Level Playing Field

About the Disputes - The Fighters category

Do or did you have a dispute? Did you fight back and refuse to back down? Share your story here. Send others with similar stories here. Together we can fight back.

August 22, 2019, I submitted a letter to Home Depot Client Services (HD) and Citi Bank’s Executive Response Unit disputing the balance of my account due to identity theft. Prior to sending the letter, I had filed a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Palm Springs Police Department. I chatted with a rep from the FTC prior to sending my letter and was suggested the letter format and attachments to send. I followed the guidance I was given and sent the two letters.

On September 22, 2019, I checked my account online and my account was permanently credited $26K and there was a journal entry for a refund check for $13K. I was thankful, thrilled and as far as I was concerned this was a closed issue as someone from Citi had agreed with my dispute letter credited the account and sent me a refund check. The refund check was for prior payments made. Toward the end of September, I received a letter from HD stating they had completed their investigation and had credited my account.

In the middle of November, I received a letter dated November 8, 2019, from HD stating they had completed their investigation and found that I was liable for the charges and reversed the credit. I was not aware that a second investigation was being conducted. I researched the Fair Credit Billing Act and found that Citi was not compliant to Chapter 4 - Section 161 Correction of billing errors which states the creditor must acknowledge the complaint letter within 30 days of receiving it. I did not receive an acknowledgment from HD or Citi.

January 2, 2020,I filed a complaint with The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) stating that HD and Citi were not compliant to The Fair Credit Billing Act as I had not received an acknowledgment letter and they were passed the 30-day rule as their letter was dated November 8, 2019, and my dispute letter eas dated August 22, 2019. I also sent the same letter to HD and Citi requesting that they reverse the debit to my account as they missed the 30-day timeline.

Citi responded January 15, 2020, stating “The investigation on your original account ending in 3454 was initiated for four purchases made on August 21, 2019, and August 22, 2019, totaling $214.60 and the letter I received dated September 23, 2019, was for this dispute. In addition, frorn your letter dated August 22, 2019, claiming unauthorized use, an investigation was initiated on the replacement account ending in 9248 for purchases and returns made from September 29, 2018, through May 7, 2019, totaling $26,433.00. We applied temporary credits to your account ending in 9349 and sent the investigation acknowledgment letter dated September 21, 2019. We have included a copy of this letter for your records. While your account was temporarily credited, you requested a credit balance refund check for $13,396.08, and the check cleared on October 2, 2019.”

February 19, 2020, I filed a complaint with the CFPB and Citi’s Ethics Department stating Citi had been non-compliant to their internal processes and procedures based on Citi’s Home Page Q&A - Disputes. I had requested twice from Citi’s customer service department the documentation that I had submitted for the $214.60 dispute because I never submitted that dispute. Why would I submit a separate dispute for $214.60 when that value was covered in my dispute letter dated August 22, 2019. I also requested the documentation that was used to close that complaint. I was told twice by customer service that it did not exist. I asked how can you start and conclude an investigation without any documentation? They were speechless. I did my research and found that the four transactions they referred to were actually made in August 2018. So it took Citi one year to complete a fictitious dispute which is more than the maximum days allowed per their Dispute processes. I created two Power Point Presentations, the first one was regarding Citi’s statement that my account was issued a provisional credit. I provided screenshots of all the credits made to the account where each journal entry was titled “credit adjustment to your account” the post date was 09/20/2019 and the Type was “paid” It’s ironic that 99% of the credits to the account were made on September 20, 2019, and Citi states in their letters that they started their investigation on September 21, 2019. I also provided an example of what a journal entry for provisional credit states from another Citi Card I have and it states “Citibank Conditional Credit For Dispute” just like their process and procedure states. The second PowerPoint Presentation was FAQ from Citi’s Help Home Page FAQ - Dispute Transactions. Here documentation required was stated, must report it within 30 days of the transaction, maximum 90 days to complete the dispute. In my situation, not one process was followed. I also submitted a copy of the accounts August 2018 statement showing the four transactions they referenced for $214.60 occurred in 2018 and not in 2019 as they stated.

On February 24, 2020, I emailed Elizabeth Barnett, Senior Vice President, Global Customer Solutions. On March 9, 2020, I emailed Aravind Immaneni, Head of Global Operations and Fraud Prevention. On March 18, 2020, I emailed Mark Carawan, Chief Compliance Officer. I emailed all three the same data packages that I submitted to the CFPB on February 19, 2020 ,and did not receive any response from either of them.

February 27, 2020 Citi responded to my CFPB complaint and basically reiterated their January 15, 2020 response.

April 16, 2020, my attorney at the time sent Citi a letter stating "The purpose of this letter is to provide notice of factual inaccuracies in your firm’s summary of the actions taken and to request for substantiating documentation of various representations made by your firm.

  • Failure to Timely Acknowledge Notice of Credit Billing Dispute
  • A Credit Refund was Never Requested
  • Failure to Identify Credits Refunded as Temporary or Conditional
  • Records of all credit billing complaints submitted by Mr. Krukoff, with respect to the above referenced credit account.

b. Records evidencing your firm’s mailing of the inspection acknowledgment referenced in your firm’s 1/15 letter.

c. Records evidencing Mr. Krukoff’s alleged request for a refund check, with respect to the above referenced credit account.

d. All relevant documentation evidencing your firm’s receipt of Mr. Krukoff’s notice of credit billing dispute.

e. All relevant documentation evidencing your firm’s investigation into the disputed charges referenced in Mr. Krukoff’s notice of credit billing dispute.

April 16, 2020, Citi responded with basically the same letters dated January 15, 2020, and February 27, 2020 and di not submit any of the requested documentation.

