Are You Being Sued For Debts?

by DebtCollectionAnswers.com


If you are being sued for a debt, it can be scary. Many people ignore debt collection lawsuits because they don't know what they can do. In fact, creditors and collectors often win more than 95% of lawsuits because people never respond or show up in court.

If you are being sued for a debt, read our page about what to do if you are being sued for debts. It will help you understand what to do next.

On this page you'll find questions and our responses.

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being Sued for a Very Old Debt

can a collector sue me for a debt that is 20 years old

Comments for Being Sued for a Very Old Debt

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 08, 2011
Can I Be Sued For a Very Old Debt?
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com.

Thanks for getting in touch.

Although you did not provide any information regarding your state of residence or the nature of the debt you are concerned about in your question, in general most if not all state statutes of limitation on past due debts expire before 20 years. Therefore, under most circumstances, a consumer who owes a debt that is 20 years or older cannot be sued for that money, although a debt collector can demand that the consumer pay the debt. However, under certain circumstances, there is no statute of limitations on federal tax debt and some states have no statute of limitations on state-owed taxes that are past due. Therefore, given that I do not know what state you live in or the nature of your debt, I strongly urge you to contact a consumer law attorney in your area who helps consumers resolve debt collection problems for a definitive answer to your question.

A word of warning! If a debt collector happens to contacts you about the debt and if in fact the statute of limitations on the debt has expired, it is very important that you not admit that you owe the money or agree to pay it or to set up a payment plan to get rid of the debt. If you do any of these things, you risk resetting the statute of limitations on the debt, which means it would be as though your debt is brand new. In that case, you could be sued for the money.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

sued by credit card company

by Ilonna
(Los angeles, Ca, USA)

Hello. I received papers from court, that inform me the bank of america sued me for $3352.What can I do ? I'm self employed, my income is just $2000-$2500/month. I'm single mother with one child and I don't own any property or cars. I live in Los angeles, CA. Thank you

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

Illona - We are sorry to hear the difficulties you are going through. We'd encourage you to at least get a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney who can tell you want the bank can and cannot do to collect from you.

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being sued in small claims court by debt collector

by Precious
(Watertown, MA )

In 2006 I bought a bed from Mattress Discounters through Wells Fargo financing. The bed cost $876.49 and had one year interest fee if I paid within that year. A month before the bill was due I wrote 2 checks 1 for $200 from my checking account and the other through my credit card and sent them as payment. But a month later I receive a bill of $1214.29 that included the interest. When I called the on the phone and explained that I had sent the payment. I was told they only received $200. They told me because I had put both the checks in one envelope and the machines that open the envelopes only recognize one piece of paper and shred the rest, which was the other check. I had gone back to school and couldnt afford to pay it. And I called to see if I can work out a payment plan they said they could not and every statement after that was more charges and it was sent to three collection agencies and they would add more fees every time it changed hands. And again they was no room to negotiate a payment plan they wanted to collect full amount. So now the last collector is suing me for $2900+ court cost and I still cant just give them that money. I had other accounts that I settled and paid installments on this one they just refuse.I have the original paper work of purchase and bank statement. What chance to I have to fight this and what type of help to I need as far as an attorney. And what should be my next step if I want to fight this.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

We would suggest you go ahead and talk with a consumer law attorney. The debt may have been inflated or the debt collector may not be able to prove what you owe. The attorney can help you understand your options. The consultation will be free and if you have a case against the collector it may be able to help you for free as well. At any rate, it doesn't hurt to find out.

Find out how to get free or low-cost help with your debt collection problems here.

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being sued in a civil case by BofA

by Sheryl
(Fairfield, CA , Solano County)

I was served the summons & complaint, I answered the complaint, went to court on several occasions (not sure why) BofA filed a request for default, summary judgements based on a bunch of paperwork attached. Judge threw out the request for default & judgement based on source of proof is "Hear-say" Plaintiff had to refile their paperwork, went back to court, Judge referred us to a different Civil Judge and I go to court tomorrow. what can I expect to happen tomorrow? will we set the case for trial? Do I need to file any paperwork on my defense besides the answer to the complaint?

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

I'm being sued for an old debt

by Tomas
(Louisiana)

I live in Louisiana. On 11/05/07 I received a petition stating I'm being sued for $4400.00. The petition allowed me 15 days to answer. I sent a certified to the city court disputing the debt. I thought the situation was resolved since I had not received any response. Now on 09/23/11, I received a summons that states my court date is a month away. I have reviewed my credit reports and this company is not listed on them. I found out the originator of the debt charged it off in 03/05, last payment was 11/24/04. The sol for open accounts in my state is 3 years, but the suit was filed 11/05/07 (date of petition).

What legal recourse do I have? Is there a deadline or timeframe for a lawsuit after it has been initiated?

Comments for I'm being sued for an old debt

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 01, 2011
I'm being sued for an old debt
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com

I don't have an explanation for why it has taken so long for a court date to be set in the lawsuit related to your debt. You might call the court clerk's office to see if that office can provide one. It may be that the court's docket is very full and so it has take this long for your case to get a court date.

As for the fact that the company suing you does not appear on your credit history, that may be because it did not report your past due account to the credit bureaus. However, if the lawsuit results in there being a judgment against you, that fact will almost certainly show up in your credit reports.

The statute of limitations on a debt begins on the date that you miss your first payment. So if your last payment was made on 11/24/04 and if the SOL for the debt is three years, then the creditor was legally entitled to sue you as of 11/05/07 -- just before the SOL ended.

Based on the information you have shared with me, you have a couple options. If you have lots of debt and little or no money to pay it, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy, which will stop the lawsuit and give you time to figure out how to resolve all of your debts, including the one you are being sued for. However, you should NOT try to handle the bankruptcy yourself. Bankruptcy is a very complicated legal process and you will probably not fully benefit from it without the help of a bankruptcy attorney. Also, if you attempt a DIY bankruptcy, you could make innocent mistakes that might cause certain debts not to get discharged or even result in your bankruptcy being dismissed.

If you don't want to file for bankruptcy or if the bankruptcy attorney you meet with advises against it, schedule an appointment with a consumer law attorney who helps consumers resolve their debt collection problems right away. Just as it is penny wise and pound foolish to try to handle your own bankruptcy, it's almost never a good idea to act as your own attorney in a lawsuit.

Go here to learn about some resources that may be able to help you, whether you file for bankruptcy or need help defending yourself in the lawsuit, http://www.debtcollectionanswers.com/free-legal-advice-debt-collection.html.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being sued for unpaid debts in California

My husband was on disability for almost a year and couldn't make his credit card payments it has been almost four years he still is struggling with other bills, and hasn't paid any cards. Can they continue to sue him?

