If you’ve fallen behind on your credit card payments, you might have a little voice in the back of your head worrying you and wonder, “Can I be sued for not paying my credit card?”
Should you still worry or can you put that little voice to rest?
Unfortunately, you can be sued for an unpaid credit card balance. The good news is that you can steps to avoid having that happen.
Why Would a Credit Card Issuer Sue You?
Many people feel like banks are simply being bullies when they ask their customers to pay back what they’ve borrowed. The calls and letters can definitely make you feel powerful, but the banks aren’t doing anything illegal or unethical by asking you to repay what you borrowed.
Remember, when you use your credit card, you’re agreeing to pay back what you’ve spent. The bank has already paid the merchant for the purchases you made. Now it’s your turn. The calls and letters are the bank’s way of holding you to your end of the agreement.
Of course, knowing this doesn’t change your financial circumstances or make it any easier to come up with the money to pay your creditors. Hopefully it can help you understand why your credit card issuers are pushing so hard for payment. And it’s in your best interest to pay – at some point, the credit card issuer may hire a third-party debt collector to pursue you for payment on the debt.
How Can You Avoid a Lawsuit From Your Credit Card Issuer?
To gain some mercy from the credit card issuer, you need to show what caused you to fall behind on your payments. For example, if you’ve had a loss of income or illness, your creditor may back off a lawsuit and offer a payment plan that you can manage until your financial situation improves.
You can’t work out anything with your credit card issuer unless you’re willing to call and discuss your account with them. While you might be a little nervous or anxious about the phone call, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how much the credit card issuer will help you.
Ask How to Reduce Your Minimum Payment
If you’re too far behind to catch up on your payments, talk to your credit card issuer. You can discuss a lower payment to bring your account up to date again. This smaller amount will be much easier to manage. It will also allow you to start back making minimum payments again.
Your creditor may also be willing to break up your balance over a small repayment period. That will be more manageable than you paying the full amount all at once.
Use your monthly budget to figure out how you can squeeze out some extra money to get caught up on your payment. Reducing some expenses – or even getting rid of some monthly services can help you come up with a little bit of extra money to cover your catch up payment and avoid a lawsuit.
You can also use a few moneymaking techniques to bring in some additional cash. This can be especially helpful if you’ve already cut as much as you can from your budget. For example, you can sell things on an online auction site or hold a yard sale to generate some quick cash to cover your late payment.
By now, you should have a clear answer to the question, “Can I be sued for not paying my credit card.” Fortunately there are several things you can do to keep this from happening.
Related: What is Debt Consolidation?