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What Can Happen When You Don't Pay Your Credit Card Debt?

16 Answers

James Kent Profile
James Kent answered
One of the things that can happen when you don't pay your credit card debt is that you will end up with a bad credit rating. Occasionally debtors are taken to court for non-payment. If you are taken to court then the court may issue an attachment of earnings order. This would simply mean that you would have to pay what you could afford each month.

Most companies don't like to take their debtors to court as the costs can be high and this course of action can be damaging for their public image. The most likely outcome would be a default notice appearing on your credit file, and as the loan is unsecured the credit card companies do not have the right to repossess your house or any of your other goods. You will receive letters in the post demanding payment and the company may charge extra interest or an administration charge for unpaid bills.

If you are unable to pay your credit card debt the best course of action is to contact the company to ask them to close the account. This will mean you can no longer use the card, but the interest will stop accruing. Once the account is closed you should ask the company for a final bill and then you can negotiate a monthly payment plan with them. You will find that if they are receiving some money they will be happy with this as at least the bill is being cleared.

You should also note that even if you agree a payment arrangement with a credit card company a default notice on your credit file would still be in place, as you would have been in default of the original terms and conditions that were in place when you received the card, and signed the credit agreement.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I forgot to transfer money from my savings to my checking after making an American Express card payment. I have never been late before in 5 years but the bank rejected the electronic draft. AE called me a few days later and I apologized and had them send it through again (making sure the money was there). They now jacked my interest up to 25%. They just screwed themselves since I'm not paying them one penny now or ever again. I already own my home and have two fairly new cars so it's not like I will need to apply for credit for the next 10 years. Just my 10 cents.
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Anonymous
Anonymous commented
I agree with not paying hijacked interest..If everyone refused to pay more than 6-8% interest on their credit cards....the card companies would have not choice but to lower their fees. They can do nothing to you but ruin your credit. If you don't need more credit. Why should you care. But you DO owe the principle amount; you borrowed it, you pay it...
Anonymous
Anonymous commented
I agree with not paying hijacked interest..If everyone refused to pay more than 6-8% interest on their credit cards....the card companies would have no choice but to lower their fees. They can do nothing to you but ruin your credit. If you don't need more credit, then why should you care. But you do owe the principle amount; you borrowed it, you pay it...
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I have had financial problems and was less than 10 days late for 3 months. The credit card company raised my APR from 7% to 20.50% can they do this?
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Anonymous
Anonymous commented
They seem to do whatever they want. And the gov't lets them.. I strongly believe they're in cahoots together.

I'm in almost the same situation ..
I never was late with a payment but they still raised my rate from 6.9 to 14%. Then 17% for no reason at all in the last 6 mos. Is that incredible or what ?[ $40K ] i'm going to tell them to kiss off. I'm sick and tired of thier crap and not paying anymore .. I have a house and cars that are paid off so i don't need any more credit
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
If a spouse dies and leaves credit card debt is the other spouse liable to pay it if it is unsecured debt and they were only listed as a 'user' not the one who opened the credit card account?
Husnain Bajwa Profile
Husnain Bajwa answered
A credit card is technically an invitation to use the credit line of some one and normally it's the bank who offer that credit line. In simple words, banks offered money to use for your daily household buying and purchase and your liability is to pay at a certain due date back to the bank to avail the same credit line for the next time period. Everywhere in the world, banks offer credit lines and some items require interest on actual buying and some not. For example: daily l groceries and general merchandise does not have interest so the user has to pay the actual amount to bank but for some items like electronic and gold, the user has to pay a certain amount of interest with the original amount back to the bank. This is the working of credit card and now if some one does not pay the due amount back in full, banks will not push you to do so as they will ask you to pay only a small portion of the due amount and balance payment in installments with interest. In the same way, a user will use his credit card in the next time period and is also liable for previous instalments with interest. It's a vicious circle of debt and in a hidden way, the bank got you trapped in a debt circle and the user will never get rid of that circle. The bank will receive the actual consumed amount soon from your instalments but the user will pay the interest for his entire life as interest will be added and increased every time payment is due.
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Anonymous
Anonymous commented
Don't pay them. Write off for the original copy of the Customer Credit Agreement, which they wont have and then they cant enforce the debt and you stop paying.
Anonymous
Anonymous commented
I owe 21,000 on a chase credit card.Now have no income and can't even pay minimum monthly payment. I have had this account for 10 years and have never been late on a payment. Do I have to file bankrupsy or do I just tell them I can't pay and take a chance in them not suing me. Can I wait it out for the statue of limitation to take effect?
creditcard editioral Profile
The first thing you need to do is  to review your financial situation. If you see that you don't have huge debt then your credit card company will definitely plan a budget for you and help you get organize so that you can make your payments on time and get the debt paid off.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
They ruin your credit score and history.But they can not put you in jail or anything.Most likely they try to negotiate with you for the dept...
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
There is no such thing as debtors prison, you can't be jailed for not paying debt. Work out with debtors to make some payment. Avoid late payment charges, stop using credit cards.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I have a total of $55,000 in credit card debt spread over about 6 cards.  No one card over $10,000.  I now have attorneys calling.  What can they do?
Mike Davis Profile
Mike Davis answered
Yes, they can't put you in jail because not paying off your debt is not a criminal offense. It is a civil offense.
Aun Jafery Profile
Aun Jafery answered
Credit Card Debts are referred to as unsecured debt. What this means is that they are not secured against any real property. They cannot repossess your car, your house or other assets as they do not have a lean on these properties. This is the very reason why credit card companies generally offer credit at interest rates that are substantially higher than mortgages or car loans. What these credit card companies can do is damage your credit report. This will dissuade other lenders in the future from either lending you money or extend credit at a higher rate of interest. There are certain cases in which a credit card company may resort to a court procedure by way of which they can put a freeze on your bank account, but they rarely do so, preferring to make a settlement by which you can pay back part of the amount as final settlement.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I am in this fix lost my job 6 months ago can't even get part time work paid cards till all savings gone I called banks told them my problem so far they have been ok just said let them know if and when I get a job and most said good luck in finding a job.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The credit card company will charge you a late fee, could raise your interest rate, and will charge additional interest on the amount you haven't paid. If you keep not paying them, they will close the account and sue you. You have to find a solution for your credit card debt if you do not want more trouble.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Attorney office for a credit card my husband has is calling and said it is in court proceedings. He lost his job and we have no assets. What else can they do.
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Anonymous
Anonymous commented
Absolutely nothing. Credit card companies do not use attorneys to collect money. That is a scam. If you have no assets and don't need new credit.. Stop answering their phone calls...if you choose not to pay...ignore them
Mike Davis Profile
Mike Davis answered
No, I don't think you could be jailed for not being able to pay your credit card debt. But in the event you receive summons, make sure you be there at the court in the date and time specified. Otherwise, the creditors might achieve a judgment against you.
Kyoko Katayama Profile
Kyoko Katayama answered
You can be fined an amount up to twice your credit card balance.  If you don't pay it, you can be sent to jail until you do pay it.

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