Karen Stevens spent nearly $1,900 paying off delinquent credit card debt she owed Bank of America in 2006. She then spent another three years fending off demands from collections agencies that she repay the debt all over again. Neither a cancelled check or creditor's letter stating that she'd fulfilled her obligations deterred the collectors.

Stevens ended the nightmare only by hiring a lawyer and counter-suing her pursuers. Bank of America was not directly involved in the legal contretemps, but it appears to have set them off by selling rights to Stevens' account, even after assuring her she'd paid up in full.

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