I found a “Notice of Collection and Special Offer” from J.C. Christensen and Associates, Inc. for $1170.23, addressed to mom and dated February 8, 2012. It notes that their client is Cavalry Portfolio Services and that Cavalry contracted J.C. Christensen and Associates, Inc. with regard to a delinquent HSBC Bank Nevada N.A. \ Orchard Bank account. I suspected that this is another company trying to collect the same bill that I handled earlier this week, but I still called them to confirm.
A man answered the phone and asked how he could help me. I told him that I was calling regarding a bill addressed to my mother, who passed away about two months ago. He asked me if I had an account number and — after I read it to him from the bill — he put me on hold for about two minutes. When he returned he told me that the account was not in their system, and that, “you should Google Cavalry and get their number,” to talk to them about the bill.
I didn’t need to Google the number because I had just talked to them on Tuesday, so I called Cavalry. A man answered and I explained to him that I was calling to confirm that the bills were the same. I gave him the account number on the bill and he told me I needed to talk to someone in the compliance department. Then he put me on hold for about two minutes and a woman answered and asked how she could help me. Frustrated, I explained the whole story again: That my mom had passed away about two months ago, that I had talked to someone there on Tuesday about it and how I had another bill that looked to be for the same thing, but it was from a different collection agency and I wasn’t 100% certain they were the same account and I didn’t want to leave any loose ends … She told me that I needed to talk to someone in the compliance department.
I said that I thought she was in the compliance department, and that I had just been on hold waiting for the compliance department after telling the previous person that same story. She said she was sorry that she couldn’t help me and immediately put me on hold for another two minutes.
The next woman who answered the phone asked, without any introduction or pleasantries, if I was the executor of Kathleen Gagne’s account. I said that I was her oldest son and I was handling her affairs. The woman asked me if I had power of attorney or any documentation and I explained that both my mom’s parents were deceased, that she wasn’t married, and that I was her oldest descendent, which gives me de facto power of attorney. She asked me if I had a copy of the death certificate and I said I did.
She said she’d need to see a copy of death certificate before she could give me any information about the account. I told her I didn’t want any information about the account and I was calling just to confirm that this was the same account I’d already addressed on Tuesday. She asked me for the account number on the bill from J.C. Christensen and Associates, Inc. and I gave it to her; she told me that, yes, it was the same one and it had already been closed.
I asked her if she’d like me to fax her a copy of the death certificate, and noted to her that they hadn’t asked me to do that on Tuesday. She said it wasn’t necessary because, “we’ll get that automatically.” I have no idea who she thinks is going to fax them a copy of mom’s death certificate, but whatever; that’s not my problem. I told her I was happy to fax it to her if it would help them close the account and she gave me her fax number. And I faxed it.