Can a Collection Agency Sue You For Debt?
Remember that time you went to the doctor, forgot to pay the bill, had the doctor’s office call you and then, a few months later some random debt collector calls you for repayment? A lot of times, these situations happen accidentally, and certain times we forget about the debt, and about repaying the debt all together. When the third party calls, we are reminded of the debt and then make an active decision on whether to pay the debt at that time, tell the collector to call back later for the payment, or to ignore the debt collector and see what happens when you opt not to pay your debt… Then, one day you find out you’re getting sued for debt.
People often feel as though that there is no urgency to pay a debt collector because they are not the original owners of the debt. While that may be true, debt collection agencies purchase debt from original sources. Not paying off the debt can result in your getting sued for a debt if the debt remains unpaid within a period of time, no matter how large or small the debt is. For example, let’s assume you paid the doctor’s bill with a credit card and then opted not to pay the credit card bill for months on end. The third party who buys that debt can have you sued for credit card debt by collection agency. The period of time is reflected on the statute of limitations sometimes associated with certain debts. What this means is, certain creditors can only come after you for so long about certain debt. In some cases, acknowledging the debt, or making a payment on the debt restarts the clock. So, what can you do when this debt collector decides they have given you enough chances and want to sue you?
The most important thing to do when getting sued for debt consult an attorney. Find out your options to know whether the person has a case, whether it’s best to settle out of court, if they have a case, and what the worst case is for you if you go to court and lose. For example, a credit agency who wins a judgement against you can not only put a dent on your credit report, but they can also garnish your wages or levy your bank account for repayment. However, if you are judgement proof, meaning that you do not have income or assets and live in a state that does not permit wage garnishment, the collection agency is less likely to come after you.
For those who have never been sued for debt collector, you will know that a debt collection agency is attempting to sue you when a summons is delivered to you, in which you will get a notice with a complaint attached to it by the creditor, which explains what they are seeking. At this point, the information has already been filed with the court. To avoid a default judgement (a judgement where the creditor automatically wins because of a lack of response from you) against you, you must respond to the summons by summiting an answer to the court and / or showing up on the scheduled court date. Once you know about the grievances, it is important to confirm that all of the debt is collectable (e.g., that you haven’t paid it off before or that it isn’t expired). This is best done with the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney. The attorney will assist is checking the statute of limitations for the debt (to make sure it is all current) and can ask that the debt is validated. In the event that the creditor cannot validate the debt, this could be used in your favor in a court of law.
Getting sued by a debt collector in Florida? At Dsouza and Strachan law group, you will find a team of well-versed attorneys who can help you walk through options when getting sued by a debt collector. When faced with such a situation it is best to consult an attorney who can review your case in detail and help you understand the best possible steps to ensure the best outcome for you. For a consultation, give us a call today (Phone number).