Comments for Being sued for unpaid debts in California

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 10, 2011
Being sued for unpaid debts in California
by: debtcollectionanswers.com

Something called the statute of limitations determines how long a consumer can be sued for an unpaid debt. If your husband is sued for debts for which the statute of limitations has expired, he can use that fact as a defense in court. The statute of limitations on the debts your husband owes is set by your state and varies based on the nature of the debt. My resources indicate that the statute of limitations on credit card debt is 4 years and the 4 years would begin on the date that your husband missed his first card payment.

If your husband is sued for any debts for which the statute of limitations may have expired (or is being threatened with lawsuits) I recommend that you contact a consumer law attorney right away. In addition, your husband may be a good candidate for bankruptcy. However, a bankruptcy attorney would have to make that determination after looking at his finances. I recommend that you go here right away to learn about free and low cost resources that can help you in regard to the debts your husband is worried about being sued for and the issue of bankruptcy, consumer law attorney.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Served Papers Can't Pay Debt

by Becky
(Lyons NY )

I have 20 days to answer to this summons. I'm a single disabled mother. I have not been able to pay my credit cards due to life changes. Can I go to jail for not paying. What can happen to me?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com

This must be very stressful for you. You haven't stated what kind of debt this is, or how much you are being sued for, so it's a little hard to reply thoroughly. Your very best bet would be to talk with an attorney, whether that's Legal Aid (where we suggest you start) or a bankruptcy attorney who can help you understand whether it's necessary for you to file for bankruptcy.

You won't go to jail for not being able to afford to pay your debts. But if you don't respond to the lawsuit the creditor will likely get a judgment against you and that could make things more difficult for you.

So we suggest you talk with an attorney and get some advice about your options. Read: How to get debt collection legal help for FREE or at little cost

Comments for Served Papers Can't Pay Debt

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 01, 2015
Thank you
by: Anonymous

The debt is a credit card. It's $1,900.00.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com

That isn't a huge amount of debt (though I am sure it is to you right now), so it's probably not enough to file for bankruptcy, unless you also have other debts you are struggling to pay. Legal Aid may be your best option. We hope they are able to help.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Sued for a debt

by Mark

I had legal papers served 30 days ago trying to collect to collect money owed to me. How long do i wait before my next step? And could you tell me what that step is can i do this without an attorney?

Comments for Sued for a debt

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 07, 2010
sued for a debt
by: Gerri

Mark,
Thanks for submitting your question about a debt collection lawsuit on our Q&A page.

First, if you have been served with legal papers, you need to act immediately. If you have been notified that you are being taken to court for this debt, please make sure that a minimum you show up in court. If you don't, the collector or creditor will get a default judgment against you, and that opens you up to additional collection activity.

I can't advise you on how to represent yourself in court, but if you feel strongly that you don't want to get advice from an attorney, you can at least show up and let the judge know if you dispute the debt, what you have been trying to do to pay it, why you can't pay it etc. (I don't know what applies in your situation.) You can find out if the court offers any information that may help you prepare.

Depending on the amount they are suing you for, it may not hurt to talk with a bankruptcy attorney. The consultation will be free and confidential, and at least you'll have the opportunity to find out what they can do to collect if they are successful in getting a judgment against you. It is very important that you understand your rights. In many states, creditors who obtain court judgments have additional ways to collect from debtors, including the ability to seize funds from their bank accounts, obtain liens against property etc.

If you know you owe the debt, it may or may not be too late to negotiate some kind of payment plan or settlement to keep the debt out of court. If you are successful, make sure you get something in writing stating they will drop the legal action against you before you pay a penny.

All this is based upon the assumption that the court date has not already passed. If it has, there may be a default judgment against you, and that requires a different approach.

Please let us know how this turns out.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Can I File Bankruptcy If Being Sued By A Person For A Unpaid Loan

by Carl
(New Jersey)

In NJ can I file bankruptcy if I am being sued for a unpaid loan? If so what happens?

Comments for Can I File Bankruptcy If Being Sued By A Person For A Unpaid Loan

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 21, 2011
debt lawsuit and bankruptcy
by: DebtCollectionAnswers.com

Yes, Carl, in fact being sued for a debt is often the straw that breaks the camel's back, so to speak, and prompts consumers to consider bankruptcy. Depending on the timing and the details of your situation, you may be able to stop the lawsuit or discharge all or part of any judgment debt.

Carl, we would encourage you to go ahead and set up a a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your situation to find out whether filing bankruptcy can help you resolve the financial problems you are having.

Good luck - we hope you are able to turn things around.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being Sued For A Debt That Has Been Paid

by Deborah
(Dallas Tx. USA)

My Mother in law is being sued by an attorney on behalf of a collection agency for the full amount of the claim plus fees.

She has kept accurate records of all her payments including bills and notices received. The debt has been paid and it appears that she has over paid this debt by $17,000.00. She is 80 years old, has limited income and can not afford to pay for legal fees. She has less than 2 weeks to act on this notice before court. Please advise.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

Deborah,

It's great to hear your mother-in-law has kept good records showing she paid this debt. Since she has limited income, our best suggestion would be for her to get a free consultation with an attorney with experience in debt collection. She can reach out to a local consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

If that doesn't work, she can also try:
Legal Hotline for Texans
Texas Legal Services Center
815 Brazos, Suite 1100
Austin, TX 78701
(800) 622-2520 LHOT

Do let us know how this turns out for her!

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being Sued - Military Retirement Safe?

by Piper
(Tacoma)

My mom was in a car accident a few years ago and passed away a little while after due to non related problems but the person my mom hit is now suing my dad. He has good insurance and they are helping him but he is worried that his only asset during the marriage at that point is his navy retirement. Can they garnish that?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

Piper - We are so sorry to hear about your mother's death. Typically, certain assets are safe from creditors - and retirement funds are usually among the assets that can't be taken in most cases.

Hopefully, they are just trying to get as much from the insurance policy as possible. However, if it looks like they may try to go after more than that, then we would really encourage your father to talk with an attorney to find out what may be at risk here. If he is not already working with an attorney, then one option would be to talk with a bankruptcy attorney. For a reasonable fee, the attorney should be able to tell him what's safe and what isn't. (We're not implying he has to file for bankruptcy - the reason we are recommending this course of action is that these attorneys are typically familiar with property exemptions. He can tell the attorney he doesn't want to file, but wants to know what's at risk.)

