A Fort Worth woman says she's on the hook for a big bill to bury her brother that she has already paid, but she's still hearing from debt collectors.
Richard L. Troy, Jr., lost his battle to lung cancer last year. His caregiver and younger sister, Jacquelynn Fuller, was in charge of handling his finances and laying him to rest.
The family already had burial plots at Laurel Land Memorial Park in Fort Worth, so Fuller thought everything was taken care of.
"Most people don't know that if you buy cemetery plots, that's one part of the equation," she said. "The second part is you have to have that plot opened and that is an additional fee."
According to Funerals.org, an additional opening and closing fee for a plot is common. So Fuller sent Laurel Land a check. But six months later, she received a collection notice saying she owed them 1,890.
"I said, 'No, that's incorrect,'" she recalled. "I said, 'I took care of that back in February,'"
Fuller said she tracked down the representative who handled her brother's burial and was informed the check she sent in February didn't clear. She knew she had more than enough money in her account, so she called her bank.
"Chase has no record of my check ever being presented to the bank," she said.
Fuller figured the funeral home lost the check, so she sent collections a certified cashier's check for $1,890. The check posted a few days later.
But nearly a year later, Fuller got another notice from another debt collector asking her for the same amount: $1,890. She explained to the agency that this was a huge mistake, but she said the agency told her to take it up with the funeral home. Fuller said she's tried, but no one at Laurel Land will return her call.
"I have done everything I know to do to get this cleared up," she said.
The NBC 5 Responds team reached out to Laurel Land and presented the funeral home with Fuller's proof of payment. Laurel Land says "as part of our commitment to all of our client families, we guard their privacy and because of this, we do not discuss specific client arrangements with the media."
Fuller said she's unsure of her next step. But one thing's for sure, she's in good financial standing and would never ignore a bill.
"If I learned nothing else from my deceased brother, I learned to pay my bills. That is exactly what he taught us," she said. "We're all human. We make mistakes, but to this day, they will not admit they lost the check. They will not show me documentation where they show my check bounced three times and they will not admit error."
Fuller is in a very troubling situation, but she's not alone. We've received a number of complaints from consumers who say they were sent to collections and aren't sure why.
Here are Samantha Chatman's solutions:
• Send the creditor your proof of payment.
• If that doesn't work, contact the Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner. This office is in place to protect consumers and assists creditors in resolving complaints and disputes.
• Lastly, contact the Texas Attorney General's office. This agency monitors deceptive trade practices.