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Is the debt collector Comenity Bank harassing you?

Comenity Bank Company Profile:

Name: Comenity Bank

Mailing address: PO Box 182273 Columbus, OH 43218-2273

Corporate headquarters: One Righter Parkway, Suite 100, Wilmington, Delaware

Phone Numbers: 1-800-675-5685, 1-855-506-2496

President and CEO: Ed Hoffman

Annual Revenue: $12 million

Website:  https://comenity.com/

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/company/comenity/

Introduction:

Comenity Bank is a state-chartered commercial bank. First incorporated in Delaware in May 1989, it provides branded and co-branded credit cards to retail consumers. It works with retail establishments such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Motorola, Victoria's Secret and many others. Comenity itself has around 25 employees, and it maintains no branch office.  

Comenity Bank and Comenity Capital Bank are the credit card banking subsidiaries of Alliance Data Systems Corporation.    

Consumer Complaints:

Comenity Bank has been the subject of an exceptionally high number of consumer complaints.

Better Business Bureau:

The Comenity Bank Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile reveals a “C” rating , which is abysmal, since even businesses with poor customer reviews commonly receive A+ ratings. Its customer review score was even worse -- one star out of a possible five stars. An astonishing 2,673 complaints against Comenity have been closed in the last three years, 946 of which occurred during the last 12 months alone. Comenity is not BBB accredited.

Consumer Affairs Complaints:

Consumer Affairs, a privately owned consumer watchdog, has received numerous complaints about Comenity Bank. Following is a small sample of some of the negative reviews (which seem to predominate):

  • Adding small amounts to the bill to cause the debtor to default on payment, as an excuse to charge a late fee that adds up to far more than the defaulted amount.
  • Deducting 100 times more than the authorized amount from a debtor's bank account ($5,277 instead of $52.77).
  • Charging a finance charge even though the debtor paid in full before the deadline.
  • Repeatedly assessing unjustified late fees.
  • Excessive and compounding late fees (charging another late fee for failing to pay an original late fee on time).
  • The fine print: “No interest if you pay within 12 months” really means “If you're even one day late, we will retroactively assess all of your late fees for the entire year.” A consumer might, for example, miss $50 of a single payment and as a consequence, be charged $500 in interest that would not otherwise have been accrued.
Lawsuits and Settlements:

In 2015 the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the US government entity with authority over the nation's banking system, sued Comenity Bank and Comenity Capital Bank over deceptive  marketing of add-on products, and  settlement was reached in 2015. Among other terms, it  required Comenity to pay $2 million in civil fines, as well as a shocking $53 million in refunds to consumers who were harmed by Comenity's deceptive practices.

More than one lawsuit has been filed against Comenity Bank for violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by Comenity in the process of debt collection. The TCPA prohibits robocalls -- repeated automated dialing calls. One plaintiff, for example, complained that she had received 500 robocalls from Comenity.

Below is a very incomplete list of some of the other lawsuits that have been filed against Comenity Bank:

Gonzalez v. Comenity Bank

Dmytriw v. Comenity Bank

Wilson v. Comenity Bank

Schweitzer v. Comenity Bank

Smith v. Comenity Bank

Grammes v. Comenity Bank

Keane v. Comenity Bank

Couser v. Comenity Bank

It is important to point out that, to the extent that Comenity Bank is an original creditor (as opposed to a third-party creditor such a debt collection agency), you wouldn't expect all that many lawsuits against them, because their agreements with their debtors almost always contain enforceable arbitration clauses, which keeps disputes out of court.

Your Legal Arsenal:

Federal law, as well as many state laws, strictly regulate the behavior of debt collectors. California state law, for example, is particularly protective of consumers. Following is a list of statutes that govern debt collector behavior. All of these statutes are federal, meaning that they apply everywhere in the US, unless proven otherwise.

Examples of Illegal Debt Collector Behavior:

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

  • Calling you late at night or early in the morning;
  • Calling you repeatedly to the point of harassment;
  • Sending out confusing or deceptive debt collection letters;
  • Misstating the amount of the debt;
  • Falsely claiming to be an attorney;
  • Threatening to take action that the debt collector has no legal right to take, such as garnishing your paycheck before receiving a court judgment against you;
  • Attempting to collect a debt that has already been paid in full;
  • Attempting to collect a debt that is subject to a bankruptcy stay;
  • Attempting to collect a debt that has already been discharged in bankruptcy;
  • Trying to collect a debt for  which the statute of limitations deadline for filing a lawsuit has already expired;
  • Adding fees and charges to your debt that you did not originally agree to (in a loan agreement, for example);
  • Contacting third parties and telling them about your debt (your employer, for example);
  • Robo-calling you;
  • Threatening you;
  • Using profanity; and
  • Many other abusive or improper activities too numerous to list here. 
Get Someone On Your Side:

Paul Mankin has been protecting consumers against creditor abuse for many years now, with a strong of victories under his belt. You don't have to allow creditors to turn you into their punching bag. If you are being harassed or abused by Comenity Bank or another debt collector over a debt, contact the Law Office of L. Paul Mankin, APC for a free consultation. We can be reached by phone at 1-800-219-3577 or by completing our online contact form (scroll down).

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