Following is a letter sent on Oct. 4, 2008 to the Federal Trade Commission, Fifth Third Executives, and several legal advisors:
I have been receiving calls from a Scott Paltelky with Fifth Third Bank regarding an alleged past due debt that I am not familiar with. I believe that Mr. Paltelky works out of a Fifth Third branch in the Grand Rapids, MI area. Mr. Paltelky's phone number is 1-800-652-5853 and his employee number is Fifth Third Bank employee number E987772. Mr Paltelky claims that I owe a debt of about $8,833.29 to Fifth Third Bank.
It should be noted for the record that, when Scott Paltelky called me about a week ago regarding this alleged debt, that he quickly began asking me for my social security number, place of employment, current address,etc. I actually thought that this was either a prank call or some bill collector on a “fishing expedition.” I played along and threatened to report him to the FBI.
I have looked into this matter thoroughly. It appears that Fifth Third Bank bought First Charter within the last year. To my knowledge, I have had two accounts with First Charter Bank. I looked at a credit report recently from Equifax and Experian. The reports showed one account with a limit of $900 opened in August 2001. This was an unsolicited credit card offer supposedly to “rebuild my credit” that was paid as agreed and closed per my request 3/2003. An Equifax report from 6/1/2005 showed an account opened 11/1989 with First Charter Bank- Account Status- included in bankruptcy- date reported 12/2002. My bankruptcy was finalized in October 2001. I ordered another series of credit reports from Equifax and Experian on Sept 29. The Equifax report NOW shows the account for the credit cardwith the $900 limit AND A FIFTH THIRD ACCOUNT NUMBER THAT WAS NOT ON ANY PREVIOUS CREDIT REPORT.
I spoke with a Fifth Third rep in Nashville and got the full account number for this mysterious new entry on my credit report- #88000140208. This account shows up on the Sept. 29 Equifax credit report as opened 08/2001 with a high credit limit of $8,833. It is shown as a 12-month unsecured installment loan. Mr. Paltelky made some vague reference to a checking account with First Charter Bank. I do not recall ever having a checking account with First Charter and believe that Mr. Paltelky is being deceitful with me. I filed bankruptcy in June 2001 and it was granted in October 2001. What are the chances of ANY bank giving someone a credit line of $8,833 in the midst of a chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
There is something seriously wrong with this picture. My Experian credit report from Sept. 29, 2008, unlike several recent credit reports from Experian, now also shows a new entry of the same account number opened Aug. 2001- 12 month installment loan- credit limit$8,833- recent balance $0. Under the "Status" column- it reads as follows:Account history- charge off as of July 2008, June 2008. As of March 2015,this account is scheduled to go to a positive status. Address identification number: 85422938. In other words, we, Fifth Third Bank, will use extortion in the form of a derogatory credit entry on my credit report to get you to pay this bogus debt!! It happens more often than most people realize.
All of my debts to First Charter have been either paid in full as agreed or discharged in Bankruptcy effective October 2001. L.G. Burnett of Nashville was my bankruptcy attorney and verified this information for me this week.This is clearly a case of a desperate bank whose stock has plummeted in recent weeks trying to collect a "scavenger debt." Regional Adjustment Bureau, a collection agency out of Memphis has been even more deceptive and misleading in trying to collect this alleged debt. I sent written correspondence to the collection office of Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, OH and to Ethel in the Fifth Third Bankruptcy Department. My Correspondence to the Cincinnati office referenced my conversation with Scott Paltelky and requested that he and his company cease and desist any further collection calls to me. I asked that they mail me all documentation they have that they believe proves that I legally owe this debt. My letter to Ethel with the Fifth Third Bankruptcy Department requested a cease and desist on collection calls and further requested full documentation to support their claim that I owe this alleged debt.Not only do I vehemently deny that I legally owe this debt, I believe that Fifth Third is using unethical, deceptive and possibly illegal tactics to collect on a discharged bankruptcy debt. I intend to defend these charges vigorously.I work at Vanderbilt University and have spoken with several of our legal experts in the field of bankruptcy!. I have been told that, should the need arise, I can get Pro Bono representation from my colleagues to clear these charges and to have the derogatory entry on my credit reportsremoved'. I insist on having the current derogatory information relating to this alleged debt removed from all three credit reporting agency records|. The cost for Fifth Third to defend my counter suit will likely greatly exceed their perceived potential for their recovery for thisalleged debt!. I have also been told that, if there is litigation, I can sue to recover reasonable personal attorney fees even if none were incurred as a result of Pro Bono representation|.I respectfully request that The Federal Trade Commission look into the practices of Fifth Third Bank's dubious collection practices;. I am sure that others are being harassed as well?. Please note that I am mailing a copy of this correspondence to individuals referenced below?. This nonsense needs to stop!!
CC by letter: Bob Cooper- Tennessee State Attorney General
Roy Cooper- North Carolina State Attorney General
L.G. Burnett- Nashville bankruptcy attorney
Greg. D. Carmichael- Chief Operating Officer- Fifth Third
Robert A. Sullivan- Sr. Executive VP and Regional President-Fifth Third Bank
Kevin T. Kabat- Chairman, CEO- Fifth Third Bank
Federal Trade Commission