Can Invitation Homes charge him $3,600 for breaking the lease?

Invitation Homes wants Kevin Shaw to pay $3,600 for breaking the lease on his apartment, even though it told him he could do it. Now, a year and a half later, it’s sending his case to a collection agency. Can this late bill be fixed? Read more “Can Invitation Homes charge him $3,600 for breaking the lease?”

Read this before you file a chargeback on a delayed flight

When Milton Dortch and his wife planned their trip from Atlanta to New York in December 2015, Dortch booked their flights on Delta Air Lines. They used his American Express SkyMiles credit card. On their day of travel, a series of violent thunderstorms caused delays in the southeastern U.S., and Dortch arrived at his destination 10 hours late.

What Dortch did next will surprise you.

Read more “Read this before you file a chargeback on a delayed flight”

This senior created her problem and is determined to fix it herself

Faye Borowsky allowed her son-in-law to prepay for a rental car on her credit card. Then she forgot about it.

When she got her credit card bill, she made a critical mistake that has caused her months of anguish.

She asked us to help her help herself, and you would be surprised to find out how she got herself out of this bind.

“When the charge came on my bill I disputed the charge because I forgot all about it,” she told us. “Once I realized the charge was correct — being a senior, I completely forgot — I reversed the disputed charge and paid my bill.”

That’s when the trouble started — a collection agency began to harass her son-in-law for payment. Borowsky sent in paperwork proving she had paid the charge on her credit card bill. But that wasn’t enough to thwart the collectors.

Frustrated with the collection agency’s relentless pursuit of money she already had paid, she turned to our advocates — surprisingly, not for help with advocating her case, but for contact information for Budget Car Rental (which is owned by Avis) so she could advocate for herself.

Once our advocate relayed the information to Borowsky, she got to work by contacting representatives at Avis/Budget. Unfortunately, she ran into a brick wall.

“I’ve been in contact with a nice woman who keeps telling me that I need to get a reversal from CitiBank,” Borowsky said. “I have provided two letters from CitiBank noting the reversal and stating that the funds are in their bank. In desperation I once again called CitiBank and was told I have two letters about the reversal, the funds are in their bank and [Budget] should know how to collect it. This is just one big circle.”

Borowsky received a note from the Budget representative that they were close to resolving the issue once they got the money from their bank. “I believe the last note I wrote to them (which was a little pushy) made them look into it more closely,” Borowsky said.

Borowsky’s note read:

Hi, if possible I need to have a conversation with your [credit department]. We have sent you two letters from CitiBank stating that this has been reversed and the money is sitting in your bank. I spoke with CitiBank this afternoon (because I am so frustrated) to ask once again about “reversal”. It’s been done. I don’t understand how your collections department can’t get the money. That just seems silly. I cannot be the only person to ever dispute a charge and then reverse and pay it. I’d like someone to explain why this is so complicated. I believe the ball is in the collections department’s court.

Fortunately, either the last note did the trick, or Budget was able to confirm that they received the funds. Regardless, Borowsky was notified that Budget received their payment from CitiBank, and the rental company notified the collection agency to discontinue pursuit of the funds.

The important takeaway from this is that credit card chargebacks should be used only as a last resort and only if you are certain that you didn’t make the charge. In this case, Borowsky complicated matters by charging back the funds, creating a firestorm of funds pursuit and reversal.

Regardless, we are pleased that Borowsky was able to advocate for herself.

My Aeroméxico ticket was wrong, and I don’t want to pay the change fee

Gail Creath didn’t confirm her Aeroméxico ticket was booked for the correct date, and the flight left without her. Although the airline was willing to reinstate her ticket for a fee, she didn’t like that option — we don’t recommend what she did next. Read more “My Aeroméxico ticket was wrong, and I don’t want to pay the change fee”

American Express freaks out about unpaid $32 bill

Mike Boyar discovers an unpaid $32 bill on his American Express card more than a year after he cancels his account. By then, a collection agency is involved and creates chaos. Is there a way to undo the damage? Read more “American Express freaks out about unpaid $32 bill”