Wednesday, December 6, 2006


According to Rich Lord's story in the Post-Gazette, yet another Pittsburgh City Council member is going out of her way to embarrass the rest of us:

Pittsburgh Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle faces action by a credit card company over an unpaid $4,325 bill.

In an action filed last week, Capital One Bank of Syosset, N.Y., alleges that Ms. Carlisle has "willfully failed and/or refused to pay the balance due" on a card that now carries a 25.9 percent interest rate. An arbitration hearing is set for March 6.
It's not like we aren't paying her enough! And clearly, the woman has had other problems paying her bills; credit card interest rates are insane, of course, but 25.9% is high even for them. The rates only climb that high when the issuers have next-to-no confidence that you are going to pay them what you owe.

Now that DeFazio is officially gone, it looks like Twanda Carlisle will be taking his spot on my "Top 10 List of Pittsburgh Public Officials who make me Cringe With Embarassement".


Anonymous said...

That rate isn't high at all. If she is late for one payment it could have jumped to that rate.

I don't see how this is anyones business though. We all have debts and they are a private matter.

Richmond K. Turner said...

It completely ceases to be "private matter" when you don't pay your bills and the lender must resort to using the public court system to recover the money. That's the nasty thing about those taxpayer-funded courts; since we pay for the judges, all the staff, the buildings, the heat, and even the fancy woodwork in the courtrooms, we also have the right to the records of what cases the courts are working on.

If you want to keep your debts private, keep them out of court. Especially if you are a public official. And really, really especially if you are a public official with a long-standing record of simply audacious financial shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

A credit card company isn't going to resort to an expensive legal process to chase after a single late payment.

While some people are fairly successful at keeping their public and private habits separate, there are certain habits that should fall w/in public scrutiny, particularly those involving management of funds.

Anthony said...

Uh, a credit card company DOES resort to a legal process if you don't pay your debt. It's called a charge-off and they do file a judgment against the debtor. This is usually done after not receiving a single payment for 3 years (and doing the math, a $1,200 balance @ 25.9% APR with a monthly late fee works out to just about the amount they say she owes after 36 months). It's a last resort when a customer won't work out a repayment arrangement.

And 25.9% is a ridiculous interest rate for a credit card.

Anonymous said...

Anthony - I think we're both saying the same thing, i.e. they don't sue you b/c you missed last month's payment, they will sue you if you REPEATEDLY fail (in your example - missed 36 payments!) to make your payments. Clearly, Twanda missed quite a few payments to find herself in this predicament.