobJohn on 2008-09-05:
I can see raising your interest rate or socking you with fees, but I've never heard of company turning an account over to collections because of only one missed payment. Sorry but I just feel this isn't the entire story. And then you miss a 2nd payment.

Are you maxed out on other cards? Gone through bankruptcy? Something like that to cause them to take this action?

I'm confused (as usual), after your first missed payment your account was sent to collections and your account closed was closed at WAMU. If an account is sent to collections and closed how can you still be making payments on it to the original company?
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-09-05:
I have the same question as BobJohn..

Also, there is a difference between being sent to collections and having a late payment reported. Having your account turned over to collections basically means you refused to pay the creditor and now they have retained a collection agency to come after you, being late on a payment means just that, you were late.
Posted by cherpep on 2008-09-05:
It sounds like it was turned over the collections department within WAMU, not actually a collections company. I have to agree BobJohn - you would need to do more than be a few days late to have it turned over to an actual collection company. Giving it to the collections department would be a normal process when a payment doesn't show up on time.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-09-05:
I work in collections for a retail company and if you are one day late on payment, your account goes into collections. But it goes to our company's collections department, not a third party collector. We wait until you are two months late to report it on your credit. Ken is right, it's automatic. We cannot stop an account from going into collections, no matter what the situation is.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-09-05:
Okay for those of you that know and commented on my OCD traits (lol), here is another one for you to ponder. It's not a totally fool proof solution because I still have to be responsible and keep track, but I set up my bill pay with my bank to automatically send a check to my creditor the same time every month. Been doing it this way for a while now and it has been working.

For my utilities I have divided my estimated bill by 4 and send in that amount each week, again automatically from my bill pay account with the bank. This way, I never notice the money is gone and on months that there are five fridays (the day I have it set up to send the payments) I end up ahead of the game. I just have to make sure if my usage (like electricity goes up) I have to modify the payment. If I end up getting sick or distracted it doesn't matter, because the payment still goes out.

I must stress that this is done through bill pay with my bank. I remain in control and can shut it off at any time. I never give access to my account to any creditor or utility. I hope this info is helpful.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-09-05:
A known truth in accounts management: The sooner a late customer is contacted about a past due balance, the more likely the customer is to pay the past due amount. That said, to arbitrarily turn a late account over to the goons at collections 'no matter what the excuse' is abusive. Life happens. Not every late account is a deadbeat looking to skate on the balance.
Posted by Ponie on 2008-09-05:
Doc, and just to whom do you think past due accounts should be turned over? Note she did not say it was turned over to a collection *agency*. But I suppose in your world a receptionist who calls on past due accounts could be considered a 'goon.' I'm pleased I haven't lived on your planet.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-09-06:
I think the confusion is between whether it was sent to company's internal collection department, or if it was sent to an outside collection agency. I think if it is 30 days late, sending to an outside agency is a bit extreme and not necessary unless there is an ongoing late payment history.

A simple way to keep track is that if the company you have an account with offers email reminders, sign up and have a message sent to you when a statement is generated, and again at least 10 days before the bill is due if the payment hasn't been received. To me this is just one more tool to use and helps me in taking responsibility for my accounts.

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