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Past Due

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? NJ

I acquired a couple of credit cards when I was in college, and after a while was unable to keep up on payments/pay them off. After I finished undergrad, I went to grad school and haven't had a steady job in quite some time. I am now finished with school, about to start a new job and would like to try and clear up my credit, but was wondering how I can by pass the rediculous amount of interest that the creditors have attached to my debt. For instance, I have one card where I had $275 past due, and the company is now reporting to the credit bureau that I owe them $2,516. That's insane, and I refuse to pay almost 10 times what I originally owed, nor am I in a position to be able to pay that on top of my other bills. Although my other creditors have not increased the amount I owe by such an exorbitant amount, there is an significant increase from the amount past due to the amount written off and I would like help/advice on the best way to decrease the amount owed on those debts, so I'm not paying an amount way above and beyond what I've actually spent/owe.

Debt Guy

Senior Member
Regarding the fees and additions to the accounts, the real question is what where the terms of the credit agreement? You may think it obscene but that does not necessarily mean that it is illegal.

Assuming that what happened was within the creditor's rights under the agreement, then that is the price you pay for not paying your bills. The reason you could not pay is irrelevant.

Assuming that what happened was not within the terms of the agreement, then you have a big weapon to fight back with.

You need to find out what the agreement says. You may wish to contact the creditor and ask for a copy of the agreement.

The best way to reduce the balance due on the account is to negotiate a settlement. If you really want to put all this behind you, make an offer and see if they will accept. You will probably do some back and forth negotiating to reach a number they can live with and you can live with. But, don't expect the creditor to accept payments over time. For such a deal they will expect a lump sum payment.

You should also research state law to determine the statute of limitations. It is possible that the debt is outside the SOL. If that is the case, the creditor can still collect and they can even sue you -- but you can raise the SOL as a defense and get the case dismissed.

Whatever you do, don't ignore any summons you receive. If you do, then the creditor will obtain a default judgment and they you really are up the proverbial feces stream without a source of propulsion.

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