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Got sued on a debt that the sol had passed

by sammy
(maryville tn usa)

I got sued from capital one and the sol had ran out but the lawyer had were they had tried to serve papers on me three times and the server returned the papers saying they could not find me .. they had the wrong address .. that was in 2008 and now it is 2011 .. i was in court yesterday and asked the lawyer to prove that i owed the money .. to make a long story short . do i have to pay because they filed in 2008 but i never heard from them or had parers served on me . the judge gave the lawyer a later date for the lawyer .

Comments for Got sued on a debt that the sol had passed

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 21, 2011
dispute over old debt
by: DebtCollectionAnswers.com

We're sorry but your question is a bit confusing to us. Can you clarify it?

We do have a page that talks about what happens if you are being sued by a debt collector. Perhaps that will help.

Mar 21, 2011
Never Got Served Before The Sol Was Up
by: Anonymous

Capital One has sued me for a old debt .. they tried to serve the warrant on me since 2008 [3] they served me again in 2010 and i got it .. went to court and the judge gave the lawyer another court date .. what should i do?

Mar 22, 2011
Sued over old debt
by: DebtCollectionAnswers.com

Sammy,

The very first thing that we would recommend you do is talk with a consumer law attorney. If the debt was indeed outside the statute of limitations, then the collector may have broken the law by suing you after they had expired. (In some states, they cannot attempt to collect a time-barred debt.) If not, you may still be able to raise the statute of limitations as a defense, and the attorney can either help you do that or perhaps advise you if you decide to represent yourself in court. The creditor will have legal representation - it's in your best interest to at least have a thorough understanding of your rights so you aren't blindsided in court.

You can find a consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases through NACA.net.

Do come back and tell us how this goes!

Mar 23, 2011
thanks
by: sammy

i will find a lawyer .. will let you know what happens. again thanks

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Sued for Credit Card Debt

by jan
(K.C. Mo)

We live on social security only and a credit card company has send us a letter regarding a credit card that was charged off for $1,900 three years ago, they are suing us for $3,118 plus court costs.

Went to bank yesterday and they said charged off and sold to Dickersin Financial.

Court is in June, do not have the money to pay what they want a month and they also said the interest at 9% would keep on.They have no paperwork, when the account was opened or charged off. A law firm from Iowa is Dickersin's lawyer. Help

Should I go to court or ignore it. Have not got a summons yet, but I imagine it is on the way.
Thanks for the help!!!

Comments for Sued for Credit Card Debt

Click here to add your own comments

May 18, 2011
how to respond to lawsuit
by: DebtCollectionAnswers.com

Jan,

Whatever you do, do not ignore this. The last thing you want is for them to get a default judgment against you and then have them try go to after your assets.

We recommend you make an appointment immediately to get a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. If this is the only debt do you owe, then it may not be enough to make it worthwhile to even consider bankruptcy. However, the attorney can tell you if you are what's called "judgment proof." If you are, then there is not much that the law firm can do to collect from you even if it successfully sues you. This information can be helpful in getting the collection agency to back off. No need for them to waste their time and money if there is nothing they can get from you.

The attorney should be able to tell you how to respond to the collection agency, and you may be able to hire him or her to write a letter to try to get them to leave you alone.

We have also written a page with the information about what happens if you are
being sued by a debt collector - we hope it helps!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Sued While On Public Assistance

by Rob
(RI)

I am on public assistance.I know when you get a summons from the court they ask if you are or any other listed categories that may be checked that are related. Does this prevent someone from putting a judgment on you? I believe it is because you are considered low income.

Comments for Sued While On Public Assistance

Click here to add your own comments

May 02, 2010
sued for a debt while on public assistance
by: Gerri

Rob,

Thanks for submitting your question about dealing with debt collectors on our Q&A page.

You may well be judgment proof because you are on public assistance. That means even if the collector or creditor or successfully sued you, they would not be able to collect the judgment from you at this time.

I don't know whether they are is protection offered to you under your state's laws that would prevent you from being sued because you are on public assistance. While most creditors do not want to pursue someone who is judgment proof, some proceed with a lawsuit anyway because it gives them any longer time. To collect.

I assume you really don't have money to hire an attorney, but I would urge you to at least set up a a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney who can tell you whether you are judgment proof, and who may give you some advice about dealing with this debt collection lawsuit.

I would also encourage you to make sure you show up in court if it turns out that the creditor or collector does pursue its lawsuit against you. If you do not show up, they may be able to get a default judgment against you.

I hope this helps. Please let us know how this goes for you.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Wife and I being sued for her ex husbands debt

by Mark
(Georgia)

Yesterday my wife received a phone call from a collection attorney regarding payment on a credit card that she had with her ex husband. She has been divorced from him for 20 years, and has filed bankruptcy twice before I married.

The attorney said that he intends on suing both her and I for this debt if we do not settle this account. The last payment was made by her ex husband back in 2007.

Today we received a letter from the attorney requesting payment of this account.

What course of action do we need to take at this point to protect ourselves from this?

Since she had divorced him 20 years ago, and has filed bankruptcy twice, is she not cleared of this account?

Comments for Wife and I being sued for her ex husbands debt

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 03, 2010
debt of ex spouse
by: Gerri & Mary

Mark,

What type of debt is this? Was your wife a cosigner on this debt? If so, did she include it in her bankruptcy? If not, why not?

A little more information will be helpful. Thanks!

Sep 03, 2010
Type of Debt
by: Mark

The account is a discover card, that was opened by her ex husband in 1990. She got divorced in 1991. She filed for bankruptcy in 1993. She cannot remember if this was included in the bankruptcy nor does she remember the credit card account. However the paperwork that she did keep on the 1993 bankruptcy states any and all accounts.

She filed again in 2004 and i know that this account is not on that bankruptcy.

We are going to send a letter to the collection attorney requesting a copy of the signed contract to see if her name is on it.

She has not received a bill or anything on this account until now.

I do not see how I can be liable for this account.

Sep 08, 2010
old debt lawsuit
by: Gerri & Mary

Thank you for clarifying that. First of all, we didn't catch the fact that the attorney threatened to sue you for this debt when we read your question. That definitely sounds like a potentially illegal threat to us.

The fact that your wife filed for bankruptcy and listed all debts may mean that the collector can't go after her for this debt either. (And then there is the question of the statute limitations which may also have expired on this debt.)

We encourage you to at least consider getting a free consultation with a consumer law attorney. If the debt collector has broken the law in its attempts to collect from you, it may be liable for damages and attorney fees. At a minimum, you may be able to get them to leave you alone once and for all. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

Your other option if you don't believe you all this debt, is to send the collection attorney a letter explaining briefly why you don't believe you or your wife owes a debt (you can include the fact that she filed for bankruptcy and included all her debts in her petition) and telling them not to contact you again. You'll find more information about this approach on our page about cease and desist letters and debt collection.

