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Does anyone know laws about credit card debt? Interest on debts?

Short husband lost his job, and all our debts including credit cards we were maintaining before he got laid off, went to debt collectors. I got a call today and apparently I'm being charged $2.45/day for interest on a credit card debt ($4,500). Is this even legal?
Both my husband and I have tried, are trying and will continue to try to get jobs that will pay more than just our basic need, but right now all we can afford is electrity (parents own the rental we're living in and aren't making us pay).

Does anyone know where I can look up laws about what debts can be charged interest and what debts can't? Or debt laws in general? I'm super frustrated. I know this is our responsibility and we've tried to contribute to our debts whenever possible, but it's never good enough for them.

Also, they are trying to solicit information out of individuals that babysit for us and other sources. Is this even legal to do? I'm very frustrated! They asked if we recieved a tax return....all of that info? legal?

Has anyone ever gone through this? Please I need advice and resources!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:46 PM on Feb. 24, 2011 in Money & Work

Answers (5)
  • First off, it is completely legal for an outstanding balance to collect interest. It is called a default interest rate, and they are usually VERY high. Generally in the range of 22-25 percent of the balance per month.

    Secondly, how are they contacting these other individuals? Is the babysitter answering your home phone or something?

    I would speak to an attorney if you are concerned about the issues that you are experiencing, if you feel that you are being treated unfairly. The company can take legal action against you if they see fit.

    Good luck.

    Answer by xxlilmomma09 at 1:58 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • Also, I calculated it. You are on paying around 73.50 a month in interest which is not high at all. I would most certainly not be fussing about that amount. It could be MUCH higher.

    Answer by xxlilmomma09 at 2:01 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • The interest is legal. Harassing others is not.

    Try contacting a *non-profit* consumer credit counseling service; they may well be able to help you. Here's one:

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:01 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • My babysitter (my sister) always answers the phone here in case it's one of us. She said she would take a msg, the lady asked when I would be back, and she said around 4/5 ish.....the lady asked if I was working (red flag....who asks that of anyone but the person in debt?) , sister said "I dont' know, she just asked me to babysit".
    They've also called my PARENTS house, even though we keep contact with them via our address and our phone number. I don't eve know how they got my parents number and they keep calling them. My parents aren't tied to the debt at all.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:05 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • I agree with gdiamante- look up your state law and see what they can and cannot legally do. Don't worry about the interest, collections, or the debt right now- Right now you're job is to keep the utilities on, food on the table, and a roof over your head- everything else can wait until you guys find another job.

    So sorry you are going through this.

    Answer by Erica_Smerica at 11:36 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

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