A woman saying she was harassed by Capital One for a disputed $4,000 credit card debt has filed suit after the bank demanded more than $286 million dollars.

Attorney Craig Thor Kimmel of Kimmel and Silverman P.C., a consumer law firm, has filed the suit on behalf of Patrice Perry in Philadelphia County, Pa. 

According to the complaint, Capital One first demanded Perry pay $3,845 for purchases on a credit card. Perry disputed the debt and turned the letter over to her family lawyer, who wrote Capital One to cease and desist contacting Perry directly.

Disregarding the letter, Capital One allegedly stepped up collection efforts, placing more calls to Perry and claiming that it was doing so because the lawyer did not make a substantial settlement offer to resolve the account. Telephone calls were made to her home and workplace, where she alleges, her employer does not allow personal calls.

Subsequently, Perry received more letters, each demanding different amounts, some higher than others, all threatening legal action if not paid promptly. The letters failed to state how the varying amounts were calculated or if amounts sought were based upon any contract between Capital One and Perry authorizing such charges. After a second cease and desist letter from the family lawyer was disregarded, Capital One in response sent a letter demanding immediate payment of $286,651,237 from Perry. The letter instructed Perry to mail the full payment in the envelope provided. 

The complaint alleges the $286 million demand was so outrageous that it could not be the result of a computer glitch, and that it required human intervention to be sent. Perry alleges the basis for sending it was embarrass, humiliate, intimidate and cause emotional distress, of amounts incapable of being understood.

The lawsuit alleges that Capital One was compelled to cease communication upon receipt of the initial letter from her family lawyer and used false, deceptive and misleading communications to collect a debt.

Perry further claims that Capital One threatened to report the disputed debt to the credit reporting agencies, which would adversely affect her FICO credit score and unnecessarily make her other creditors insecure.

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