I have represented my 86 year old Mother by Power of Attorney for over 10 years. We recently had to place her in a Government Funded Facility for Dementia Treatment & Rehabilitation in February of this year. She has no Assets. Only her Social Security Check. There is a small Balance that is left each month. After expenses are taken by the Facility & Government. She had only one Debt, in which was a Credit Card from Bank of America. She Accrued debt and paid on the Account since she was 60 years of age. The balance now is around 7700 dollars. She lived with my Family and had expenses for 10 years prior to her illness described below. After her Insurance Expenses, she did help with some Living Expenses and her remaining Balance, paid Expenses regarding her Illness such as Pharmaceuticals and Doctor Care not paid by her Insurance. Her Family Home was Sold 10 years ago. She is a widow and my Father Passed in 1974. All of her assets were extinguished in April of this year and No Payments have been made to BOA since that time. I wrote BOA in April & June of this year, explaining that she had been placed in a Federally Funded Facility & Had no Assets and the Account could no longer be paid. I also wrote both times as her Power of Attorney. Since she could no longer do business & instructed them that I am only her POA. I included both times, the POA documents, properly recorded and Signed in this County. I was advised by my Attorney to handle all of this business in Writing Only. BOA was advised of this on both Certified & Return Receipt Letters. The Return Receipts were received and properly completed. I cleared her Online Profile out in March of this year. That removed her contact Phone # off the record. In order to get out of the Site, I had to leave some #. I placed a Phone # in the Family Barn that is used uniformly by several Family members within the Estate. It is mainly monitored for the Security System on the Premises and is rarely used for Communication and any other purpose. Her contact # that was removed on her profile was moved to another Security System Monitoring Service assigned to the Premises. It is also rarely used for communication. Both has a Voice Mail Service on the lines, so the Alarm Company can us the lines for testing and leave messages for the Owners. Both Letters to BOA clearly stated that phone communication would be ceased & desisted due to Georgia Fair Credit Collection Laws. I did not mention in either letter that the #'s, were attached to Security Systems and were not monitored. From day 1 of their receipt of the First Letter, numerous calls have been received on both lines. Not as frequent on the profile # removed in March as previously stated. After receipt of the 2nd letter, both lines were called daily. Since receipt of the First letter, there is around 47 calls by them and around 23 containing voice Mails asking Directly for my Mother to call them directly. I have told them in writing plainly since March that she no longer lives at this Residence and in all due respect, due to her Illness, she does not know the World is Spinning. Also, As her POA, I am doing her business and am only her POA. Can All Concerned, Imagine all the Stress and Strain to the Family Members, How Phone Calls from BOA, acting like they are wanting to speak to my mother specifically, and pleading that there are all different ways to deal with this matter, are dealt with Mentally? All of these calls are well documented on Phone Bills. It is getting aggravating to the Monitoring Group to keep up with all of these calls, as testing data on the systems are sent regularly to & from all concerned. I have not mentioned to BOA on either letter that the numbers are registered to other Family members, other than Her. You would think that there would be some reasoning to this in all my Communication. I have notified BOA by Law, all the information that is necessary to include, according to the issues. I have gave them all the Pie R Squares Legal Terminology to not do any business on the Phone. No one concerned has received any Written communication from them since they were notified in April. Several friends have given me Googled Information on BOA and there debt collection Practices. They have an In House Agency that says they are BOA, but are a separate entity. They have multiple complaints concerning there practices on line on several sites, concerning Fair Credit Collection Practices. It is frightening what they have gotten away with. It appears no one on one end of the Organization knows what the other is doing. I thought there was Laws concerning this. The final statement and what I contacted this site for is: What are my options to deal with all of this nonsense, without having to use legal resources? Maybe someone has had similar issues and all Comments would be appreciated. With All Best Wishes: Honeybee
The fact is that mom is likely judgement proof as her only income is SS and therefore "protected income" from creditors will not make any difference. Ok well almost all creditors, IRS & state tax authorities can attach her SS income but only those can as they are "super creditors" (TY to Vegas for "super creditor" posts in the past.) The super creditor ability of the IRS will be important…more on this below for you.
As Vegas said, changing the phone # will be the simplest solution. Now there still will be oodles of letters sent. You just want to make sure none of this gets commingled with your credit or your families credit or you or others ever agree to paying the debt or responsibility for it.
