It’s tough to know what to expect when you’re sued by a debt collection agency. Everything can seem confusing. You might struggle to find answers to questions that just don’t seem to have resolution.You’re not alone in this. A study from The Pew Charitable Trusts highlights how a distinct pattern has happened over the past few decades. While civil court cases used to be mostly two equal sides seeking an impartial judgement, it has now overwhelmingly shifted to companies suing individuals for debts. It’s not fun dealing with debt collection. In fact, it’s a huge burden on the lives of consumers.
Here are a few things you can expect:
You’ll Get “Served”
Getting “served” is the better-known way of saying you’re getting summoned to court. When you get served, you can’t ignore it. In fact, collectors often expect the people they serve won’t even show up for their court date. Doing this can only hurt your case, so it’s important to take your summons seriously.
Even if you don’t make an appearance in court, there are several possible negative outcomes that can come your way. The garnishment of wages is one of the most common resolutions to these cases. This is where money is taken directly out of your paycheck and given to the collector. It’s also possible to have a lien put on your property or have your accounts frozen.
What Should You Do When Debt Collectors Sue You?
No matter your situation in life, the first step to solving a problem is learning as much about it as possible. When you’re sued by debt collectors, you need to do your homework on who’s actually suing you. If your debts are at the point of collections, it’s unlikely you’re even being sued by the original lenders.
Debt collectors buy unpaid debts from lending companies that don’t want to spend the resources getting the payments. These collectors, however, can be very crafty and conniving when trying to get their money.
Some people will find working with a debt relief agency can provide an eventual way out of the debt collection nightmare, although calls may still come in while the process is ongoing.
There are very valid concerns when you’re asking, “Is debt relief legit?” Certain bad actors have given a bad name to the debt relief world as a whole. Unfortunately, people will always try to take advantage of others when they’re down. But that doesn’t apply to all debt relief organizations.
It’s a good idea to do research before you commit to anything with a debt relief company. Online reviews are one of the most reliable ways to get an accurate feel for the quality of services, as those come directly from the mouths of consumers.
Not everyone who gets sued by a debt collection company actually owes money. Situations arise where the collectors got incorrect information. It’s also possible they’re trying to collect on a debt where the consumer isn’t actually responsible for payment. The collector has to present evidence before a court that shows you owe the debt. If they don’t have that, they can’t collect. Sometimes original documentation gets lost over time. Without proof, collectors have no case.
Remember that failing to repay debts can have serious long-term financial repercussions. Your credit score is likely to take a fall if you don’t pay back your loans. Having poor credit makes it harder to get credit at all. And when you can get it, you’ll likely have to settle for a high interest rate.
There’s a lot you have to think about when dealing with debt collectors. While it’s not an enjoyable process for anyone, knowledge is your friend when navigating it.