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Lawyer Fights $276 in Late Fees|& Foreclosure Threat, Over a Penny

PATERSON, N.J. (CN) - An attorney claims his Hawaiian timeshare company charged him $276 in late fees and threatened to foreclose on his property because he owed it a penny. Jonathan Dorman says the Kahana Beach Vacation Club subjected him to abuse and threats until he wrung from it the information that it was charging him 20 months of late fees for a penny - which a supervisor said "appeared to be the result of a computer glitch."

Dorman sued the Kahana Beach Vacation Club and Consolidated Resorts in Passaic County Court. He says the club sent his account to a debt collection agency, falsely claiming that he "was not making payments pursuant to an approved structured payment plan" and that his "account was past due."

Dorman says he paid everything he owed "over the phone directly with a representative of Regency [the debt collector]" and was "told that his account was now current."

But the club contacted him 4 months later and told him he owed $276 in late fees, and that his account was "over two hundred days past due."

Dorman says he was "astonished by this" and when he asked for an explanation, the representative told him his account was "past due 200 days in the amount of a single penny."

He says he offered to pay the penny, but the accounts receivable rep refused to accept it, but "continued to verbally berate plaintiff," and said he "was on the phone to get plaintiff to the pay $276.77 that was past due."

"After enduring further abuse for several minutes," Dorman says, he asked to speak to a supervisor. He says the supervisor told him "that she would inquire with the IT department about the past due amount, because it appeared to be the result of a 'computer glitch'."

He says he immediately went to the defendant's website and paid a penny, but the club later sent his ex-wife a bill for $67.20, claiming that he owed it. Dorman says he paid it anyway, immediately, "to avoid a repeat of the past."

Dorman seeks punitive damages for fraud and violations of the Fair Debt Collection Act. He filed the case pro se.

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