The first letter from Capital One said that Patrice Perry owed $4,807. Within months, that number magically increased to $286.6 million, according to a lawsuit Perry has filed against the company.
Helpfully, Capital One enclosed an envelope for Perry, a hotel clerk from the Philadelphia area.
“Please send your payment of $286,651,237 in the enclosed envelope,” read the company’s letter, sent in August 2009.
Now Perry is suing Capital One for that exact amount, claiming that the company engaged in “terroristic debt collection methods,” according to the lawsuit.
“We are seeking the very amount of money they say she owes as actual damages,” Perry’s lawyer, Craig Kimmel, told the Philadelphia Enquirer. “So, we want $286 million. I’m as serious as they were when they sent that letter.”
Perry sent Capital One a letter asking the company to send all correspondence regarding the debt through her attorney. Instead, the company continued calling Perry, her family and friends, in violation of the law, according to Perry’s suit.
And then Perry received a letter demanding immediate payment of $286 million.
“It’s not that different from going up to someone’s house, knocking on the door and punching them in the face when they answer,” Kimmel told the Enquirer.
In a written response to the Enquirer, Capital One did not deny sending the letter.
“There are very rare occasions when human error has led to inaccuracies in customer billing letters,” the statement read, according to the paper. “This is clearly one of those instances. . . . We are working to resolve this issue.”
Image: Vyacheslav Argenberg, via Flickr.com