How long can a credit card company continue to keep an account open and charge fees instead of closing the account?

UPDATED: Jun 20, 2011

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How long can a credit card company continue to keep an account open and charge fees instead of closing the account?

They know that I am destitute.

Asked on June 20, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The credit company can keep the account open as long as they like. They may or may not  know that you are destitute; but more importantly, they don't have to care. Furthermore, even if the account were closed in that no new charges could be made, you would still owe the balance of the account--and it would keep accruing interest. Your being destitute does not, by itself, let you out of the obligations which you assumed when you took out the credit card and agreed to its terms.

If you are in truly bad financial shape and cannot repay your debts, you should consider bankruptcy as an option. Bankruptcy is designed to let people have a fresh start by discharging their debts. Ideally, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney, since filing bankruptcy, and even deciding which kind (chapter 7 or chapter 13) is best for you can be complex; however, you can file yourself, and here's a link to a U.S. government website with helpful information--good luck:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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