I'm being sued over credit card debt. What can I do? :( - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-26-2007, 06:16 PM
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Citibank is taking me to court for $3,140 in credit card debt. Much of this is because I was out of work for a long time and fell behind. I am terrified of what might happen. I am only 22 years old and I don't have much money, and I can't help but feel that this is extremely unfair. What can I do? I'm scared that they'll take my wages, ruin my credit and my life. Also I feel humiliated being treated like a criminal for something that is not entirely my fault. Some of the balance is THEIR finance charges and fees. Has anyone been through this? I feel like it's the end of the world.
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#2 Old 02-26-2007, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by veggielover16 View Post

Citibank is taking me to court for $3,140 in credit card debt. Much of this is because I was out of work for a long time and fell behind. I am terrified of what might happen. I am only 22 years old and I don't have much money, and I can't help but feel that this is extremely unfair. What can I do? I'm scared that they'll take my wages, ruin my credit and my life. Also I feel humiliated being treated like a criminal for something that is not entirely my fault. Some of the balance is THEIR finance charges and fees. Has anyone been through this? I feel like it's the end of the world.



It's not THEIR fault that you spent THEIR money - money YOU did not have and that YOU are obligated to repay according to conditions that YOU agreed to.



There's absolutely nothing wrong with falling on hard times and compiling some credit card debt. Handle it with some maturity though. This is not their fault. Do they take advantage of people in your situation? Sure. Is it their fault? No. You're not a victim.



Get yourself a credit counselor. That would be my advice.

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#3 Old 02-26-2007, 06:40 PM
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Why on earth is it unfair?



Look, I got myself into trouble by being a financial idiot and ruined my credit record too. It's not the end of the world, merely a minor inconvenience for a while. It was annoying but it certainly didn't ruin my life. Once you pay it off you will have a blot on your record for a while but it is expunged after a certain time (here it is about 5 years, not sure what it it where you live.) And, like you, I had no-one to blame but myself.



Get a financial counsellor, some charities such as the Salvation Army offer these services for free, go to court and set up a scheme to pay it off. Tear up any other credit cards you have and stop seeing them as "free money". The fees and finance charges are stated quite clearly when you sign up for the card, I can see being stressed and upset over court but really, I'm not sure why it's unfair and not your fault.

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#4 Old 02-26-2007, 06:45 PM
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hi veggielover16, It's not the end of the world so try not to let it get to you so bad.



My guess is the courts will work out someway for you to repay. Yeah it should hurt your credit rating, but after so many years, you can build it back up again. Yours is not the worst I have seen.





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#5 Old 02-26-2007, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post

It's not THEIR fault that you spent THEIR money - money YOU did not have and that YOU are obligated to repay according to conditions that YOU agreed to.



There's absolutely nothing wrong with falling on hard times and compiling some credit card debt. Handle it with some maturity though. This is not their fault. Do they take advantage of people in your situation? Sure. Is it their fault? No. You're not a victim.



Get yourself a credit counselor. That would be my advice.





I said it was not entirely my fault. Certainly it is partially my fault.



Thanks to everyone else.
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#6 Old 02-26-2007, 08:32 PM
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I think michael was a bit harsh. You needed advice not criticism.



Keep communication open with the creditors, tell them your position, cards on table, so to speak. Offer them something each month, even if its a few dollars or even cents!!.

Be honest with them. Communicate with them in writing, keep all document from them.

In the meantime, make out a list of your income and expenditure. Cut back on spending. Live cheaply for a while.
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#7 Old 02-26-2007, 10:33 PM
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I feel your pain. I really do. I have never been taken to court but I have always owed money. I have Citibank credit card too. I have still been paying my credit card bill even though I am unemployed right now. ( I am paying it from my savings though). I owe alot more than you do (and I am not saying how much!) so don't feel so bad.



It is a good idea not to try to miss a credit card payment if you can help it. I know it sucks when you are short on money but in essence, credit cards are sort of 'borrowed' money. You didn't have the money to pay for whatever at the time so you put it on credit - which is borrowed time in a way. The finance charges are scandelous - I hate looking at mine every month *ouch!*.



Don't worry about it so much. Were you getting unemployment when you didn't work? I know Citibank has a thingy were you can have your payments put on hold when you are unemployed so you don't have to make a payment and don't get any more finance charges - but you can't use the card. Unfortunatley, I think you have to pay monthly for it before you become unemployed- in case, it happens. I never got that for myself because I need to keep my card open and useable for emergencies like car repairs. I remember it being really expensive too. You might mention and explain your unemployment when you are at court - of course, if you didn't contact Citibank for help, it might not matter. Still bring it up.



Remember that lots of people miss on their credit card payments - you are not the first one it has happened too. I am sure you will just end up with a payment plan of some sort but it will probably make your credit look bad for a while and I am sure Citibank will not raise your credit line for a long while. Are they cancelling your card? Can you borrow the money to pay it off from someone?