Please do let us know how this turns out for both of you.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Deceased Husband Being Sued

My deceased husband is being sued in small claims court and they didn't list me on the suit. What should I do?

Comments for Deceased Husband Being Sued

Click here to add your own comments

May 09, 2011
Deceased Husband Being Sued
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com

So sorry about the death of your husband. You did not say in your question, but I assume the lawsuit relates to a debt that your husband owed at the time of his death. Normally all debts of a deceased person are dealt with through the probate process. Therefore, I recommend that you set up an appointment right away with a consumer law attorney in your area who helps people resolve problems related to debt collection. The attorney can tell you what to do. Your initial appointment with the attorney should be free.

Good luck!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being sued by apartment

by Jenn
(New Jersey)

I rented an apartment and broke the lease almost 6 years ago. Today I got a letter in the mail from a lawyer saying that they want to collect the debt and I need to reply within 30 days. My question is should I reply as the statue of limitations in NJ is almost up?

Comments for Being sued by apartment

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 28, 2011
debt collection for broken lease
by: DebtCollectionAnswers.com

It sounds like you do not dispute the fact the you owe this debt, and you also didn't indicate that you think the amounts they are trying to collect from you is incorrect. But you didn't say whether you can afford to pay it at this time.

If you can afford to pay the debt, and it is a legitimate debt, we recommend you do that. if you can afford to settle the debt for less than the full balance and they are willing to accept what you can afford as payment in full, that may be an option for you. Keep in mind, if you make a partial payment, in some states the statute of limitations will start over again. So be very careful when you are dealing with this type of situation.

If you can't afford to pay this debt, then you could ignore it and hope that they won't sue you. We can't say for sure whether they will or not, but since they are contacting you right before the statute of limitations expires, it is possible they could tried to sue before that time period runs out.

Please make sure you at least read the first chapter of Debt Collection Answers online for free so you understand your rights when dealing with this debt collector. Collection attorneys are generally covered by the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act just like other debt collectors.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Sued by Bank

by Mansoor
(Santamonica ca usa)

I have being sued by wells Fargo bank for a foreclosed property which had a equity line for 280000 dollars how do I protect myself against this

Comments for Sued by Bank

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 23, 2011
Sued by Bank
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com.

My best advice is that you schedule an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney immediately, especially if you have assets you do not want to lose. You've already lost the property that has been foreclosed on and you are at risk for wage garnishment, a bank levy or having Wells Fargo put liens on other assets you own assuming it wins the lawsuit. Filing for bankruptcy will stop the lawsuit and give you time to figure out what to do about the money that you owe the bank. Go here for a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Transferring an asset after being sued

by Dan
(Los Angeles, CA)

I got a summon today for alleged debt and has 30 days to respond. I have a car under my name and my son is paying the car and using it. I still have 3,000 loan balance and my son will borrow personal money to pay it off and then I can transfer ownership to him so that it can be protected if ever I lose and get the judgement from the court to seize any property under my name. If the transfer occurs before I get the judgement, can they reverse the transaction or can they still put a lien on the title even if my son already owns it. My son is not part of the lawsuit because I am the only one being sued.

Thank you very much in advance for your response.

Comments for Transferring an asset after being sued

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 29, 2010
Transferring Asset After Being Sued
by: Mary

Thanks for getting in touch.

I do not recommend transferring your vehicle into the name of your son at this point -- now that you have been sued -- because if you lose the lawsuit, the creditor who sued you will be entitled to have the transfer undone so that it can collect the money it was awarded by the court by taking that asset. Furthermore, trying to protect assets from a creditor after you've been sued is illegal and the transfer you are considering would be treated as fraudulent. Therefore, it's possible that by making the illegal transfer you could create additional problems for yourself.

I strongly advise you to get legal help, especially given that in your question you refer to the debt you've been sued for as a "alleged debt", which leads me to believe that you do not think you owe it. You can schedule an appointment with a consumer law attorney in your area who helps consumers resolve their debt collection problems. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

One such attorney is Robert Brennan, SoCalCollectionAbuse.com. He is located in the Los Angeles area and helps consumers in situations like yours. Your first appointment should be free. He also co-authored the California edition of my book, Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights, which is available here on this site.

Depending on the details of your situation, filing for bankruptcy may be a good option for you. When you file, the lawsuit will be halted giving you time to decide how to resolve your debts. Click here for a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney

Bottom line, get legal help immediately. I suggest first meeting with a consumer law attorney and then depending on what that attorney recommends, you may want to meet with a bankruptcy attorney next. Good luck resolving your legal problem.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

I am a disabled vet - can I be sued?

by jesse
(indiana)

I was in the army and I'm a disabled veteran with 40% disability can i be sued for passed due bills from a yrs ago? even though i can't work cause of this matter?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

We're sorry to hear about the problems you've had since your discharge from the military.

The fact that you are disabled veteran and out of work doesn't prevent a creditor from suing you, but it may mean there is nothing they can really do to collect even if they get a judgment against you.

Read: What does it mean to be judgment proof?

In addition, if these debts are outside of the statute of limitations, you may be able to raise that as a defense if you are sued.

It may make sense at this point for you to at least talk with a bankruptcy attorney to find out whether you need to consider filing to put these bills behind you.

We wish you the best and hope you are able to find a resolution to your problems.

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Disabled Pa renter whose only income is SSI being sued by debt collection agency

by Joan
(Lemoyne, Pa. USA)

I HAVE READ THE FIRST PART OF YOUR BOOK. PLEASE HELP ME.

I am a PENNSYLVANIA resident who is being sued by a debt collector(Portfolio Recovery) for amount of $22,000.
The Sheriffs have knocked on my door but I have not answered.
I am disabled; my ONLY INCOME is Supplimental Security Income(SSI).
I am a renter who does NOT OWN a HOUSE or a VEHICLE.

Q: In court, when they win, what can they take from me?

(1)Can they GARNISH or put a FREEZE on my checking account(it only has money from my monthly $720.10 direct deposit from SSI. My bank is Sovereign Bank now owned by The Santander Group)

(2)Can they Sherrif sale my other belongs, such as Furniture, Cookware, Televisons, Clothing or Jewelry, etc?

(3 My roomate will be receiving alot of money sometime very soon but I am not allowed to disclose this due to the very high powered Government party who is paying him.

*I will absolutely(100% SURE) be paying all of my debt
when he receives this money, which is a definite..
HOWEVER, I can NOT disclose this information to the Party who is suing OR to the Judge at hearing.

