Is it a Crime Not to Pay Your Credit Card Bills?

October 3, 2020
You will not be charged with a criminal offence for neglecting to pay your credit card bills.
You will not be charged with a criminal offence for neglecting to pay your credit card bills.
  • Not paying your credit card bill is not a criminal offence.
  • While there are serious financial consequences of not paying your credit card bill you will not be charged with a criminal offence.

What Happens When You do Not Pay Your Credit Card Bill:

1. First card company will inform the credit bureaus of your default and your credit  rating of your will be reduced. This record will be on your credit record for the next 6 years negatively effecting your ability to get credit in the future.

2. Then it is possible that your credit card interest rate will increase from 7% to 18% or more.

3. Eventually card will be put on hold. This means you will be prohibited from using it until it is paid off.

4. In some cases the credit card company may be able to seize money in your bank accounts to put towards your outstanding credit card bill.

5. Finally after a period of time your credit card company will turn your account over to a collections agency.

  • While not paying your credit card will not result in criminal  charges you can be charged with the criminal offence in certain circumstances for not paying your bills.
  • For instance if you were to dine out at a restaurant and skip out on your bill you could potentially be charged with he criminal offence of theft.

Section 322 of The Criminal Code

  • 322 (1) Every one commits theft who fraudulently and without colour of right takes, or fraudulently and without colour of right converts to his use or to the use of another person, anything, whether animate or inanimate, with intent
    • (a) to deprive, temporarily or absolutely, the owner of it, or a person who has a special property or interest in it, of the thing or of his property or interest in it;
    • (b) to pledge it or deposit it as security;
    • (c) to part with it under a condition with respect to its return that the person who parts with it may be unable to perform; or
    • (d) to deal with it in such a manner that it cannot be restored in the condition in which it was at the time it was taken or converted.
  • Marginal note:Time when theft completed

    (2) A person commits theft when, with intent to steal anything, he moves it or causes it to move or to be moved, or begins to cause it to become movable.

  • Marginal note:Secrecy

    (3) A taking or conversion of anything may be fraudulent notwithstanding that it is effected without secrecy or attempt at concealment.

  • Marginal note:Purpose of taking

    (4) For the purposes of this Act, the question whether anything that is converted is taken for the purpose of conversion, or whether it is, at the time it is converted, in the lawful possession of the person who converts it is not material.

  • Marginal note:Wild living creature

    (5) For the purposes of this section, a person who has a wild living creature in captivity shall be deemed to have a special property or interest in it while it is in captivity and after it has escaped from captivity.

  • If you have been charged with theft or any other criminal offence contact Kostman and Pyzer, Barristers today for your free consultation!
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