That is what I did - my uncle offered me the money to pay off my cards and a student loan and I am paying him back monthly without interest and no max/min payments (although, I try to pay as much as I can since I really want to get rid of the debt)- I pay what I can afford.



I have come to terms with the fact that I am just bad with my money and will probably always owe something. I am at least getting better at it.



Good luck and let us know what happens!
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#8 Old 02-26-2007, 11:01 PM
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queenfluff "I know it sucks when you are short on money but in essence, credit cards are sort of 'borrowed' money." Emphasis soilman's. Goodness gracious. Credit cards are not "sort of" borrowed money. Borrowing money is precisely what you do when use a credit card either to make a purchase, or get a "cash advance." You must be kidding.



No, it's not the end of the world veggielover. Just the end of your existing relatively good credit rating, and if you have any assets you can sell to use to pay the cards off, perhaps the end of your ownership of them, but maybe not. Depends. Find out which assets are attachable when the lawyers win their case (notice I say when the lawyers win their case, not if; if it gets to court before you make an arrangement with them that they'll agree to, they'll win). Unless you can prove someone stole your credit card and your reported it to the bank in a timely fashion, or something like that.
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#9 Old 02-26-2007, 11:46 PM
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credit cards are sort of 'borrowed' money. You didn't have the money to pay for whatever at the time so you put it on credit - which is borrowed time in a way.





Sort of borrowed money? It's borrowing straight up. Credit cards are nothing more than high interest, short term loans, no two ways about it.

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#10 Old 02-27-2007, 09:06 AM
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Michael, Don't ever think it can't happen to you!



I didn't see where he said that.



But unless someone held a gun to veggielover's head and made him/her use the card, it's no one's fault but his/her own.



I second getting a credit counselor. There are places that do it for free. I bet an on-line search would turn up one in your area. Maybe they could even work things out with Citibank so you have a payment plan and don't need court. Good luck.
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#11 Old 02-27-2007, 10:11 AM
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I second getting a credit counselor. There are places that do it for free. I bet an on-line search would turn up one in your area. Maybe they could even work things out with Citibank so you have a payment plan and don't need court. Good luck.



Agreed! Talk to a credit counselor. Tell them you're being sued and that you want to set it right, you've just been having trouble. They can OFTEN intercede on your behalf, talk to Citibank, stop the court proceedings, and set up a payment plan that you can handle. Really, it will be okay. And don't worry too much about your credit rating--you're young and by working with a counselor and paying off your debt, you'll be on your way back to good credit land. It will all be okay.
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#12 Old 02-27-2007, 10:58 AM
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I've never been in this situation and I am just curious. I've had a lot of friends in the past who would run from collectors rather than talk to them and refuse to talk to the companies they borrowed money from. Were you using these sort of avoidance tactics before you received the subpoena? (I am not asking to be mean. I am actually curious about the situation.)



I am with everyone who is telling you to get a credit counselor. That's probably your best source of help now.
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#13 Old 02-27-2007, 01:08 PM
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Agreed, you need a credit counselor.



And remember, as harsh as it sounds, ALL of the debt is your fault - those fees and interest and whatnot are all part of the deal when you don't pay a credit card in full. We all fall on hard times and how we get ourselves in and out of it says a lot about who we are. Don't blame others, you used the credit card so you could continue living, now its up to you to pay it off. You will be proud of yourself once you do!
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#14 Old 02-27-2007, 01:38 PM
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It's completely fair. You owe them money. What can you do? Pay it back.
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#15 Old 02-27-2007, 01:49 PM
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Agreed, you need a credit counselor.



And remember, as harsh as it sounds, ALL of the debt is your fault - those fees and interest and whatnot are all part of the deal when you don't pay a credit card in full. We all fall on hard times and how we get ourselves in and out of it says a lot about who we are. Don't blame others, you used the credit card so you could continue living, now its up to you to pay it off. You will be proud of yourself once you do!



Ditto. And I think those of us who are insisting that it is all your fault are not doing so to be mean, but rather to give you a reality check and prevent you from getting into this situation again in the future. Don't freak out about it, just do what you have to do to pay off this debt, and don't spend money you don't have in the future.
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#16 Old 02-27-2007, 02:58 PM
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I didn't see where he said that.





He didn't say it, I did! What with his Holier than thou attitude. and so quick to put someone down. I said don't think it can't happen to him ( or you or me for that matter) Because it can!

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#17 Old 02-27-2007, 03:37 PM
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He didn't say it, I did! What with his Holier than thou attitude. and so quick to put someone down. I said don't think it can't happen to him ( or you or me for that matter) Because it can!



I agree. I think the OP realizes what they did wrong. They came for some advice and opinions about what to do about the court hearing. They didn't ask for a credit card lesson. Also there could be some other details that OP didn't mention about the charges on their card and other circumstances that we don't know about.