Thank you for your help. I am sick and the stress of not knowing what can happen is making me even more weak and sick.
Many thanks to you ..I await your reply


Comments for Disabled Pa renter whose only income is SSI being sued by debt collection agency

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 13, 2012
Disabled Pa renter whose only income is SSI being sued by debt collection agency
by: debtCollection Answers.com

Joan:

I am so sorry to know that you are stressed out by your situation although I understand how frightening it can be to owe money and not know what what will happen next.

First, you should know that a collector or creditor cannot take your SSI income. That income is exempt from collection. This is true even if you are sued and lose the lawsuit.

Also, much if not all of the property you describe in your question would also be exempt from collection according to the law of your state. That means that no one can take those assets from you. In addition, even if any of that property was not exempt, it's unlikely that the collector or creditor that sued you would go after it because the cost of trying to take those things from you would probably be more that what your furniture, cookware, televisons, clothing and jewelry is worth.

Bottom line, from what you tell me, it sounds like you are judgment proof. In other words, even if you lose in court, there is nothing for the collector or creditor to take.

I recommend therefore that before your roommate pays any money on your debts or you do anything else that you contact a consumer law attorney in your area who helps people resolve their debt collection problems to find out what you should do about the lawsuit. Do this right away because ignoring the lawsuit or not showing up in court is likely to complicate matters for you although it will not change the fact that your SSI income cannot be taken and that all of your other assets may also be exempt from collection. An initial appointment with a consumer law attorney should be free. The attorney will advise you about what you should do regarding the lawsuit but if the court and the company has sued you knows that you are judgment proof, it's likely that the lawsuit against you will be dropped. The attorney will tell you how best to make this fact known to the court.

So please get the information you need from an attorney immediately and put your mind at rest. Once you do you will sleep better at night.



Mar 06, 2014
Being sued for fraudulent account
by: Anonymous

I am an SSI recipient who is being sued for a "fraudulent checking account." The account in question is not fraudulent! It was a checking account I've had for years,& was allowed only a certain amount of transfers and withdrawals a month. This particular month exceeded my withdrawal and transfers for the month when the scheduled payment was to be withdrawn. Therefore my account was closed and of course the funds being withdrawn wasn't available. I later received an email stating that they(online financial institution) wasn't able to withdraw funds because of a closed account.

I also received calls from the collection agency demanding full payment. I agreed that I owed the money and that it was a hardship withdrawal but I wasn't able to pay it all and needed a payment plan. I was told that a payment plan was unacceptable and that I needed to pay ASAP.

Now I've received a call saying that an affidavit has been placed against me and that I would have to appear in court if I don't agree to the settlement given,or pay the lump sum. I am nervous because I've never been through anything like this please help!

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

It sounds like it could be a scam but you need to make sure it's not. We'd really encourage you to talk with a consumer law attorney to learn your rights. You can find out how to get free or low-cost legal advice about debt collection here.

Dec 18, 2014
Taking SSI Clients to court Illegal
by: Andrew Stergiou

Lets face it that most lawyers often have to work and have no time to experiment with lawsuits as the law in question states:

"Sec. 207. [42 U.S.C. 407] (a) The right of any person to any future payment under this title shall not be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and none of the moneys paid or payable or rights existing under this title shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.
(b) No other provision of law, enacted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this section[94], may be construed to limit, supersede, or otherwise modify the provisions of this section except to the extent that it does so by express reference to this section."

Which clearly prohibits not only the collection of debts by law but also prohibits lawsuits from being brought before the court which is an issue I want clarified.

Aug 04, 2015
a civil complaint against me
by: Anonymous

I have a civil complaint against me and a hearing coming up. Should I go? And if I go should I take a attorney with me?

I'm on ssi and live with my sister. I have a car but it old and have lots of miles can they take it from me and how will they know I get ssi?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

If you don't go they will definitely get a judgment against you and that gives them additional ways to collect. However, your SSDI should be safe and it' also unlikely they can go after your car. (Read:
Can a debt collector repossess my car?

It sounds like you should be eligible for help from Legal Aid. If possible, I would recommend you contact them to see if they can help you with a defense against the debt collection lawsuit. Oftentimes these collection agencies can't prove that you owe the debt.

Aug 04, 2015
Being Sued by Attorneys and I'm on SSI disability
by: Anonymous

I am on SSI Disability since 2007. I suffered an unexpected double stroke and could not return to work due to "left side" weakness. I had a ton of credit: a house, student loans, self-employed business loans and credit cards and a car loan with a balance less than $4,000. It's been 7-1/2 years and unfortunately I lost everything except the car. House foreclosed, Government satisfied my student loans but I still have the 2000 Nissan car loan. I have no assets anymore but the attorneys (collection agency) for the car filed a lawsuit against me before the four year time period they were allowed too in California. I now owe with interest $9,000+. They know I'm on SSI disability and they sent me papers changing from a Civil trial to a "Short Cause Trial" now scheduled for 9/25/2015. What's the purpose if I'm Judgement Proof with nothing now? What can they get from me? What should I do?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

What's the point indeed? It doesn't sound like there is much they will be able to do to collect even if they are successful. Are you still able to get in touch with your bankruptcy attorney? If so you may want to run this by him or her just to make sure we're not missing something. (We're not attorneys so we can't offer legal advice.)

Sep 17, 2015
can i change from chapter 13 to 7 with money already paid on chapter 13
by: k.wallace

I had filed chapter thy were taking 100 out of work check every 2wks ,I stop working due to foot surgery. weren't able to work for 5 months still off from work now,and I'm not sure when I'll be able.bankruptcy sent court papers stating the balance I've paid towards bankruptcy was 3,500 but I owe 700 due to non payments for 5 months non payment due to hardship,can chapter 13 be transferred to chapter7 with the money I gave already towards 13 and why do I have to go to court?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com

Are you working with a bankruptcy attorney (we hope!?) If so these questions should be directed to your attorney. If you qualify for your Chapter 7, most or all of your debts may be discharged so you may not have to "apply" the money you paid toward Chapter 7 because you may not have to pay back those debts. Again, please talk with your attorney.

Oct 15, 2015
h a judgment against me in Pennsylvania
by: Anonymous

If I own a car 2013 Nissan my friend got me. Can they take it I am on ssi? I have a lot of doctors appointments to go to.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com

It's unlikely they would be interested in taking your car. This article explains why: Can a debt collector repo my car?

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

I am about to be sued by cash call for an unpaid loan

by sharon
(calif.)

I have been unemployed for several months, but am about to receive my social security because of early retirement. Can my social security payment be attached? It will be directly deposited to my bank account.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

Sharon,

Social Security income is usually safe from creditors. However, you want to try to avoid being sued by a debt collector because that may create new problems for you.

