Credit union accused of taking money from California widow for her late husband’s credit card debt without telling her
Gayle Housden lived in Fremont, California for over 30 years before recently moving to Lake Tahoe.
She likes to pass the time doing puzzles.
Now she has a bigger puzzle to worry about: why would Kinecta Federal Credit Union charge her without telling her?
Gayle lost her husband Robert Christopher Housden aged 62 to cancer in 2019 after 32 years of marriage.
The two made it a point to have two separate credit cards.
“My husband and I had each deliberately gotten our own credit card, so if one of us (was) lost or stolen, we had another to go back to,” she said.
They had a joint bank account.
She says she discovered after taking a closer look at her bank statement that Kinecta had deducted payments each month from that account for her husband’s credit balance.
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“And every month they charged interest and took the minimum payment,” she said.
Charges each month totaled approximately $25.
At the current rate of payments, it would have taken seven years to pay off what started as a $1,000 debt.
“I will pay the outstanding balance when my husband dies. I don’t think I should have to pay interest for two years because I didn’t know that,” Housden said.
She says a bank representative told her that was not how the system worked and that she would have to pay the interest.
That’s when she turned to our sister station in San Francisco, KGO-TV.
KGO-TV contacted Kinecta; the credit union told them: “We realize that the death of a loved one can be an emotionally difficult time for survivors. Our member concierge team contacted Ms. Housden and immediately resolved her issues and concerns to her satisfaction, including repayment of the credit card assessed interest.”
“I appreciate how quickly they fixed this issue once you contacted them,” Housden said. “But it should never have come to this.”
Kinecta says an individual’s debts pass to an estate. He suggests that all financial records and account information be kept in a secure place shared with the trust to help survivors.
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