Ashley Woods wrote to me and expressed grave concern about a situation she ran into with an AAFES Military Star credit card she owed.
It’s one thing to have a balance due but it’s quite another when the collection company appears to just make up what you owe.
Ashley she was contacted by Transworld Systems and appears to have gotten the run around on the debt. When she pressed them for direct answers about exactly what she owed, well, she got a different story.
Here is what Ashley said.
“In June of 2012, I reached out to AAFES to attempt to pay off a military star card, not knowing it already went to collections. They informed me there is nothing they can do, and that I must contact Transworld Systems, Inc.
When I contacted them I had to pay over $2000.00 just to get the payments within my budget. In December of 2014, I received a wage garnishment letter from Transworld. When I called, again they told me I must pay $2000.00 in order to stop the wage garnishment.
I sent a letter requesting the validation of the debt, I know I did not charge over $3000 on the card, the limit was not that high!
In Texas, 3rd party debt collectors are required to file a bond with the Secretary of State, this is a free charge. I could not find them in the system, so I also requested that info.
Here’s what happened:
They filed the bond the day after they received my certified letter.
I received a letter back with the following break-down:
Principal: $1, 317.77
Collection Charge: $528.95
Total Balance: $2,518.80
The original letter I received in December states that I owed: $3,329.32
What does this mean:
- There is no explanation of why the debt went from $3, 329.32 to $2, 518.80. ($809.52 difference)
- 15 USC 1692f 808(1), 31 USC 3711g (6), and Texas Finance Code Ch 392 Sec. 303 all state that they cannot legally charge the $528.95 collection charge.
- Now with the balance of $1, 3717.77+672.08(interest)=$1, 989.85, less than what they wanted lump sum to start a payment arrangement.
So… they attempted to collect a total of $1,338.47 illegally from us. If they attempted to do this to us, how many other veterans were taken advantage of? If they did this to 10,000 veterans, that is $13,384,700 they illegally profited off of.
I am reaching out to other vets that have been contacted by this company. This is wrong!!”
Ashley said she would love to hear from others who might have also faced a similar solution. She said you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
30 thoughts on “Is the AAFES Military Star Credit Card Screwing Over Veterans?”
the same happened to me, I received a letter and i started to make payments but the total amount was increased. I stop to make payment and now the total from 6,500 with the interest 15,000 dollars. I was trying to get an arrangement but it was impossible. if someone know how to resolve appreciate.
We need help! My husband paid off one account with Transworld. I contacted them and they said it was for Take it home account, but now we owe 20,000 to the Military Card account. AFES said it was a duplicate account. We need help!!!!! How do we prove this is a mistake????
You should attempt to validate the debt. The CFPB has this excellent guide on what you should ask for and expect. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/rules-policy/regulations/1006/34/#34-b-3-Interp-2
Seems everyone here is either claiming bankruptcy or should have. But the thing that sucks, is, this company wont allow settlements. Its a quasifederal corporation harming people to protect its balance sheet. So, best to pay them off as fast as possible. Or claim BK.
I called AAFES headquarters and was told that they do settlements between July 1 and end of December of each year. If I had known this I would have tried to settled long ago. Although I do not work, I will see what they are willing to settle. I will be calling in July to see if the settlement option is true.
That is great information to know. Thanks for sharing.
I am currently in this situation. Called Aafes and they would not talk to me, said my account is with Transworld. Called transworld and the amount of $3400 that was charged off in 2018 is now $5758…..He couldn’t tell me anything except it was interest….Told me I could get a bank loan with lower interest to pay it off. I haven’t worked since 2016! How am I going to get a bank loan. Told me that we would do research and see what he could do. Someone have any luck? This is my debt,not my husbands, so can they garnish his pay?
You would have to go back and look at the terms and conditions of the card. It probably says the service member is responsible but you would have to confirm that.
I’ve emailed some of these with no response. I think because the article is old, but it’s still happening. Please give us help and we need to get the word out. It’s awful what they are doing and I’m sure illegal. Who can we call at AAFES?
The AAFES situation is tragic. The government hands out a credit card and then claims it is a government obligation and even goes so far as to garnish social security benefits. I’ll look into this and post a new article on what I find. Be sure to subscribe to the daily email updates so you are notified when I publish it.