First, make sure you are actually being contacted by a real debt collector and not a debt collection scam. If it is legit, then you may want to see whether you can settle the debt for less than the full balance or get help from a bankruptcy attorney.

You may want to listen to our debt settlement podcast.

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being Sued for Credit Card Debt

by Michael
(MA)

I found out I am going to be summoned to court for a Bank Of America credit card bill - the plaintiff is FIA Card Services (I havent received the summons yet but was told by my local court that a suit had been filed against me and they have 90 days to serve me the summons. Ihe credit card bill is about $18,000.00. I own a home which is in a trust and barely make ends meet and if they garnish my wages I will have to file bankruptcy as a last resort. I might be willing to settle if they are willing to do it for 35% - 45% of the original amount of the debt or I may just fight it in court. The house is in a trust so I am unsure if they can put a lien on the property and if they did then I could just pay the debt off at time of the sale? Is this an option other then a wage garnishment? Thank you

Comments for Being Sued for Credit Card Debt

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 04, 2011
Being Sued for Credit Card Debt
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com

Given your financial situation, I would schedule an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney in your area immediately rather than waiting to see if you can negotiate a settlement of your debt or dealing with the hassle and uncertainty of a lawsuit. I am not an attorney, but from the information you shared in your question, you sound like you may be a very good candidate for bankruptcy.

If you file for bankruptcy, the law suit against you will be put on hold immediately and you will be given an opportunity to work with your attorney to figure out what to do about the debt that you owe. It's very possible, depending on the type of bankruptcy that you file, that you can wipe out most if not all of your credit card debt. Click here to schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

What can they take from you if sued?

by Sharon
(Indiana)

If I am being sued, can the person suing me take money from me that is in mine and my sons name (ie: a bank account)? Or a home that is in mine and someone else's name?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

Sharon - Money in a joint account can be at risk if you are sued and the party who sues you gets a judgment. It depends on your state's laws regarding the collection of judgments.

Home equity can sometimes be at risk but if it is, it usually means that they get a lien against the property so that if it is sold in the future they will get paid. Again, it's a matter of state law.

In some cases the same property that is exempt (or protected) in bankruptcy is safe from creditors who get a judgement. But in other cases it is different.

Read: Exemptions: What can I keep?

That's why we recommend you talk with a bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible to find out what may be at risk here and what your options are for dealing with this lawsuit.

Find out how to get a free initial evaluation with a bankruptcy attorney here.

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being Sued by Bank

by Alma
(Medford, OR, Jackson County)

I had a checking account with US Bank in 2008 that I had borrowed $500 "andvance directive" from, due to being on maternity leave and had no income coming in. Went back to work early but had late fees on the $500. I had 3 $250.00 direct deposits from my paycheck into acct. in an attempt to pay them off. I contacted bank manager to see about getting overdrawn fees lifted, or I would never be able to pay off what I owed them because of the daily fees. Bank manager agreed. After the three direct deposits of $250.oo I stopped making more deposits becuase I couldn't afford child care and other living expenses as well and since bank manager agreed to lift feest I though I would be ok. I never heard from them and had my credit ran in 2011 of July and did not appear on my report. Now August 23, 2011 I heard from an attorney letting me know that they are suing me for 3,500. Turned out that bank manager never lifted the fees. I am so upset. What can I do?

Comments for Being Sued by Bank

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 02, 2011
Being Sued by Bank
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com

First, did you get the bank manager's promise in writing so you have a record of what he said he would do? It's always advisable to get such agreements down in black and while in case there is a problem later. Also, it's likely that the bank manger agreed to waive the fees you had accrued at the point that the two of you spoke and not any future late fees you might incur and that the bank manager fully expected that you would pay off your debt.

Given that you have been sued, I strongly urge you to talk to a consumer law attorney. You need legal advice about what to do next and how to respond to the lawsuit. If you ignore the lawsuit, the bank will win a default judgment against you and will get the court's permission to collect on the judgment by taking money from your bank account, garnishing your wages or by putting a lien on an asset you may own. You should get legal advice right away.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being sued for past medical bills can they take my car?

by Laura
(Prinsburg, MN U.S.A)


I have a summons to appear in court in ten days for past due medical bills totaling 3,000. I don't have a job and am not married, but I own my car, the car is worth about 3000- 4000, since I have mo other way for them to garnish anything from me, can they take my car?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

Laura,

If the medical provider or collection agency is successful in getting a judgment against you, then what they will be able to do to collect depends on what property is exempt, or safe, from creditors. You'll find more information about this topic on our page about property exemptions

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Sued for Unpaid Credit Card Debt

by Gale
(Massachusetts)

I am being taking to court be a law firm. They sent me a bunch of questions about the credit,card. I did not answer them and they took me to court. On every page at the end it says, this communication is from a debt collector. Do I have to answer these questions

Comments for Sued for Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 19, 2011
Sued for Unpaid Credit Card Debt
by: Debcollectionanswers.com

Many law firms are in the business of collecting debts for clients and it sounds like you have been sued by one of those firms. I don't know what the law firm asked you to fill out, but it's important that you figure out what you are going to do now that you've been sued. Doing nothing means that the law firm will almost certainly win a default judgment against you, which will give the firm the right to take a variety of actions to collect on that judgment. Those actions might include garnishing your wages, taking money from your bank account, putting a lien on an asset you own, and so on. Also, the judgment will badly damage your credit history.

I strongly advise you to schedule an appointment with a consumer law attorney in your area who helps consumers resolve their debt collection problems. The attorney can either represent you in the lawsuit or give you advice about how to represent yourself. It's also possible depending on the state of your finances that you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy will pause all collection actions against you, including the lawsuit, and give you some breathing space to figure out what to do next. Click here for a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being sued for more than is on my current bill.

by James
(Vassar, MI)

I have recently been served with a summons and complaint for a 11 year old debt. In the last six years, this was given to a collection agency and after some verbal negotiation with them,I was making regular, $50 monthly payments on the account with no interest. In August of 2011, I left my career as a teacher, due to medical conditions. I was forced to accept a job that did not pay nearly as much. I spoke with the debt collector about putting a hold on my payments until I was financially more stable. He agreed. I recieved a regular monthly statement from them and at no time did they make a demand for immediate payment of the balance.

In the summons, the law firm representing the collection agency, claims that I owe $4195.00 and that the accrued interest on the account is $4521.94, for a total amount of $8716.94. I denied all three of these complaints on the answer form and used the affirmative defense that they had not applied my payments to the amount owed, due to the discrepancy in the amounts stated by the complaint and my current monthly statement of account I received. I also attached the statement of accounts that I have received from the collection agency for September and October of this year. Both show my balance as $2650.00 and the due date for my payment. They also offer to settle the debt for 70% of the balance.

I immediately made the monthly payment they were requesting on the statement of accounts and am hoping that it will be acceptable to the court that I begin making those payments again. Will they require me to pay the filed amount for $8716.94 or will the balance showing on my current statement be used?

Any advice is appreciated.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

James,

It's great that you have been so proactive about handling this debt. And it's also good to hear that you have kept information documenting what you've paid and what you believe you should owe. The fact of the matter is that many of the debts handled by debt buyers contained in accurate information. That sounds like what is happening in your case.

Most times, debtors don't even bother to respond when they are sued by collectors. If they do show up and challenge the debt it's very unusual for them to be able to prove that they have standing to collect the debt and/or that the amount is correct.

We are not attorneys so we cannot give you legal advice about how to handle this in court. However, it shouldn't cost anything to talk with a consumer law attorney who regularly represents consumers who are being sued or harrassed by debt collectors. So our first suggestion would be that you go ahead and talk with a consumer law attorney If s/he thinks you have a good case, the attorney will help you for free because the debt collector must pay the attorney's fees if it loses.

If you decide to go to court yourself, you can pull together your documentation and challenge whether the debt collector has the documentation to prove you owe what they say you owe at this time. Again however this is something we recommend you do with the help of an attorney, especially since it won't cost you anything.

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Sued, can they take my tax return?

by amber
(Illinois)

I was sued 2 years ago for a motor vehicle accident, they have not garnished my wages, and I have not heard from them in a long time, Can they take my income tax return?

Comments for Sued, can they take my tax return?

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 07, 2010
collection after judgment
by: Gerri

Amber,

Please don't assume that just because you haven't heard from the company that got the judgment against you that you won't hear from them. We encourage consumers to take judgments very seriously and find a way to resolve them. If you don't, the judgment creditor may have other avenues for collection, and may go after things you own like bank accounts or property.

We also suggest, though, that consumers who can't pay a judgment at least get a free consult with a bankruptcy attorney to find out what may be at risk. The attorney can review your individual circumstances and tell you what the creditor can and cannot go after to collect on the judgment. Having that information will hopefully give you some peace of mind, and should also be useful in developing a strategy for dealing with the debt. What property is exempt varies from state to state, so it's important that you get information specific to your state and your situation.

If, for example, you discover that you are "judgment proof" - there's nothing you have they can go after - then you may be able to negotiate a settlement on the debt so you can put it behind you.

We hope this helps!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being Sued by Credit Card company

by Sheryl
(Marina Del ReyCA)

I just found out that I am being sued by my credit card company. The debt collector never told my that is what he was doing. What do I do?

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Sued in Texas

by David Bauer
(Lastrup, MN. morrison co.)

Hello,

I had an account for a motor bike in Nov. 1994 in Texas, I moved to Minnesota in 2000 and had to file bankrup in 2004 but I did not know I still owed on this old account in texas and did not list it on the bankrup.

Now today 10/8/2010 I get a call from a lawyer in Texas saying they are trying to collect this from me.

My question is can they still sued me for this after 15+ years? and can they still put it back on my credit report?

Thank you
David Bauer
dave@tccfm.com

Comments for Sued in Texas

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 10, 2010
Sued in Texas
by: Mary

So sorry that that your old debt has resurfaced. Given its age, the Texas statute of limitations on it has expired. Therefore, although the law firm is legally entitled to try to collect on the debt, it cannot sue you for the money.

If the law firm threatens you with a lawsuit or does in fact sue you, the firm has broken the law and you should contact a local consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases right away. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

Please share what happens with your situation in the comments section for this question. We are very interested in hearing how this turns out for you, and your experience can help others who are struggling with debt collectors.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

My husband has been sued by credit card company.

My husband entered into an agreement with HSBC to make installment payments for a debt. I'm not sure if the agreement was a verbal or written. My husband missed a payment. Creditor is filing suit and the court date is set for 9/22/2011. The amount of the debt is $2600.00. We are trying to come up with the total to pay before the court date if possible. Is there anything we can do before then to maybe give up more time. Creditor is requesting 3yrs of bank statements, life policies, CD's etc. The debt was my husband's debt and yet they want my information as well. Is there anything we can do? we live in the state of FLORIDA.

Comments for My husband has been sued by credit card company.

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 28, 2011
My husband has been sued by credit card company.
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com.

It is important for your husband to let the creditor know that you are trying to come up with the money you need to pay his debt. If he does, the creditor may agree to settle the debt before the date of the hearing. When you settle a debt, the creditor accepts less than the debt's outstanding balance as payment in full. You can even try to negotiate a settlement on the day of the hearing or at the hearing itself. If you are successful, the lawsuit will end without there being a judgment entered against your husband.

As for why the creditor has asked for your financial information as well as your husband's, it's because Florida is a community property state. Therefore, you are liable for the debts he incurs during your marriage and he is liable for yours.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Sued by Debt Collector/Credit Card Co. in PG County Maryland

by Lynn
(England)

I am being sued by Discover Card/Collection Agency. The reason why I say I'm being sued by both is because I'm certain the debt was sent to a collection agency but when I looked online (Maryland Judiciary Case Search)it says Discover Bank is the plaintiff.

My situation: I relocated (marriage) from Maryland to England. My folks are being harassed with phone calls and a sheriff appeared trying to serve a summons. My folks told them that I no longer lived there and they didn't have a forwarding address. I also notice online that what's listed as my residence is actually my parent's residence. I don't want to get them in trouble the case is civil and I owe $5466.00

My question is what do I do? I still haven't found a job in the UK and my hubby works part-time as it is. How should I handle this? Try and contact Discover Bank? Give them my current address? I don't want this affecting my visa.

Any help would be great!

Comments for Sued by Debt Collector/Credit Card Co. in PG County Maryland

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 21, 2011
being sued while out of the country
by: DebtCollectionAnswers.com

Lynn,

If you are sued and do not appear in court, the creditor will likely get a judgment against you. The judgment will allow additional avenues for collection, but if you don't have anything in the U.S. they can go after, then there is not likely much they can do. (If your parents are not cosigners then their assets should not be at risk.)

The problem is this judgment may haunt you for a long time. In most states, judgments can be renewed indefinitely. You may find yourself dealing with it if and when you decide to come back to the states.

We would suggest that you at least set up a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney - probably one in Maryland - to find out what your options are for dealing with this. You don't state whether you have other debts, but if either way, it would be a good idea to talk with the attorney.

Good luck!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

sued

by doug
(allentown,pa)

A lawyer is sueing me for unpaid fees What would a judgement against me bring?

