Statement of Policy Regarding Communications in Connection with Collection of a Decedent’s Debt, Project No. P104806 #00139 

Submission Number:
00139 
Commenter:
Kyoko Carol Peer
Organization:
Personal Comment
State:
Ohio
Initiative Name:
Statement of Policy Regarding Communications in Connection with Collection of a Decedent’s Debt, Project No. P104806

My husband passed away on June 5, 2008. Prior to his death, he opened a credit card account with Chase Bank. He added my name as an "authorized user" without my knowledge. After his death, I received dunning phone calls (up to 12 per day) seeking payment. Each time I spoke to the collection agency (West Asset Management), I advised them that I did not know my late husband had this account. When I requested copies of the statement, I received a statement bearing an address other than my home mailing address. I asked for a copy of the agreement showing I was a co-applicant, and was told I was an "authorized user." Since I never used the credit card or cash advances from it, I asked them not to call me again. The badgering continued into late 2009. In 2010, Chase Bank sent me a form 1099C form canceling my husband's debt as of November, 2009. I filed timely in 2010 with IRS showing that the debt was incurred by my late husband prior to his death. Since filing with IRS, I have been told that form 1099C shows a date of 2009, therefore, tax and penalties are due for filing year 2009. I called IRS numerous times to obtain guidance and restate that this debt was incurred in 2008 and I had no benefit from the canceled debt (approximately $7600) owed by my late husband. IRS advised that without a 1099C dated 2008, I could not discharge the tax obligation by amending my return for that year. Today, I spent over one hour on the phone with Chase Bank and was transferred to 3 customer reps (offshore in INDIA), before the last supervisor told me Chase Bank would reply to my call tomorrow, 12/1/2010. My simple request was to obtain a form 1099C from Chase with a 2008 date so that I could amend my tax returns for that year. IRS graciously placed a 60-day hold on my tax obligation to resolve this matter. Anticipating another "fight" with Chase Bank's rep tomorrow is causing me mental anguish and physical pain. Chase will only tell me that it was their "BUSINESS DECISION" to cancel the debt in 2009 and subsequently issue the 1099C dated for tax year 2009, although they do conceded that I am not responsible for this debt. They further advise that it is a matter I must personally pursue with IRS even after I tell them they are the primary cause of the dispute since they are the company that issued the 1099C bearing the wrong tax year. (WEST ASSET MANAGEMENT MADE DUNNING CALLS TO MY HOME UNTIL LATE 2009 -- THIS MAY BE THE REASON CHASE BANK FEELS JUSTIFIED IN CANCELING THE DEBT DURING NOVEMBER, 2009.) This unfair "BUSINESS DECISION" by Chase Bank has caused me countless hours of sleepless nights, correspondence and worry that IRS will be equally relentless in its effort to collect tax (estimated $1600 + penalties, interest) on this debt. I try to conscienciously pay all my debts and taxes that are rightfully mine. If documentation is required to substantiate my claim, I would be more than to comply and provide any proof that is required. I apologize for this late submission to the FTC, but I have had difficulty posting my comments on your website due to heavy cyber shopping traffic, possibly. Any assistance or advice you can provide regarding Chase Bank or IRS would be greatly appreciated. During the day I can be contacted at my home phone: