How to successfully dispute credit card charge with Citibank?

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How to successfully dispute credit card charge with Citibank?

Postby Mimi » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:15 pm

In February of 2011, I was contacted by Home Credit Law Center ("HCLC") and prequalified by them for a mortgage loan modification under President Obama's new program. I also specifically advised HCLC in a "pre-contract interview" that I recently refinanced with Chase. HCLC advised that if for ANY reason I did not get a loan modification, then I would get a FULL REFUND.

I used my Citibank credit card to make this charge and was turned down for a mortgage in July 2011, I put in a dispute and was credited. End of September I called Citibank and advised that it was closed in my favor. In October Charge appeared back on my account. Citibank claimed that HCLC stated that i hired for a forensic review.

It now appears that this company has been committing fraud against many consumers. A consumer alert from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions alerting the consumer of financial frauds and ordering HCLC to stop offering unlawful mortgage loan modifications has been posted. Connecticut Department has also issued a cease and desist order against Home Credit and ordered to payback money.

I have sent this information in regarding other states and fraud alert assuming that Citibank would immediately refund me the money, but they have not. I live in New York.

It infuriates me that Citibank is backing the word of a company (HCLC) which has been proven by overseeing governmental agencies to be engaging in illegal and fraudulent activities, especially as I have been extremely patient in this matter, and been repeatedly given the “run around” by Citibank representatives.

I reviewed my credit card policy and it appears that to further dispute I have to take to arbitration. What should I do?

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Postby JNK » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:29 am

Take it one step further by pushing to speak to an actual account manager and if that doesn't solve the problem, security department of Citibank. If THAT doesn't work, it's time to take legal action and THAT is not something I am familiar with.

If you closed out the HCLC because you got denied, it makes no sense that you would hire for a forensics review AFTERwards. Also, the charge appearing AFTER you won the previous dispute (refund since you got denied) is plain suspicious. To me, that's just plain common sense and if the Account Manager can't see this eye-to-eye with you, then it's time to take it a step further.
Personal Collection:

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VISA: Chase Amazon Signature, Chase (bank issued)
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Postby MemberSince99 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:59 am

I hate to say it but those scam artists that show a picture of someone who resembles Obama but isn't really Obama and promising to save you money are a SCAM. Avoid. I guess you already know that though but some people might not. Steer clear of these guys.

I agree with JNK - push it up the ladder. Don't give in to criminals.

One final thought - in the paperwork you "agreed" to when you accepted the card you no doubt agreed to a "binding arbitration" clause so legal action probably isn't possible in court as some might think. The reason so many companies do this is to take away your right to sue where they might lose and take it to arbitration instead which is well known to favor the company the vast majority of the time. (And the final kick is they'll probably charge you to tell you that you lose).
I would check that paperwork or get a copy of the agreement and look at that before you do anything else if it really goes that far. Hopefully it won't, if they are reasonable. We essentially sign away our rights more and more these days without a second thought or most of the time even knowing we are doing it, after all who reads all 20 pages of legalize before they use a credit card? You'd be surprised how it's all rigged in their favor. Or maybe not. And it's not just them - buy a vehicle it's the same thing. You sign away your right to sue the manufacturer when you sign the purchase agreement and agree to "binding arbitration" as well that limits any damages. They don't need to change the legal system to get rid of our rights they'll just do it by stealth. And that's EXACTLY what they are doing these days, no BS.

Kind of a different topic but worth knowing.

I think really the only recourse we have as consumers is simply not to deal with these sort of thugs, period. Don't give them our business or our money. None of them. Or it will be a matter of when you enter the grocery store you have to do a retina scan to prove identity, you have to sign a waiver and your purchases will be tracked and you will be questioned on them. Oh you're buying condoms eh, 20 years!!!! Next! It's really coming to that.

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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:58 am
Location: New York

Postby Mimi » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:54 pm

Thank you very much for your comments. I am still working on pushing up further up the ladder. I had contacted a government consumer credit card assistance line and had very high hopes. CFPB > Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Consumer financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) lead me down path of complete nonsense. At one point after Citibank turned me down again claiming that Home Credit Law Center (HCLC) was hired for a forensic review and informed CFPB of this. CFPB asked me to resubmit everything again as if they were working with them behind the scenes only to be informed they could not do anything after having lead me down such a hopeful path.

I am now going to work with officials in NY to get a fraud alert issued in NY. I am not sure what else I can do. As you mentioned the binding arbitration is a difficult path. I also need to hire an attorney to do this which is very expensive and most likely would be more than my amount I am trying to get back. I think CITIBANK knows this and uses this to basically screw people. At this point I want to not only stay away from these obama mortgage claimers, but also CITIBANK they are no better than the criminals out there aiding and abetting this activity.

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