Although most American adults are currently carrying some form of debt, there is a stigma surrounding it. As such, many feel ashamed of their debt. Unfortunately, this shame can grow when you are served papers informing you that a debt collector has sued you. If you are unsure how to proceed if you are at the center of a debt lawsuit, the following blog can help answer questions you may have regarding this matter. Additionally, you’ll learn how a California debt collection defense lawyer can help you navigate these complex and stressful times.
Can a Debt Collector Sue Me For a Debt?
Many people are unaware that they can be sued by a debt collector for an outstanding debt.
There is no set timeline on how long a debt will go unpaid before a lawsuit is filed. Generally, however, the original creditor will attempt to receive payments for thirty days before sending the debt to collections. Once this happens, a collection agency working on behalf of the creditor or who has purchased the debt from the original lender will attempt to receive payments from you. Generally, they will make attempts for up to six months before filing a lawsuit.
It’s important to understand that debt collectors must follow rules known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). One stipulation of this act is that a debt collector cannot threaten a debtor with a lawsuit unless they intend to file. As such, many assume that because a collector has not told them they are going to sue, they will not be served. Similarly, if a collector does threaten a lawsuit, someone may think they are violating the FDCPA.
What Should I Do if I’m at the Center of a Debt Lawsuit?
If you are sued by a debt collector, understanding the steps you must take is critical. The most important thing you must know about this matter is that you should not ignore this lawsuit. If you refuse to be served the papers or do not respond to the lawsuit in the timeframe, the judge can award the collector a default judgment. Essentially, this means whatever they asked for in the lawsuit, usually the whole amount of owed funds and interest, will be awarded. If you still do not pay, your wages can be garnished, and your bank account may be frozen. Additionally, the judge can place a lien against your property.
When you are served, it’s imperative to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss the details of your lawsuit. You shouldn’t try to navigate this by yourself, as this is a complex legal matter that can impact many facets of your life. At Loker Law, our team understands how nerve-wracking it can be to face a lawsuit. As such, we will do everything possible to help you navigate these complex times. Connect with us today to learn how we can assist you.