Gamache & Myers — Unethical Collection Practices
At 5:03 pm March 9, 2010, I contacted Gamache & Myers (G&M) about my account. I had received notification that I should receive my tax refund on March 19th. I wanted to see whether or not the settlement agreement offered on my account could be extended until receipt of my refunds. I spoke with Matt who calculated a new settlement agreement amount. However, he said the only way it could be agreed to was if I gave him my bank information then so that they could process a check payment electronically. I told him I was extremely uncomfortable doing that, as I had no guarantee the funds would be deposited on that date, and I didn't want a bounced check charge if the funds were not deposited. He assured me that they would be if that was the projected date, and that G&M also didn't want a bounced check. If there was any problem, I could contact him. He said it was the only way I could take advantage of the settlement offer, and further assured me that the funds wouldn't be withdrawn until Monday the 22nd.
By close of business on the 19th PST (my bank is on the west coast) only the federal refund had been deposited, not the state, so there was not enough money to cover the payment. As G&M was closed, I tried calling the next afternoon at 3:11 pm, 3/20/10. Apparently, G&M isn't open on Saturday, so I left a message to make sure they would know first thing Monday morning and the payment could be stopped.
At 8:16 Monday morning 3/22/10, I called G&M, was told Matt was on another call. I left a message on his voice mail. When I finally called again spoke with Matt at 12:19, he told me the withdrawal had already been processed and there was nothing that could be done to stop it. in fact, he informed me that had I called Friday, it was unlikely the withdrawal could have been stopped since G&M processed the paperwork on Thursday so the withdrawal could take place at 8:00 am the following Monday.
When I stated that was NOT the agreement, he literally laughed at me saying he couldn't believe I didn't realize banks weren't open on the weekend and that it wasn't the responsibility of G&M to notify me of that fact.
When I got off the phone, I dispatched a letter to to Donald Tippett, partner of G&M documenting the above details. To date, I have received no response.
At 2:12 pm on Wednesday, March 31st, I contacted Matt with G&M to let him know my state refund had been deposited and it was OK for them to go ahead and process the electronic check. At that time, he stated that it wouldn't be run a second time since it didn't clear the first time. He said that my only option was to contact my bank and have them send a check. Again, I stated my discomfort with that arrangement -- especially in light of the fact that the first time he had made assurances to me, they proved false. I told him I didn't want to contact my bank and have a check sent, only to have them re-run the electronic check and overdraw my account a second time. Again, he assured me that wouldn't happen. That they would not run the electronic check a second time and that in fact, they couldn't accept a check from me at all since the first one hadn't cleared, they would only accept one directly from my bank.
At that time I said I would be EXTREMELY angry if he was lying to me again but agreed to contact my bank as soon as I got off the phone and have a check sent. Again, I kept my end of the bargain. A check was cut from my bank and sent to G&M. My statement clearly shows the funds being withdrawn on March 31, 2010 as agreed.
Today, I received a letter from G&M dated April 6 stating that the second attempt to run my electronic check failed due to insufficient funds. This is the transaction I was assured by Matt would NOT occur, and the only reason the funds weren't available is because a check had already been sent directly from my bank to them.
I called Matt at 3:57 pm today, April 9th asking why they had processed the electronic check a second time when he assured me that they wouldn't. He denied ever stating that and frankly told me that if I had paid my debt in the first place, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
Frankly, I know that I am not the only person who has suffered in the current economic climate. The point is, I am trying to do the right thing and catch up on my debts. How many people spent their tax refunds on themselves instead of trying to get back on their feet? Not only have I suffered from the downturn in the economy, but I had 5 separate plumbing leaks which resulted in water bills totalling $200+ for several months, a faulty HVAC unit which resulted in $400+ electric bills for several months, a car crash which totalled my vehicle, a separate near-fatal crash that landed my disabled sister whom I care for in the hospital for 6 weeks, and I care for my 83 year old mother with Alzheimers and I'm a single parent to an 18-year old who may not get to go to prom this year because I was doing the responsible thing and paying off debts and now have an additional $46 in NSF fees from my bank because Matt at G&M lied to me not once, but twice, belittled and humiliated me, and treated me like a deadbeat.
What I'd really like to do is sue for emotional damages, but I don't believe in our overly litigious society -- though instances like this make me understand where that comes from. All I want is my $46 back and to warn people to be very careful when dealing with Gamache & Myers who obviously don't care about the people on the other end of the phone.