That Buck Will Cost You…

A buck is a buck is a buck. As one of my nieces  aptly named it, “a green paper penny.” On its own, it doesn’t buy much, but backed by FICO or a creditor? It increases 100-fold. Perhaps 1,000-fold. Here’s the story…

Remember my celebration when closing my BofA Gold Account? All those years slaving away to wipe out that debt? Well, BofA actually made an error in the pay-off amount, and after that final payment? I still owed them a buck. Yep. A lousy buck. Now to their credit (pun intended), they waived it, and still settled the account closed. No harm. No foul. But they forgot to notify FICO that they had waived it. So, almost a year later, I happen to be checking in on my credit score (giddy that it should be GREATLY improved) and I see that I have a couple of “black marks in Heaven.” Yep, the old “potential negatives” on my credit rating. Turns out that the credit bureau never got word that BofA had waived the $1 (nor did I, mind you, so I never thought to check after the account was paid off and closed… lesson learned). No word. Nada. For nine months. In credit bureau terms, that means “seriously delinquent.” For nine months. Not pretty. All for a buck. Needless to say, I’m in the throes of drafting memos via email and hard copy to all parties. BofA says its not their problem. The credit bureau says that while they appreciate my bringing it to their attention, their report is accurate. So… back to more letters, more time, more energy, all to clear a smudge on my credit history that in today’s lending landscape may as well represent a foreclosure or repossession. All for a buck.

Another story…

Chris closed out his T-Moble account, and it turns out that T-Mobile OWED him $1. And because they owed him a buck, the company couldn’t close the account, and continued to send him monthly bills alerting him to the credit due him, but to a wrong address. And until he actually spoke with a representative by phone, acknowledged that they owed him a buck, and gave them the correct address, they could not close the account. When made aware of the error, he simply asked them to waive it, so that he could close it up and move on. Oh no. They refused. They had to send him a check for $1. “But after all this time, haven’t you spent about $20 trying to locate me and get me the $1 check?” Doesn’t matter. Have to write the check. It’s in the mail.

So… I wonder… Can we just sign the $1 check from T-Mobile over to BofA and see if the Credit Gods call it even? Remotely possible? Or simply too much to ask? I’m guessing the latter.


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