ForeClosure.com — business largely making money off consumer errors and victims of fraud
I noticed a total of $636.80 (39.80x16) charged to my credit card from foreclosure.com. I called the company and found out that (around 15 months ago) my card number was used to sign up for a trial service to gain access to their website but was not canceled. They further clarified that the the service was never used.
Even though their service was never used refused to refund $560.40. (after long phone calls they agreed to refund – they only agreed to refund 119.40).
Rather than refunding for service that was never used and that did not cost them anything - they referred me to my credit card company to file a fraud complaint since I was so far unable to recall anyone who I authorized 15 months ago to use my card for such a transaction.
I have never filed a fraud claim before and called the credit card company and was told that if I won't be able to figure out who used the card, I could file a claim. However I might not be able to recover all the charges because of the time that elapsed.
I called back foreclosure.com explaining them that I am set up on paperless and auto pay with my credit card. I asked them if they ever make an attempt to contact the card holder before or after charging the card. They said that they never contact the customer and the only way for me to find out is on my credit card statement. (I don’t even know how they could have contacted me). I contacted all my affiliates and was unable to locate anyone who used my card at that website.
I therefore think that foreclosure.com should issue a refund for a service that was never used.
Unethical ways of making money
Here are my complaints against the company:
1- They don’t help prevent fraud. They allow credit card transactions even without the correct name and without the billing address. Just by putting in a card number.
2- They knowingly bill customers for service that they know was never used. And…
3- Their policy is to continue billing unaware customers on a monthly basis for years, even though they know that the customer never used their service not a single time.
4- They don’t attempt to contact the customer in any way before initiating each monthly charge. Not by email, phone, or mail.
Logically this practice seems to be intentionally that customers won’t realize the charges for the non used service many not cancel the service.
Possible Legal issues:
(Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. If you feel you were unlawfully billed by this company, please consult a licensed lawyer in your area).
I am hoping that one day someone will file lawsuit against this company and recover all the payments that were made by customers for service that was not used.
This company appears to serve all 51 states. Each state has varied laws about notifying consumers prior to deducting automatic payments.
No Receipts Provided
Foreclosure.com does not provide an "itemized receipt" (detailed receipted explaining the charges and the exact product/service that was provided). To my understanding this is against the law in many states.in fact the company does not provide a receipt at all. A business that purchases their service needs an itemized receipt in order to properly complete their tax returns.
A. The IRS does not usually accept "credit card statements" as proof of an expense.
B. One important tax reason for an itemized receipt is to see which portion of the payment was to foreclosure.com and how much went to sales tax. The sales tax portion could be deducted in the itemized deduction in a tax return. Another reason is that in the event of an audit, the IRS needs to see "exactly" what the payment was for, in order to determine if it is a legitimate deduction for the specific type of business.
No Notification before charging credit card:
Most legitimate companies including Electric and gas utilities, Credit card companies, and mortgages send out either a hard copy or an email before deducting auto pay.
For example many states require that even mortgage companies need MAIL out mortgage statement every month before deducting auto pay – even though payments are the same each month.
Skype and other businesses
One example of a legitimate service is skype that bills 3 dollars per month to maintain a phone number. Each month before deducting the 3 dollars from your credit card - they send out an email notifying you of the deduction.
Here are examples of laws that require business to provide receipt:
On the federal level there are also regulations regarding such transactions see: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2010-title12-vol2/pdf/CFR-2010-title12-vol2-part205.pdf
More ForeClosure.com Complaints & Reviews
- ForeClosure.com - my house is not for sale 
- ForeClosure.com - false advertsing 
- ForeClosure.com - money, money
- ForeClosure.com - rip off 
- ForeClosure.com - they are misrepresenting data on real estate/mortgage sites which can affect everyone
- ForeClosure.com - their website billing service
- ForeClosure.com - being able to preview foreclosed homes