Emmanuel* is an elderly gentleman from Haiti who speaks little English. One day, Emmanuel went to the doctor’s office, but due to economic hardships, at that moment, he was unable to pay the bill owed to the doctor’s office. Emmanuel was informed that he could apply for a care credit card to pay for his medical services. The receptionist at the doctor’s office spoke French Creole and assisted him in filling out the paperwork for the credit card application.
Emmanuel was paying for all his medical charges on time, however, one afternoon he received a credit card statement with large unauthorized charges that did not belong to him. Unbeknownst to
Emmanuel, the receptionist at the doctor’s office had obtained a secondary care credit card from his account and made charges at a plastic surgery facility.
Emmanuel reported the matter to the police. The receptionist was arrested and charges were filed by the State Attorney’s Office.
Why it matters
Emmanuel came to Legal Aid for advice on how to manage the situation with the receptionist as well as with his credit card debt.
Legal Aid’s VOCA and RISE teams were able to get the defendant (the receptionist) to pay for the credit card charges. They were also able to settle the client’s credit card debt with the debt collection agency and remove any delinquency from the client’s credit report.
These results would have been difficult to obtain by Emmanuel without the proper legal assistance.