Can credit burueas list a 12 year old debt?
I recently received Power of Attorney from my 79 year old Mom to help her out with her finances. In 1998, she closed her credit card account with Capital One with a zero balance. Nearly one year later, Capital One sent her a check for $1,000. Wary of doing anything with this check, she contacted them to find out why she received it and what she should do with it. She was informed by the agent that it was her money. There had been an error and this was a credit owed to her. So my Mom cashed the check and applied it towards her living expenses.
In August 1999, my Mom received a form letter from Capital One explaining that an error had been made. It mentioned a misapplied payment and stated her account had been debited $1,000. Capital One opened a new account in her name to put the debit balance on it. She never authorized the opening of this account.
Unfortunately, My Mom, did not really understand the letter. She thought it was a confirmation of her previous conversation about it being an error. She did not know what the term "debited" really meant. From that point on, Capital One has been sending her a monthly statement with a $1,000 balance. She has never made a payment or contacted them in anyway. In November 2010, they began to apply a late fee.
My first thought when I turned this over was that how can my Mom cash a check and expect free money, but the more I looked in to it, the more I could see how they confused everything and then came back to collect on something that was now somewhat of a hardship for my Mom to pay
In January 2011, my Mom received a notice from one of her other credit card companies that they are closing her account due to a a recent reporting on her credit report. Guess who just reported the debt from 1999? Capital One.
My question is simple, since the debt is 12+ years old and my mother has never acknowledged it in that time, can they report it as a new item on her credit report? Would the bureaus have to remove it by law if I ask them to?