If you're like most Americans, you've probably received an enormous amount of junk mail over the years. Because of this, you have almost certainly received a number of credit card offers in the mail and noticed that there are many different types of consumer credit cards available to you. However, if you've ever found yourself with no credit, or perhaps poor credit, you may have had the need or the desire to open something called a “secured credit card” account. But what is a secured card, exactly?
A secured credit card is essentially an account you open by putting down a deposit of money with the bank. It is different than simply opening an account and keeping money in it. A secured card will use the money deposited up front to “secure” the card. Essentially, the deposit is collateral which the bank holds onto in case you don't pay, just like a security deposit that you'd give to a landlord before renting an apartment. In some cases, the amount of the deposit will also be the same amount as your credit limit. For example, if you make an initial deposit of $400 with the bank, you may be extended a credit limit of $400. This is for the bank's protection: if you don't make payments on the account, the bank will take the deposit money to pay themselves back, and possibly close your account. Sometimes, however, a secured credit card will come with a higher credit limit than the deposit amount, or the bank will increase your credit limit over time. For example, you may put down $400, but the credit limit is $800. In situations like these, there always exists a possibility that you charge your card more than the deposit.
Let's say that you opened a secured credit card with a bank and find yourself as the subject of a lawsuit trying to recover money for that credit account. What can you do? To start, it is always best to scrutinize your account statements. If you've made a security deposit, ensure that the bank has credited your account for the deposit amount before they take collections actions against you. In many cases, this should cover the entire outstanding balance, if your credit limit did not exceed the security deposit amount. Sometimes, you may still be responsible for a small balance, if late fees or related charges are applied to your account, so be aware.
If you believe that funds were not properly credited to your account, you may need to contact a lawyer. It is important to have an advocate on your side who can use the tools of the court and legal discovery to verify that your account accurately reflects what your balance should be, and that you are never asked to pay more than you owe. Having an experienced attorney can also make a difference in how much you pay and allow you to settle for less than the amounts you are claimed to owe. The attorneys of the Holland Law Group are experts in defense of debt collection matters, and we routinely resolve matters to the satisfaction of our clients. If you are in need of debt defense help for a lawsuit, contact the Holland Law Group today at (941)-744-5450. We cover the entire state of Florida from Miami to the panhandle, from Tampa to Orlando, and all places between and we work to protect your interests!
Marcus Ray Steverson, Esq.