We all know the value of a high credit score, and if you don’t, you likely haven’t been paying attention to yours. One man was very worried about his credit score. So worried, in fact, that he is suing Home Depot for “ruining” his score with a late payment notice.

The High Price of Paying Late

A customer in Oregon has taken the extreme measure of suing Home Depot for $250,000. One quarter of a million dollars is the value the unnamed man has put on his own credit score, which he claims Home Depot negatively affected without cause.

The story laid out in the case goes like this: The man opened a line of credit with Home Depot. The man made a payment that was delivered within hours or minutes of [the payment] date. Home Depot charged a $28 late fee. The man’s credit dropped 100 points once the late notice hits his credit. The man requests the fee be taken off his credit. Home Depot says no. The man sues for $250,000.

Two Sides to the Story

Obviously there are two sides to the story, but so far Home Depot hasn’t had much to say on the subject. The retailer told a reporter at Fortune.com that the building company would be turning the lawsuit over to Citi to handle, as that financial company handles the private financing for the store.

Other than this, Home Depot has been silent.

The plaintiff, on the other hand, has wasted no time making his side of events known. He filed the lawsuit in Multnomah County, Oregon suing Home Depot for $250,000. The unnamed man claims that the retailer charged him a fee for a payment that was made within minutes, or perhaps hours, of the due date.

The man claims he asked for an explanation of the late charge and to have it removed from his account, but instead Home Depot “embarked upon a harassment campaign designed to bother, vex and leverage Plaintiff. Defendant Home Depot caused dozens of electronic telephone calls to be made to Plaintiff. These calls were difficult to stop.”

Those of us not suing over our own late payments would call those collection calls, most likely. Especially if a payment was a few hours – maybe twelve or twenty-four hours – after a due date. It’s hard to know specifics from the intentionally vague working in the lawsuit. And while the man may have suffered a big hit to his credit for not paying a bill on time, he would have been at least thirty days late anyhow for the late payment to make it to his credit report in most cases.

It will be interesting to see if a man who paid a bill thirty days and “a few hours” late will be able to recoup his $28 and an extra $250,000 to go with it. It seems as though this individual may have left a few key details out of his story – only time, and a bit of sworn testimony, will tell for sure.



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