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Payment Applied to the Wrong Account

Mark Cappel
UpdatedJan 11, 2012

The creditor made a payment to the wrong account and now I am late on the correct account. Is this legal?

I have 2 loans through the same company. I am filing bankruptcy on one and paying the other. On the last payment I made I put the account number of the loan I was paying and the company changed it to the other one that was going on bankruptcy. Is that legal? Now am late on the one I'm trying to pay.

If you clearly indicated on your payment to which account you wanted the payment applied, the creditor may have violated state and/or federal collection laws by applying the payment to the wrong account, especially if he/she knew that one of the debts was scheduled to be discharged in your bankruptcy filing. I strongly encourage you to discuss this issue with your bankruptcy attorney to determine the best way to proceed in forcing the creditor to honor your request about the application of your payments. Your attorney should be able to more carefully review the situation and tell you what federal and state laws the creditor may have violated and the recourse available to you. For example, your attorney may want to send a letter to the creditor explaining the situation, including any documents you have to support your claim, and demand that the creditor correct its records and update your credit reports.

Hopefully, you have some type of documentation showing that you requested your payments be applied to a specific account – the best proof would probably be a copy of a the check on which you wrote the correct account number or a copy of a letter you sent with your payment indicating on which account you were making payment. Without any documents to back up your claims, you may be fighting an uphill battle to force the creditor to correct its account records. Your bank may be able to provide you with a copy of the check used to make this payment, which should be powerful evidence if you wrote on the check to which account you wanted the payment applied.

If you cannot convince the creditor to correct your account information, and you cannot afford to bring the debt current, you may wish to speak with your attorney about including the second account in your bankruptcy case. Even if you already filed your bankruptcy petition, your attorney may be able to assist you in filing an amendment to your pleadings to add this second account to your case. To learn more about bankruptcy, I invite you to visit the Bankruptcy Information page.

I wish you the best of luck in resolving this problem, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.