Woman suing loan company after debt collector goes to her work

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on August 13, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 16 at 9:49 PM

FORT WORTH - Being late on a loan has turned into a fiasco that a Fort Worth woman never expected. The debt collector showed up at her job and the ensuing drama didn't end until police were called.

Inside a Grand Prairie gas station, cameras caught the collision between Melissa Jenkins' professional and personal lives.

"I wouldn't treat a dog like that," she said. "I wouldn't do my children like that. It's not right. You don't do that."

Jenkins showed up for work that day in April when a manager from Atlas Credit Company surprised her.

"She came into my store, started screaming in front of customers about $53, saying what a bad person that I was," she said.

Atlas Credit loaned Jenkins $200 to pay her electric bill, but she had fallen two weeks behind on her monthly payment of $53.

"I keep asking her five or six times, 'Can you please leave ma'am?' Jenkins said.

Grand Prairie police wrote Audrey Oladko a warning for criminal trespassing. Jenkins is now suing her company for harassment.

The Texas Attorney General's Office said it has had half a dozen complaints so far this year against Atlas Credit Company, mainly over harassing phone calls. Neither the manager involved nor Atlas itself would talk to WFAA about what happened to Jenkins.

"You can't use language that's intended to abuse somebody unreasonably," said Dean Malone, Jenkins' attorney. "So, when you show up at somebody's work like Melissa's and you tell her, 'Hey, I'm not leaving until you pay the $55 or you either make arrangements to pay the $55,' that's not permissible."

Jenkins ultimately paid the debt but says Atlas now owes her for an embarrassing, over-the-top tactic.

E-mail: jwhitely@wfaa.com

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