Can a retail business charge a late fee on a late fee?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a retail business charge a late fee on a late fee?

I paid off an account but sent the last payment late, so they sent me an additional charge of $10 which I paid it but, they state it was sent late so now they adding another $10 late fee for the late fee being late. Is this legal?

Asked on October 22, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what the terms where when you opened the account. If the account stated that any amounts due would be added to the principal balance, for example, and that late fees or interest accrue on any amounts which are overdue, then yes, they could do this. It would be similar to a credit card; you pay interest (including, as applicable, interest at a highter rate if you are late in paying) on the principal; but whenever you don't pay the entire amount due, any amount remaining, even if it was interest, is added to the next month's balance and will accrue interest and fees. So as long as the terms of the account stated that the retailer may do this, they can; however, they cannot arbitrarily change the terms of the account to charge you more than you had agreed to in opening the account.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption