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Old Credit Card Nightmare

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  • Old Credit Card Nightmare

    I have been in the Philippines since 2003. Before I left the States I paid all my balances and came to the Philippines. I had one credit card but paid that off.
    In 2015 I was doing research on places to rent because I planned to return to the States to get a divorce from my Philippine wife. I took advantage of a free credit search just to see what it said. I found that there was a credit report of an unpaid balance on my account which had been reported to the credit bureau. I called the credit card company and the lady said that my account had been closed in 2006 for none payment and the balance was written off. I did not know of any charges other than what I paid off. I immediately sent a letter to the card company and told them it was an honest error and that I would pay the balance just send me the paper work. I never heard back from them. I was never sent a notice of the cancel debt from any source.

    They apparently re-opened that suspended and written off account, charged me interest for the last ten years and wrote it off on their 2014 income tax which of course showed up on my IRS account as a cancel debt which I must figure as income on my 2014 tax return.
    This is a big crisis for me because I live on my social security benefit and a small $320 pension. The card company charged interest on that $800 balance and it turned into $24,041 that they took off their tax and advised IRS and I got the cancel debt.
    When I wrote the letter to them in 2015 they had my address yet I never received a notice of this action and did not find out about it until my 1040 was sent back by the IRS and the cancel debt revealed.
    I earn approx $15,000 on social security, and $320 in a small pension. I have no job here in the Philippines, investments, business or any other income. I have no medical insurance, medicare does not work here.
    This means my income goes from about $18,000 paying no taxes to $49,000 and owing the IRS about $12,000. It will take me likely the rest of my natural life to pay this off, that is if they let me make payments on it. I am 70 years old now.

    Is this right for a credit card company to do? It seems to me if they absorbed the $800 in 2005 that they would have had to take the $800 off their taxes as a loss in that year and not re-open the case ten years later or so adding interest to their advantage and taking off $24,000 in 2014 on their taxes.
    Any advice? Thanks, Dave





    daveleonard




  • #2
    Apparently, the creditor can (and in fact may be required to) issue a 1099-C even after the statute of limitations has expired. Here's an article that discusses the issue. http://blog.credit.com/2012/02/what-...ld-debt-53603/

    Read to the end for a discussion that I think may apply to you. It seems that this creditor issued the 1099-C later than they were supposed to. It is possible you could claim that the debt cancellation was much earlier than 2014. Let's say the debt was really cancelled in 2006. The statute of limitations for the IRS to collect tax is 3 years from the date you filed your 2006 return. So, if you filed the return on April 15, 2007 and your failure to report the income was not due to fraud, then the statute of limitations for the IRS to collect the debt expired in 2010. But, if you didn't file a 2006 return because your income was too low to require one, then the statute of limitations did not start.

    You can try to fight the IRS on this, but it may be difficult without an attorney. The key is to determine when the debt was really cancelled and became taxable income according to the IRS regulations and to be able to prove it. You can also try getting the help of the Taxpayer Advocate. But, I think you need to first try to resolve the issue with the IRS: https://www.irs.gov/Advocate

    If you aren't able to get rid of the tax altogether, you probably can arrange for a payment plan.
    Last edited by LadyInTheRed; 03-20-2016, 07:01 PM.
    LadyInTheRed is in the black!
    Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
    $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the information it sounds reasonable to me. I know for a fact that the account was closed and absorbed in 2006 because I called them and was told that the account was closed and the amount absorbed, of course, I do not have a record of the call nor the name of the clerk I talked to. At that point I thought everything was finished on this. It may be that they sold the debt to a third party who inflated the total from $800 to $24,000 and took a write off. Proving that is going to be difficult if not impossible being that I am in the Philippines and have limited ability to do research. I have not yet received even a copy of the 1099 from the company or the IRS.

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