If the phone just cannot be changed as it's tied into other family biz or personal things at the barn and needs to be there….well you could have mom get a new phone and while your at it perhaps a "new" address too. For the phone, you can get one of those very cheap phone kits at Home Depot, Lowe's in bins by the check out. They cost under $100 and look for one that has the sim card that is good till all the prepaid minutes are used up. Get your grandkid (or any immigrant working on your house or farm or who belong to your church) to set it up as they will be totally familiar with these & can do it in under 5 minutes. Now for the mail, you - as DPOA - can rent a mail box for you & mom. Then change all mom's mail to this new address - even her SS and Medicaid contact details. UPS stores have mail boxes for rent but what might be better is a box at one of those shipping & parcel packing stores that are around universities & colleges that are individually owned as you develop a relationship with the owners and they call you if anything interested comes in. Also you may find that having everything mom go to this address will over time make your life easier as you go by every week or couple of weeks and get everything mom and deal with all as a group. It needs to be rented in your name as they will need to see a current ID. Then once you have both phone and mailbox done, you go on-line to BoA and enter all new info for mom.
OK the bad news. If BoA has written off the debt, they (BoA) as the OC can issue mom a 1099-C for the full amount of the debt, plus interest and fees. So a 10K credit card balance could morph up to 12K - 14K easily. The 1099-C - Cancellation of Debt is totally taxable income too. For those on Medicaid, if your state does an IRS match-up for income verification, the income will show up and will likely take mom over the asset/income ceiling for Medicaid. You will have to file taxes for mom for the TY that 1099-C is issued and will need to do a IRS 982 form to get the income reduced. It is not imho a DIY project as the 982 is totally loco to wrap your brain around (it's geared to foreclosure & short-sales 1099-C type of income reduction). So please be on the lookout for a 1099-C next January or the January 2018 and plan on doing taxes for mom.
Also only the OC can issue the 1099-C (i'm pretty sure), often the bottom feeders will threaten to issue their own 1099 unless you agree to pay or be responsible for the debt. they are ruthless and a special place in hades is set aside for them.
Stuff just never ends……...
Many Thanks for the advice.
2 more calls since yesterday. 8:25 A.M. & 8:45 P.M. last night.
Foreign type dialect asking directly for my mother. Continues to plead on why she has not called. 1 voice mail and one hang up.
Security company sends a family member, texts when the lines have a call on it. Probably messed up when I transferred my Mother's # over to the system. Nobody ever called the phone #, it was no longer needed, easier for the security company, and it looked good on paper.
I need a little more clarification on the Federal Consumer Agency. Is that the actual name of the Agency?
With All Best Wishes:
I apologize for the Communication Confusion. She left her residence with the Family in February of 2016 to enter the treatment facility. My Attorneys instructed me to do all Business with BOA in writing, since I was only the POA. Her BOA Profile Phone # of 10 years was not needed anymore due to the circumstances described.
The Family needed a new Phone # out in the Barn for the Security Systems described in the introductory statement. All concerned chose to use her phone #, to make issues quicker and less expensive with all Concerned.
That # was changed in Late February to the Barn Circuit, since she no longer needed a Phone and no longer was a resident with the Family. Hipaa Laws and her Primary Physicians wanted me to handle all her business, due to her Dementia and the on going Treatment Process. Again, in all due respect, her cognitive skills did not allow her to do any business. That is why I was doing business for her and making these decisions, as her POA.
It might not have been clearly stated, but, in order to get out of the Profile at BOA, another phone # had to be placed on her profile. It would not let you out without some type of Contact #. I chose to place another phone # in the Profile, which was another # in the Barn associated with the Security System. We needed 2. That other # was already in place for over 10 years. We merely transferred her old Profile #, into the Security System usage. That # was monitored and had voice mail capabilities.
The main issue is that I contacted BOA on two occasions, by Certified & Return Receipt Mail, was our wishes was to cease & desist on all Phone calls and all business concerning my Mothers account would be handled in writing. All terminology and Specific Laws were used in accordance with the Fair Collection Credit Act mandated in Georgia.
Ample explanation has been given and the Family has received 46 Phone Calls and 23 Voice Mails by some department of BOA, clearly stating that she call them personally and why will she not conform to their wishes. The implications of the recordings is, as she was dodging the system and no concern of the information supplied by me was understood by them.
I apologize that I went around China in my explanation. They were clearly calling individuals other than the account holder to do business concerning Debt Collection. I just want to know any other options before I consult Legal resources. It appears that the issues are getting out of hand.