Can a business charge a late fee and interest on a payment that they say they never received even though it was sent it certified return receipt mail?

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Can a business charge a late fee and interest on a payment that they say they never received even though it was sent it certified return receipt mail?

Payment sent in timely fashion via certified return receipt mail. I have the signed return receipt back from the post office. They say the signature is not theirs and the post office must have made a mistake. They turned the account over to collections adding fees and interest more than $100 on a $70 original payment. They also think I should bear the cost of stopping payment on the lost check. They already reported a delinquency to the credit reporting agencies even though I sent a copy of the post office receipt.

Asked on October 4, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you sent the payment certified mail, return receipt requested, was the mailing to the correct address? Has the check cleared? If it has cleared, you need to send a copy of negotiated check to the vendor when you receive it.

I would contact the accounts receivable department for the vendor to iron things out. The vendor can charge a late fee and interest on a payment that it claims it never received. The issue is how much of a late fee and interest is allowed.

You have the burden of showing that the payment was received by the vendor. It seems to me that there is some miscommunication going on concerning your bill and a telephone conversation may clear it up.


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