May 26, 2020 I received a call from Brian Calfee with McCarthy, Burgess & Wolf a collection agency hired by Citi. I explain to Brian everything that had taken place and told him I had requested my statements from Citi a few times and that to this day I still have not received them. I told him I wanted my October 2019 thru April 2020 monthly statements. I told him my account had been closed since March of 2019 so I did not have full access to my account on-line so I could get my statements. Brian said he would get them for me and in two days he delivered my October 2019 thru April 2020 monthly statements.

June 1, 2020 I sent Citi a letter with a copy of my October 2019 statement showing that they did not issue my account a provisional credit and requested that the debit be reversed and found that it was deplorable that they had been lying to me. I cc’d the three executives I mentioned earlier. What bank would issue a customer a $13K check based on a provisional credit because they requested a refund check?

June 17, 2020, Citi responded that the credits were provisional and that they had turned over the account to a collection agency and if I had any further questions to contact the collection agency. The stated that they now considered the issue resolved and would not respond to any further inquiries.

I currently do not have an attorney and have not filed for Arbitration yet. I welcome any suggestions, recommendations or referrals.

Terry Krukoff

1 Like

Hi Terry!

I will get back to you in the next 24 hours. I am preoccupied right now.


  1. What state are you in?

  2. What happened to your prior attorney?

  3. Were you actively using your account prior to closing it in March 2019?

  4. So under Federal Law, I’d have to find it, you have so many days to catch fraud/error. What were they relying on to deny your claim?

  5. What has the collection agency said? Are they going to pursue a judgment? The simplest solution may be to get them to delete the balance/write it off. They don’t want to spend a ton on legal fees to end up not collecting.

I am actually familiar with a case of fraud on a HD account and HD pulled the camera footage, figured out who committed the fraud and he was prosecuted. It was a family member of a subcontractor that had seen how commercial accounts could be used without a card.

Have you gone to the HD where the fraudulent activity occurred and talked to the store manager about footage and pressing charges if you can ID the perpetrator? If you can do that, then HD will pursue them for the balance and not you.

Hi Dan,

Thank you for getting back to me. I’ve attached my dispute letter for your review. What I stated in the letter is what I told the FTC representative when we chatted on August 22, 2019, and she recommended that I describe what occurred and send the letter with the FTC report, which I did. On September 20, 2019, my account was credited $26K (the credit was not provisional). The letter I received dated November 8, 2019 stating I was liable for the charges stated reasons that I stated in my dispute letter which were the same reasons when my account was permanently credited.

My dispute with Citibank is they stated the credit to my account in September 2019, was provisional when in fact it was permanent based on my October 2019 statement. I never received any correspondence from HD or Citbank stating an error was made. How can you receive a credit based on information that was given and eight weeks later receive a reversal of credit based on the same information? Jamin was an authorized user on the account. I wasn’t aware of a second investigation, according to the Fair Credit Billing Act Citi did not comply with timelines, requests for data and the Act states if compliance with the Act is not followed, (right or wrong) Any creditor who fails to comply with the requirements of this section or section 162 forfeits any right to collect from the obligor the amount indicated by the obligor under paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this section, and any finance charges thereon, except that the amount required to be forfeited under this subsection may not exceed $50.

All the correspondence I have received since November 2019 has been from Citibank. I didn’t continue with the attorney as he sent a letter to Citibank which I didn’t review before he sent it out, he would take 3 or 4 days to respond to my phone calls and emails, and when I pointed that out to him he said he would try and do better which he didn’t.

I received a letter from the collection agency stating that they were going to do their own investigation which could take up to 120 days from May 27, 2020. I called the collection representative about two weeks ago and he said he still doesn’t have access to my account, and I have heard nothing since then. I have forwarded all correspondence to the collection rep and the letter states they are sending my complaint and dispute claim to Citibank for further review.

I would appreciate any suggestions recommendations you may have.Dispute-Letter to HD_Citi dated 8-22-2019.pdf (71.2 KB)

Got it. I’ll take a look when I have some free time.

Good Morning Terry,

I forwarded this thread to an attorney that practices consumer law in multiple states, including California. He said he’d like to talk to you.

His name is Ryan McBride with Kazerouni Law Group. His email is: ryan@kazlg.com.

One of the most helpful laws in these sorts of cases is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Essentially, if you file a dispute, the bank has to do an investigation. The investigation has to be reasonable. It can’t be superficial or a centimeter deep. If the investigation is not reasonable, you can sue for relief. There’s much more but you have to go through all of the steps.

Ideally, if you have to sue, you want to have multiple claims. FCBA, FCRA, fraud, etc. I don’t know what relief is available under FCBA.

My case against Citibank was won primarily on FCRA. Ryan can expertly guide you on your next steps.


Finally read your letter.

Did you remove the handy person as an authorized user before these charges were made?

If not, it seems you have a civil fraud claim against the handy person. Fraud usually carries compensatory and punitive damages. There are surely many other claims you’d have as well.

You may be able to convince the local or federal government to pursue criminal charges if the handy person committed tax fraud. If they took $25k from you and never repaid it, that counts as income. It’s unlikely they reported it and paid taxes. You may even be able to write it off as bad debt. You could consult a CPA on that. CPA would know how and if you can send a 1099.

You may even end up receiving one from Citibank so it would be prudent to send one to the handy person that has defaulted on their debt to you.


I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. I had some tax issues that came up that I had to attend to. I will email Ryan today. Thanks for your help.


The guy has disappeared plus he doesn’t have a pot to p_ss in. I have a restraining order against him and he’s violated it twice and the cops don’t care. I tried to see if I could get the tools back and I asked the cops if I could go to his house and get them and I was told if I tried that he could have me arrested for stealing.

Yeah, you can’t do that unfortunately. I hope you can figure it out.