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Can collectors withdraw funds from my bank account without my approval?

Answer: Although unethical collectors (yes, there are ethical collectors out there) threaten to take your money, doing so without your permission requires a court order!

However, it happens more often than people realize. When it does happen, you’re dealing with an unethical collector who uses a variety of methods to steal your money. Some of their favorite methods include getting you to authorize post-dated checks or automatic account withdrawals and then withdrawing more than you authorized.

You have certain rights and protections when money is taken out of your account without your permission or in an amount different than your permission. Such actions may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and also violate your rights under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. If this occurred, you may be entitled to monetary damages and free attorney representation. Learn more.


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  1. I have a bad credit card debt to Chase Bank (originally issuer). My last payment was made on November 30, 2007. The card was originally issued in Texas. I have lived in Oklahoma since 03/31/2007. The card was issued out of Delaware. Due to serious health issues I have been unable to pay more than $85,000. in debt I did pay, through an attorney who negotiated settlements for debts totallying more than $80,000., from an inheritance I received in 02/2009.

    I have gone back through my records and this debt of about $7,000. was never charged off and evidently they never negotiated with my attorney. I paid all debts that I had the money for. But, then I ran out of money.

    This past Thursday, via the USPS, I received two envelopes from Chase Bank. Inside each one was a cashiers check. There was no explanation as to why I was receiving these two checks. One was for $43.31 and the other one was for $321.79. I actually thought that this might be a trick by Chase, because after all these years why were they sending me a check? But, then I remembered that there was a class-action lawsuit about the fees charged to make your payment if you moved or were unable to pay the minimum amount required. Or, at least that is what I believe to be true. So, the next day, this past Friday, I deposited the 2 checks into my checking account. When I got home from work (I am now able to work part-time) there is an envelope in the mail with a letter inside it from Chase. It states that this is in regards to this bad account. It says that I had recently made a payment on this account and that they were returning it, because Chase sold the account and not longer services it. As a result, we are unable to process my payment.

    Well, none of that is true! So, now in fear I went down to the bank this AM and withdrew most of my money in my only account. And I do not have very much money. What do I need to do? Should I seen if my bank can put a stop payment on the deposit or what? I am afraid that they have just tricked me into acknowledging that I do in fact have a debt with them? Should I close out my bank account? This will be hard on me if I have to as all my utility bills, etc. are auto-drafted out of this account. I am so upset that this has happened to me. I started to shred these checks and now I wished I had. I did not copy the checks prior to depositing them. The mailing dates on the envelopes was run through a date-stamp machine showing the date as May 5, 2014; the same date that is on the letter. However, the envelope containing the letter was mailed in an envelope pre-printed stating “pre-sorted First Class Mail U.S. Postage PAID NSP. So, I don’t think I can prove that they “tricked” me and it would appear as if they (all 3 items) arrived on the same day. But, they did not.

    Please, please tell me what I need to do. Thank you for any assistance which you can give me.

  2. Without seeing the documents, its very hard to accurately answer. Still, let us say the following:

    As for the checks, you are correct: one or both could be with regard to a class action against Chase. But, the checks could also be with regard to a debt your debt settlement lawyer resolved with Chase, that you have been paying on via a trust, and that they recently sold (note: them selling the debt now would not void the agreement).

    Nonetheless, Oklahoma and Texas both require a signed writing to interrupt/renew the statute of limitations, so the fact you deposited a check will not renew any SOL.

    Please call us to provide more information, lawyers from this site may be able to provide a better answer with additional facts. The case review is free and without obligation, and the call is toll free 888-595-9111.

  3. I had my checking and savings taken for a debt from cc company, i am behind in paying them. it is 148 a month. i agreed by phone. i have not had any notice of court order. When i called them he didnt say anything but this was for one time this month I dont know how im goning to pay my bills. how can they do this with out a court judgement?

  4. I am having trouble right now with Cumberland farms and a debt collector called checkredi my wife got a smartpay card from Cumberland farms and charged the account money but with the smartpay there was no money in the account at the time it posted which is three business days afterwards so the money was never paid out we ended up calling the hotline and explaining that we didnt realize it and asked to set up a payment which was 127 dollars from another account which was what was owed and they took the payment well this is where it gets interesting we owed them $127.00 dollars but because the payments were sent back from the bank in the beginning the 127.00 turned into $409.95 with return fees and that not including the return fees I was charged by my bank which was another 297.00 dollars so because I owe 127 dollars they are charging me 409.95 in total for the 127 now here’s where it really gets interesting a week later a debt collector by the name of checkredi assesses my bank account and withdraws 309.95 with out my permission and when I call they say I owe it for the remaining balance owed to Cumberland farms and I told the person on the phone that I never authorized any payment and that I wanted the money put back into the account and I wanted to set up a payment plan even though I feel that the fees and penalties out way the original debt and they tell me that they don’t have to return it and that they also don’t do payment plans that if the money is returned for some reason that Cumberland farm will then charge this same account for the balance of 309.95 so how can a company as well as a debt collector collect on the same debt and what can I do to stop them from accessing my bank account I plan on paying but at this time I work paycheck to paycheck and when they took the money it was two days before I am paid so I’m getting charged on both ends, with them as well as my bank can someone please help me or point me in the right direction

    • Call us for a free attorney review, we emailed you inviting the same. Lots of laws out there that provide damages, which can in turn provide the relief you need. Its not always a straight line, but its always smart to inquire about your consumer rights.

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