Don't Waste Your Money: Hollywood Video closed but not gone - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: Hollywood Video closed but not gone

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(Toledo News Now) - Remember Hollywood Video? It seems like a relic from a decade ago, but for some former customers, it is still a nightmare.

It is a consumer nightmare that will not go away. Hollywood Video, the bankrupt video store chain, is still harassing former customers even after it was ordered to give people a break. Two years after Hollywood Video closed, the ghost movie chain is still asking former customers for money.

"I found on one of my credit reports that I had been reported to a collection agency back in October," said Nicole Detmer, a former Hollywood Video customer.

Detmer said last spring she owed the bankrupt video store hundreds of dollars for late movies she knew nothing about.

"Late fees: $645 supposedly," said Detmer.

Tracy Iliff and her husband, Jaime, run a pottery studio, and love spending time creating bowls and beer steins, not battling creditors. But a letter the Iliffs just received have them going in circles over a video store that closed years ago.

"I received a letter from a collection agency about Hollywood Video, and a video we supposedly didn't return in 2009," explained Tracy Iliff.

In 2011, a group of state attorney generals filed suit, calling the charges "exorbitant and unreasonable." Hollywood's creditors then agreed to stop harassing former customers for hundreds of dollars in compounded late fees. But the settlement still allows the company to go after the initial late fee. In the Iliffs case, it's $13 for the 2008 movie Max Payne.

"I don't know if I should pay it and be done with it. On the other hand I don't feel I owe it, and I hate when people are so dishonest," said Tracy Iliff.

The Better Business Bureau has reported collection letters are still showing up in 2012 because the settlement allows creditors to go after unpaid fees. However, the BBB advises not to just write a check.

"You want to ask them to provide proof you actually owe that debt, and you want to make sure you actually owe those fees," explained Angie Barnett of the BBB.

The good news is the settlement forbids creditors from putting a black mark on anyone's credit. If you do not believe you owe anything, write back and explain why you are not paying. If you state that you feel you do not owe the fees, and the creditors cannot provide you with proof or exact movie names and dates, the settlement requires them to stop harassing you.

If they do not stop, contact the state attorney general, so you don't waste your money.

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