Home Depot

PHILADELPHIA – A retired Philadelphia woman alleges Home Depot has failed to credit her account, in what a recently-filed lawsuit claims has been a long-standing financial dispute over the balance on her Home Depot credit card.

Betty Frederick of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Nov. 6 versus The Home Depot, Inc. and Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. of Atlanta, Ga. and Citibank, N.A. of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Frederick opened a Home Depot credit card account with defendant and owed a balance of $5,266 through Jan. 18, 2017, which she had the option to pay in monthly installments with Home Depot’s inclusion of interest and fees. Citizens Bank, on behalf of Frederick, issued a check dated Feb. 7, 2017 to Home Depot for the $5,266, which was deposited on Feb. 15, 2017.

Since a monthly payment became due beforehand, plaintiff made an $860 payment and accounting for an interest change that accrued in the meantime, the payment reduced the balance owed as of Feb. 15 to $4,491.34. Fifth Third Bank, on behalf of Home Depot, endorsed the Citizens Bank check and deposited the funds into two accounts: $4,491.34 paid off the credit account and a $774.66 credit was held in a separate account – but Home Depot never applied the credit to Frederick’s account.

“By Fifth Third Bank’s correspondence dated April 4, 2017 to Home Depot, the agent acknowledged an encoding error and $774.66 credit. Home Depot did not issue plaintiff a check for the credit, therefore the credit should have remained on the account. Plaintiff purchased items on or about May 11, 2017 and May 22, 2017, totaling $771.40, which should have left a $3.26 credit. These two purchases were for $454.90 and $316.50 respectively. No purchase using the card has been made since May 22, 2017,” the suit states.

“Since in or around June 2017 through the present, Home Depot contacted plaintiff by mail and telephone on numerous occasions, even five and six times a day, asserting the account is delinquent and demanding payment for the May purchases, plus interest, fees and late penalties. These additional charges continue to accrue every month.”

Frederick emphasized that on her own and through third-parties, she explained to Home Depot that she possessed a credit on the account and sent supporting documentation to that effect. But she added Home Depot representatives gave her the run-around on subsequent follow-up phone calls and claimed to not have possession of the cancelled check, asking her to re-send it.

A current statement on the balance lists $904.38, including the two May 2017 purchases, interest, fees and late penalties, which accrue monthly, and says the account is four months delinquent. Frederick says in being a retired person, she receives constant phone calls about this matter which claims is tantamount to harassment, and that attempts to resolve this situation have aggravated her hypertension and physical pain with prolonged ambulation.

The suit quotes Frederick as writing to Home Depot at the end of August, “I’ve spoken to many people since this wrong payment applied. Please in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ return my money or applied/credit my account!”

For counts of breach of contract, negligence, violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law and negligent infliction of emotional distress, the plaintiff is seeking enjoinment of the defendants from engaging in the acts complained of, compensatory and treble damages (pursuant to the UTPCPL), punitive damages, plaintiff’s attorney fees and litigation costs and for any other relief the Court deems just and proper.

The plaintiff is represented by Melissa Freeman of Freeman Law Firm, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 171100288

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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