The damage is done and the person is in trouble. They need tips now. Give the OP a break - not everyone is money smart and everyone can get into a money problems in their lives. Everyone has tough spots in their lives and no one is perfect.
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#18 Old 02-27-2007, 04:14 PM
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I know it can happen to me. Part of getting help is accepting responsibility for your actions. The credit card companies are not to blame. Do they take advantage? Sure. But I don't blame them for wanting their money back. We all know what the consequences are for not repaying credit card debt - fees and interest and a whole lot of misery. It's no big secret.



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And I think those of us who are insisting that it is all your fault are not doing so to be mean, but rather to give you a reality check and prevent you from getting into this situation again in the future.



Exactly.



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Tell them you're being sued and that you want to set it right, you've just been having trouble.



That's the right attitude to have.



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And I think those of us who are insisting that it is all your fault are not doing so to be mean, but rather to give you a reality check and prevent you from getting into this situation again in the future.



That seems to be the natural reaction and that is THE absolute worst thing to do. That's where most of the fees and legal action stem from. The problem doesn't go away. Most creditors are willing to work with you if you'll only make an effort.



Sorry if I seemed like an ass. I've seen a lot of this growing up and it's a pet peeve of mine.

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#19 Old 02-27-2007, 04:45 PM
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queenfludd"...I think the OP realizes what they did wrong."



The OP did not do anything "wrong." They just didn't do as well, economically, as they, and the lender, predicted they would. It was a gamble. Both the lender and the borrower gambled that the borrower would do well enough in the future, to pay back the amount they borrowed, plus a profit for the lender. They both gambled and lost. They both looked at the borrowers past action, and present claims, and thought the facts pointed in the direction of the borrower being able to meet their obligations. They both gambled and lost. The lender gambled with their money. They won't make the profit they expected. They might even lose money. The borrower gambled with his credit record, his ability to borrow more money in the future. He won't be able to borrow as easily in the future.



It is really just a game. One where people are playing for keepsies.
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#20 Old 02-27-2007, 04:51 PM
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queenfludd"...I think the OP realizes what they did wrong."



The OP did not do anything "wrong." They just didn't do as well, economically, as they, and the lender, predicted they would. It was a gamble. Both the lender and the borrower gambled that the borrower would do well enough in the future, to pay back the amount they borrowed, plus a profit for the lender. They both gambled and lost. They both looked at the borrowers past action, and present claims, and thought the facts pointed in the direction of the borrower being able to meet their obligations. They both gambled and lost. The lender gambled with their money. They won't make the profit they expected. They might even lose money. The borrower gambled with his credit record, his ability to borrow more money in the future. He won't be able to borrow as easily in the future.



It is really just a game. One where people are playing for keepsies.



I meant 'wrong' as in not keeping up with his/her credit card payments and getting behind.



and its queenfluff, not queenfludd if you don't mind.
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#21 Old 02-27-2007, 06:16 PM
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"and its queenfluff, not queenfludd if you don't mind."



LOL Sorry. That was a fingo-graphical error. On my keyboard, the D is under my Left middle finger, and the F is under my Left pointer finger. The two fingers are right next to each other. I think my brain got my middle and pointer finger mixed up and pumped the pointer finger down, instead of the middle finger. It probably thought there were just too many F's in fluff and automatically hit a D to balance out the letters.
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#22 Old 02-27-2007, 08:25 PM
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One thing about the credit counseling - be sure to check them out & make sure they're at least non-profit. There are a lot of credit counseling companies out there to make a profit off your situation.



http://financialplan.about.com/cs/cr...tCounselor.htm
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#23 Old 02-27-2007, 09:10 PM
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"and its queenfluff, not queenfludd if you don't mind."



LOL Sorry. That was a fingo-graphical error. On my keyboard, the D is under my Left middle finger, and the F is under my Left pointer finger. The two fingers are right next to each other. I think my brain got my middle and pointer finger mixed up and pumped the pointer finger down, instead of the middle finger. It probably thought there were just too many F's in fluff and automatically hit a D to balance out the letters.



No worries. It was a funny typo.
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#24 Old 02-28-2007, 12:52 AM
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I completely agree with Michaels first post 102%.



There is no unfairness in this situation. YOU got into debt. YOU spent the money you didn't have, and YOU have not upheld your end of the deal-to pay back the money.



It IS entirely your fault. There is no one else you can blame for this. Sure some of the balance is their finance charges, they're a business - they're in this to make money!



This may sound harsh, but I don't feel you hiding from the consquences of your actions is going to help you at all! Basically you just have to accept responsibility, recitify the situation, and learn from it!



As for the legal side etc I don't know much about that, but it sounds like people have made good suggestions for you! If you're parents have the means maybe you could borrow the money off of them and pay them back weekly installments the same rate you would be paying the credit company (that way if you do not meet a payment for some unforseen reason there isn't such a harsh punishment). But then again that may not be an option for you. And I hope you get the situation sorted quickly and easily
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#25 Old 02-28-2007, 06:40 AM
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Hmmm.... veggielover is banned now? Weird. Oh well since his/her only two posts ever were about credit card debt, who knows.
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#26 Old 02-28-2007, 07:46 AM
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Thread is closed because the OP is no longer here.
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