Video Rental Place Closed down- Fine

a video rental place has closed down, and I had a $30 fine outstanding with them. I received a letter to pay back the debt, from a collection agency. the cost of the letter has added to my fine and means i now owe $66. if i dont pay i could possibly have action taken through the courts for me to pay my debt back and any legal costs having to be paid by me.

i was wondering i didnt pay the fine, would they bother chasing me in court and instead write off it as a bad debt.

has anyone had any similar experiences and what happened.

ps: i am going to pay the fine, to avoid any dramas and i beleive it could be a black mark on my credit history if i dont pay, just seeing what people think

Poll Options

  • 22
    pay fine
  • 10
    dont pay fine

Comments

  • +1 vote

    I'd say pay fine, but I don't understand why you're obligated to pay another $36 for them to organise collection.

    •  

      they say it is part of the terms and conditions you agree to when joining

      • +2 votes

        It would be. Very typical to have clauses that say unpaid fees will be passed on to collection agencies and incur further fees.

      • +1 vote

        Every time I signed up to a video store, I used to cross out the bits in the T&C about paying late fees.

        •  

          What a great idea.
          Pity most T&C are digital now.

        •  

          I agree with Sammy2000. Very good idea.

        •  

          @Sammy2000: Yeah but with digital services late fees are also a thing of the past.

  • +10 votes

    The fine is a small price to pay. Never mess with anything that can potentially impact your credit rating/history.

  • +1 vote

    I agree with the others, you should pay the fine. You could also ask to see the section of the terms and conditions that they say you agreed to when joining.

    •  

      Prob ending up paying it all anyway, but may as well have a quick read of the T&C.

  • +4 votes

    You may be able to negotiate a smaller fine. Debt collection companies buy these debts for a fraction of the amount and then try to get the full amount back to make a profit.

  • +2 votes

    They have already written it off it as a bad debt, that's why you are now hearing from the collection agency who bought the debt for peanuts and have all the time in the world to chase you for it.

  • +6 votes

    Why didn't you just pay the fine in the first place?

  • +3 votes

    If it remains unpaid it can adversely affect your credit history score.

    • +2 votes

      There are minimum debt requirements - see below
      See here - http://www.mycreditfile.com.au/faqs/frequently_asked_questio...
      Minimum debt amount is $100.

      BUT……….

      It cannot and will not. See here http://www.savingsguide.com.au/the-facts-about-your-credit-r...

      Does a late video rental effect your credit rating?

      The answer is a firm no. Contrary to what people believe, a late video return doesn’t affect your credit file. Only registered credit providers are able to put forward default claims against your files. This means banks, lenders, telcos, etc. A phone bill that is over 2 months late can affect your rating also.

      Not paying rent will not affect your credit rating either –your landlord isn’t a registered credit provider so in turn there is no possibility for a bad credit rating.

  • +1 vote

    I don't know all the facts so this is general info only not specific advice…

    Legally they would have no grounds. Ony the government can fine you. Calling something a 'penalty clause' is actually a defence as penalty clauses are illegal.

    The only part of the debt that would be legal is the loss the original creditor suffered - say the extra rental fees.

    Most collection agencies are bluffing - especially for small debts. To be safe you should dispute the debt in writing pointing out that it is an illegal penalty.

    To be extra safe you may wish to offer IN WRITING to settle the debt for a reasonable amount say $5 or whatever one night's rental was if you were say a day late returning the video. If they ever sue you and get less than that they won't get costs. ;-)

    That's the law. But whether they can report you to a credit agency is a separate matter. You may wish to bargain with them as per the above if they will agree in writing that they will waive their collection fees and accept half or some % of the debt for agreeing that the debt was not valid and not reporting you to a credit agency. That would buy you some peace of mind.

    P.S. I have had several debts referred to collections agencies. One from a lab that lost my sperm sample and still tried to charge me, one from an incompetent plumber and one from a bank for a late fee. I disputed all of them and have never had trouble borrowing, refinancing etc. ATM, I don't want to borrow anything. I'm paying off my mortgage and investing not borrowing. If I were about to apply for a big loan to buy my first house then I might be more nervous about small bad debts.

    Re the late fees if you Google you will see that a certain major bank recently had to pay millions of dollars in damages to all the customers who it had been charging $20 late fees. This relates to my little point above about private penalties being unenforceable ;-) (The actual cost to the bank of someone paying a few days late was around thirty cents or something: not $20.)

  •  

    Did you enjoy giving your sperm sample?

    • +1 vote

      LOL! I don't know why you got negs for replying to my post. I thought your reply was funy and I just +1ed you.

      To answer your question though 'No!'. It was a post vesectomy sample and it's not like in the pr()n movies where a pretty nurse helps you. You have to slip into a bathroom at work, then put the container in an insulated bag and rush over to the lab in under 30 mins. Hence the reason I was really angry and wasn't going to pay a cent. In fact I yelled at the collection agency that they should pay me damages. After I explained all this to them I never heard from them again.

      •  

        Too many prudes on this website, I just wanted to be funny, never meant to offend you or anyone.

  •  

    Your debt has been sold for $.C on the dollar and so i would not pay more than the original fine if i was to pay it at all. Either neg a big discount as this is OZB after all or just say screw 'em and dont pay a cent and torrent like everyone else. Take it to the SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL as per the SteveOh comments if you want to argue it.

    Oh the 'blemish' if added to your credit report for something like this is not going to stop you getting a home loan, so i wouldnt pay it myself.

  •  

    Call the collection agency - complain about the extra cost, you cant afford it etc
    Offer to pay the original $30 only (or negotiate)
    You should find them willing to except less than $66 to finalise the matter
    Final cost depends how hard u are willing to negotiate

  •  

    thnx for the replies,

    will try calling them tomorrow to see if they will negotiate. and get a reduction

    • +1 vote

      Just send back the envelope - 'not known at this address'