Man objects to penalty after missed credit card payment

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PHOENIX -- A Valley man admits he missed his credit card payment, but he doesn't agree with the penalty he was stuck with.

Missing a payment happens from time to time. After all, no one is perfect and sometimes things just happen where you either miss a payment or you're late.

As long as you don't do it all the time, most companies will understand and not penalize you, but Gerry Catalano says he was penalized big time.

"It's just not fair," he said. "It's not right to treat people like that."

Catalano says he's just your typical guy who feels like he's fighting a giant.

"I think it's ridiculous," he said.

He's talking about his battle with his credit card company, Chase Bank, and it all dates back to November when his 95-year-old grandmother became sick unexpectedly and was hospitalized.

"And so my wife and I were back and forth, back and forth all the time," Catalano said. "One of us was always at the hospital with her all the time."

Catalano's grandmother died less than a month after becoming ill. Between all the hospital visits and funeral arrangements, Catalano missed a credit card payment to Chase.

"It just got by me," he said. "I just forgot about it."

As a result, Chase penalized Catalano $39 for being late and sent him a notice saying they were doubling his interest rate from 11 percent to nearly 24 percent.

Catalano says he's never been late before and called Chase to explain his situation.

"I didn't do anything to them," Catalano said. "I was 13 days late. There was a good reason for it, but they don't want to hear it."

3 On Your Side got a hold of Chase and asked that they waive the $39 late fee and considering the circumstances, asked if they would lower Catalano's interest rate back down to 11 percent.

Chase called Catalano and said they would.

"On my own, I got nowhere," Catalano said. "Thanks Channel 3 for coming in and doing your thing."