I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.
While there are new laws for credit cards going into effect on Feb. 22, 2010 which will effectively mandate that cardholders have at least 21 days to pay the bill, these new laws have not yet crept into everyday business installment payments.
The fact that you knew that your insurance
payment was going to be due on a specific date--and presumably you also knew how much the bill would be, the fact that the paper statement arrived 10 days before the payment was due will not give you a legal defense to the failure of your timely payment, I'm afraid.
Also, I'm sorry, but the fact that you didn't have the money to pay the bill when it arrived is never a valid defense to not paying the bill. The law expects you to budget your money so that you pay your bills on time.
I'm afraid that if the insurance company seeks payment from you of the late fees, if push comes to shove and you are sued, then you will lose. More importantly, if you don't pay the late fees, the insurance company can legally file a report which impacts your credit score for years to come.
I wish you the best in 2010.
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