H. Kent Hollins, Attorney at Law, P.A – CFPB Complaint

Date Received: 2018-09-25T00:00:00

Product: Other debt

Issue: False statements or representation

Consumer Consent Provided to Share Complaint: Consent provided

Consumer Complaint: I entered into a payment arrangement with the debt collector, with my first payment due approximately XX/XX/XXXX, in order to attempt to bring my account balance up to date and avoid further garnishment against my account. I had attempted to enter into payment arrangements previously to avoid garnishment, however the company told me every time I attempted that they would not allow me to make any payments on my account without providing all of the personal information they requested from me and I without having a job that I receive a paycheck from. I worked independently as a XXXX so I did not have payroll, I could only bring cash, so I wasnt allowed to make payments on my accounts at several points throughout the last several years.

I entered into the payment arrangement and my first payment was due on XX/XX/XXXX. I was never given any copies of my agreement, as I was told that they do not provide this to people except over the phone, but the staff member told me over the phone on a recorded call that they would no longer send any garnishments against me as long as I made a good faith effort to pay. I was told that Mondays were the only day I could set my payment arrangement up to be due on ( on a weekly basis ). I explained that I was concerned about payments being due on Mondays, and that I am unable to make it to the office sometimes on Mondays. The staff member told me that there was nothing else possible, and that my only choice was to bring the payment on Mondays, but that there is a three-day grace period available just in case I couldnt make it on that day. Additionally, I have explained to them several times that the only funds available in my bank account and the times they levied my bank account were from child support, that I could prove, and that the funds they kept taking from my account were exempt funds. These funds were never returned.

I began been making payments regularly, and there was a week that my payment was due on a holiday ( XXXX XXXX ) and I didnt make it into their office on that week. My mother had been admitted to the hospital, and between the holiday and her hospital stay I was unavailable to make it to their office. I made it as soon as I could to make my next payment and explained what happened to the staff member, and I expressed concern that I was late in getting my payment to them and wasnt sure if that messed up my payment arrangement or not. Because I was never sent any information about the terms of the payment arrangement, I was not able to review this information to figure out what to do at the time and I didnt have phone service available at the hospital. I explained all of this information to the staff member in the office, and I was told that there shouldnt be any issues with my payment arrangement and to continue sending payments as scheduled, which I did.

On XX/XX/XXXX I realized that the funds in my account were gone after my card was declined at a merchant and I called the bank. They notified me that a bank levy had been sent, and was received by the bank on XX/XX/XXXX, which was the day after my last payment made to this company. I was actively making a good faith effort to pay my account, and the company sent a levy to my account anyways and sent my account into the negative by {$110.00}, as well as draining the {$32.00} that was in it. Those funds were child support funds, which I reported to the company today. I noticed today ( XX/XX/XXXX ) that my account was negative {$110.00}, which made it impossible for me to receive another payment for child support in my account without the funds being taken up by the negative balance.

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When I called the company to ask why they garnished my account after previously promising not to and telling me that my payment arrangement wasnt affected by being late when my mother was hospitalized ( I am her legal Power of Attorney ), I was told that there was no payment arrangement on file, that they had notated the account that they had previously informed me that I needed to call and set up a new one, after they had told me a different time that I wouldnt be allowed to set up any more payment arrangements, which is false. She also told me that there was no grace period allowed, and when I confronted her about what the other staff member had told me about the three day grace period, she then recanted her story and stated that there IS in fact a grace period available, but then stated it is more for when a payment is due on a weekend. She then told me if I wanted to take up any concerns about child support funds being garnished which should be exempt, that I had to do so through my bank account, and that my bank are the only ones able to tell them that the funds in my account are exempt funds. This is not true. This phone call between myself and the company are recorded, as well as the phone call I made with the bank informing me that they have nothing to do with informing the creditor that the funds in the account are exempt. To date I have been given no notice to dispute the garnishment or inform them that the funds are exempt, and this is a frequent occurrence with this creditor.

Per my experience and the experiences of thousands of other consumers in our town, the creditor, who is owned and operated under the name of an attorney, does not allow many people to even make reasonable attempts to pay their account balances without meeting extensive requirements, will deny attempts to pay accounts, uses false and misleading statements regularly and illegally misrepresents the law and what people need to do in order to take care of their debts, frequently garnishes funds that they know to be exempt forcing consumers to go through extensive legal processes and fees in order to dispute the funds being garnished and claim them as exempt, will repeatedly send garnishments to accounts that they know have little to no money in them week after week, sending consumers into more and more debt with their banks as they repeatedly incur huge legal order processing fees and can not even maintain an open bank account long enough to save any money to pay the debts off in the first place, does not provide accurate documentation of payment arrangements or account activity, lies about payment arrangements, promises to not garnish accounts and then garnishes them anyways, and frequently communicates court summons to debt collection court for status hearings by post card, which is also illegal.

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This creditor has done this for years and should be penalized for their procedural harassment and bullying of creditors and denying people the ability to pay their debts. By law a consumer doesnt have to provide any more information than what they are comfortable with sharing, and the company uses this to deny people the ability to pay their debts. They do not cease collection efforts when notified that funds are exempt or that debts are disputed, and they frequently fail to give notice prior to legal proceedings which ensure an individual does not have time to attend the hearing to dispute the debt in the first place, resulting in default judgement.

On behalf of almost everyone in XXXX, KS, please hold this creditor accountable for their malicious, negligent, and bullying debt collection practices. This is not right for anyone to have to be subjected to this kind of nonsense and I have the calls recorded finally to try to help prove it. We all believe that this company is actually embezzling through the abuse of state statutes and abusive collection practices, and that they are somehow involved with the state in the funneling of funds gained by nickel and diming people in small enough amounts that they dont have the opportunity to contest it without incurring huge financial or time losses to try to do so.

Company: H. Kent Hollins, Attorney at Law, P.A

State/Zip: KS

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Company Response to Complaint: Closed with explanation

Was Company Response Timely: Yes

Did Consumer Dispute Company Response: N/A

Complaint ID: 3029354

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