Couple sued over bill that was paid 6 years ago

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by Gary Harper

Bio | Email | Follow: @GaryHarper3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 23 at 6:40 PM

PHOENIX -- Frank and Belinda Bell get angry every time they go through paperwork from an old account of theirs.

"It really bothers me," Belinda said. "I feel cheated.”

The account is from Kay Jewelers and with the help of a financial institution called CompuCredit, the Bells set up a charge account.
  
Back in 2006, the account balance was around $662, an amount they couldn't afford to pay at the time. So, the Bells asked what they could do to satisfy the account.

"They agreed to give us a settlement of $529 and the original balance was $662, so we paid $529,” Belinda said.

The Bells settled the account with a $529 check and considered the matter paid. However, six years later, the couple recently received a letter from a law firm claiming the Bells never paid anything. As a result, they would have to pay the amount all over again, including interest and attorney fees, which amounted to $1,400.

"I'm pretty much dumbfounded," Frank said. "This has been going on way too long. I wanted it over and done with back then."
  
In fact, Frank's paychecks were about to be garnished to pay the amount. Every time they tried to explain the account had been paid for six years ago no one would listen, so they contacted 3 On Your Side.
  
I got a hold of Kay Jewelers and CompuCredit and sent them everything, including that check that was supposed to have settled the account years ago.
  
As a result, they realized they misapplied the Bells' check. They fixed the account, called off the collection agency and stopped the $1,400 garnishment that was about to kick in against Frank's paychecks.
  
The couple said they're relieved and couldn't have done it without help from 3 On Your Side.

"It was awesome how quickly everyone responded, 3 On Your Side is awesome," Frank said. "It feels good.”

Kay Jewelers and CompuCredit were great to work with and even gave the Bells $50 just for the inconvenience they put them through, which I thought was a nice touch.
 

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