Same thing is happening to me NOW! They said my original balance is 1100.00 and with all the late fees and interest the balance I owe them is 2300.00. I made them a settlement offer of 250.00 and they came back and said 1000.00 FINAL and wouldn’t negotiate at all and said I have until December 17th to decide YET last week they GARNISHED MY DISABILITY CHECK 200.00!!! I don’t know what to do!!! Also they sent me paperwork to fill out a HARDSHIP yet they won’t explain to me what a hardship even does, I’ve asked 3 people and get the run around! From what I can understand they say a hardship only basically allows me to set up a payment arrangement. ANY ADVISE FOR ME???
I have to do something ASAP
The AAFES card has been a trap for a long time. Since it is a government loan they can garnish Social Security. The contact email for AAFES is MilitaryStar@aafes.com and you should also read https://getoutofdebt.org//50582/how-to-easily-stop-a-social-security-wage-garnishment
You have several options. One, send a certified letter or call Transworld Systems Inc. (TSI) to advise them to cease and desist communication. Two, contact AAFES Collection department to discuss the events leading up to your account declared in default and charged off. The charged off amount is what you owe AAFES, an instrumentality of the United States. Third, request a copy of your application. When you receive your Military Star application, read the default and remedies paragraph. Lastly, you might consider a class action lawsuit, if you have standing to file a nonfrivolous lawsuit against TSI.
Hi Steve I currently owe Military Star Card a little over $18K since 2009 I believe. I called a couple days ago and the collection dept told me to fill out a financial hardship application. I am presently not working only my husband. Have you heard any stories of someone applying for this and received good results. Im praying real hard that this will help my family to relieve us from this financial dept or lower it to the an amount that we can afford to payoff. Can you give me any pointers on how to answer some questions they may ask me? I have never filled out this type of application before for a creditor except for my school loans but it only reduced my payment not amount owed. This needs to disappear somehow!
Do you have other debts you are dealing with or struggling with in addition to this?
Ok sorry for the late response but let me update you on what has happened since then. I called trans world last year and asked if I could do a settlement for the balance owed. I figured this was the best option if they would keep garnishing our income tax and it was never going to be paid off because of all the fees and interest they charge. So they told me I owed close to $18K I told them my situation that I wasn’t working but I had $6500 in my savings acct to settle on. It took a few days for them to get back with me. I actually called and asked what the status was whether approved or not they told me yes they would settle on this offer. I was shocked since my balance was so high. I have had this debt for a little over ten years only payment they received were my income taxes for a few years. Btw my offset income taxes from previous years had already paid my balance but bc of the huge fees and high interest it went up to almost $18K. So I did have to claim the other portion that wasn’t paid on my taxes as income but it was still better to pay a settlement to get them off my credit report. I am so thankful I don’t have to think about this no more. I hope this can help everyone having to deal with this credit card if your account has been sent to transworld because they charge lots of fees and interest and the balance just gets higher.
That is a lucky outcome. Congratulations.
I owe just over 5000, I think the Bankruptcy is the best way out
It happened to me also ever since I retired in 2009 and I’m still paying for it.I know we all need to come together to do something about it and hopefully soon.
Same, I am 100% DAV straight out of the Army in 2006. Ive been paying this debt since then, Via garnishment from my Social security check. I had just under $7,000 in debt. Been paying over a decade, via garnishment. Now, I still owe over $20,000. I suppose the garnishment will last the rest of my existence.
If the garnishment is a financial hardship you can ask for an appeal to modify the garnishment.
If I made an agreement with Transworld to make monthly payments can they still take my entire tax refund ? I have been laying monthly and made an agreement with them
It really depends if the account was referred to the Treasury Department for an Administrative Wage Garnishment. Only they can tell you that.
Im in the same boat. They tell me that I owe like 10k for a 3000 dollar debt. I haven’t recieved an imcome tax return for like 7 years. I need answers and how to get these crooks to stop.
I’m at $10K for a $1000 debt from 2009… they waited all that time to let me know about it. Bast ards
Same issue here I contacted TransWorld and they told me I owe $20,000 for a $6,000 debt. I have already paid over $6800. So it’s like I’ll never pay this off I’m just paying there fees.
I had a 2000 limit and had my taxes garnished for over 4000 TSI says I still owe 1900 I don’t know how this is possible! Is there any help?
Frank, please contact me. I’ve been in contact with a Senior Vice President for AAFES over a similar situation. AFFES has offered to repay back $1,000 of the over $3,500 owed back to me. My email is email@example.com
I need more information about Aafes vice-president.
Pretty much the same happened to us but before we could get a good response the garnishments had already started from my husbands VA benefits. we ended up paying almostb4000 for a 2000 limit.