Comments for sued

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 23, 2010
Sued Over a Debt
by: Mary

If the attorney who has sued you were to win the lawsuit, the judgment against you would have some unpleasant consequences. For one thing, the judgment would remain in your credit histories for 7 years after the date that it was recorded with the court , which would have a serious and negative impact on your FICO scores, making it more difficult to get credit at reasonable terms, possibly making it impossible for you to purchase the insurance you need and maybe even affecting your ability to rent a place to live and/or get the job you've applied for

Also, the attorney would take steps to collect on the judgment -- maybe by asking the court for permission to garnish your wages or put a lien on nonexempt property that you may own, among other things.

It's not too late to try to work out a way of resolving the debt that you owe to the attorney in exchange for he or she dropping the lawsuit. For example, maybe the attorney would allow you to pay off the debt over time or perhaps the attorney would agree to let you settle your debt for less than the total amount.

If the attorney moves forward with the lawsuit, you should hire a consumer law attorney to represent you. It would be foolhardy to try to represent yourself under the circumstances.

Good luck resolving your legal problems.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being sued by a debt collector

by Linda
(NY)

Hi, I'm being sued by a debt collector. My only income is SSD and child support which I believe according to federal and state law they cannot take. I sent them a certified letter stating this as the summons required a response within 20 days. I am filing the same at court. Do you think they will still proceed on the action or dismiss it. It is for about $4,500.

Comments for Being sued by a debt collector

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 30, 2012
Being sued by a debt collector
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com

It is impossible for me to predict what the debt collector will do. However, it's very important that you show up at the hearing related to the lawsuit assuming it goes forward. If you don't, the collector will win a default judgment against you. Meanwhile, if the lawsuit goes forward, I recommend that you consult with a consumer law attorney about your situation immediately.

I do not know all of the details of your financial situation, but debt collectors that win lawsuits against consumers have a number of different options for collecting on judgments. Therefore even though your income is protected (exempt), if the collector were to win its lawsuit, it might be able to collect on the judgment in some other way -- by putting a lien on an asset you may own or taking money from a bank account in your name -- a savings account -- for example. However, if you are judgment proof and you make the collector aware of that fact, then the debt collector may decide not to pursue the lawsuit.


Jan 30, 2012
debt collector
by: Anonymous

I notified the judge and the company filing suit against me that my only source of income was Social Security and child support which is safe from debt collection. I haven't heard anything since and that was Oct!

You still need to show up in court on the day of the hearing.

Mar 04, 2012
I'm in the same boat
by: Anonymous

I was just wondering if you had heard any response from the court.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Sued by Chase bank but I'm judgement proof

by LeeAnn
(Wetumpka, AL, US)

My father was in a car accident 3 years ago which left him blind/disabled and unable to work. He lost everything and now lives on SS and a small pension, and he has no assets. The wreck happened in July of 2007 and we started sending letters to his creditors notifying them of the circumstances and the fact the he was judgment proof.

Almost all of his creditors wrote off the debt except Chase Bank. They have hired different lawyers over the years which we have corresponded with and told them what was going on, they would say they would talk to Chase. Then I wouldn't hear anything for months to a year. Then it would start again with new attorneys.

The SOL ran out in July of this year, and we did not receive a summons until September. I responded telling the court (we live in Alabama) what I have told the attorneys over the years, that he was disabled and living off SS and has been unable to pay his debts. The 1st week in November we received the Ala-file notice of his court date, but the name had been changed. The Summons had the correct name William, and now all the info says Willie?? How can they change the info and why would they change it to the wrong name? I asked them about the SOL and they claimed they filed it in May (there is not file date on the summons).

They also informed me that they were still waiting on Chase to discuss the matter of him being judgment proof. Do I have any angles in my favor? we can't afford an attorney and I'm doing all the research myself.

Comments for Sued by Chase bank but I'm judgement proof

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 17, 2010
debt collection when judgment proof
by: Gerri

LeAnn,

It's great you are doing all this research and helping out your father under these difficult circumstances. I would at least suggest you talk with a consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases. Learn how to get low cost or FREE legal help with your debt collection problem here. They will tell you if they think you have a good case against the collection law firm.

If they do not think you have a case against them, let us know using the comments link below and we'll discuss other options.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Bank Sells My Debt to Collection Agency. Can I Be Sued?

by Christine
(Pueblo, CO)

If a collection agency is bugging me can I be sure I can no longer be sued by bank? Can only the original lender can sue you? So if they sell it to an agency you can wait it out?

Comments for Bank Sells My Debt to Collection Agency. Can I Be Sued?

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 03, 2011
Bank Sells My Debt to Collection Agency. Can I Be Sued?
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com

The debt collection agency can sue you for the money that you owe, assuming that the statute of limitations on the debt has not run out. If it has, then the agency can try to collect from you, but it cannot sue you.

You did not indicate the nature of the debt in question and I am not an attorney, but my resources show that if the debt is credit card debt, the statute of limitations on it in CO is 6 years. The 6 years begins on the date that you first stopped paying on the card.

If you want to become more informed about what debt collectors can and cannot do to collect from you and the options you have for responding to them, I recommend that you get our ebook Debt Collection Answers. You can read the first chapter of Debt Collection Answers online for free.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being sued even tho I'm paying

by Rob
(California)

I received some papers stating that a debt collector is suing me for the amount of 25k even though I have been paying them every month for the past year and a half now. I even received a letter from them this July saying that my payment agreement was approved until the debt is paid off. Now I might lose my job because of this. What should my next step be? I am thinking of counter suing them for what they are doing.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

Debt collectors are not required to accept whatever you can afford to pay. However, the fact that you have a written payment agreement with this collector (smart move, by the way) may change things here. We would definitely recommend you free consultation with a consumer law attorney to find out what your options are. Will you let us know what happens?

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Can I Be Sued and Have My Wages Garnished While I Am Deployed?

by Jenny
(Norfolk, VA)

Well I found out I had a court date while I was on deployment and now they are trying to garnish my wages and I am still on deployment. I was not able to be present in court to defend myself. Is it legal for the creditor to garnish my wages while I am still deployed?

Comments for Can I Be Sued and Have My Wages Garnished While I Am Deployed?

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 08, 2011
Can I Be Sued and Have My Wages Garnished While I Am Deployed?
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com

I am not an attorney or an expert on the specific laws that affect people in the military when they are deployed. However, it's my understanding that debt collection lawsuits are normally halted during a deployment, but can resume once the deployment has ended.

I strongly recommend that you get advice from a financial counselor or an attorney who can advise you about what to do given your situation. Is there a military employee where you are based who counsels service people who are having financial and/or legal problems? I also recommend that you visit http://www.military.com, which includes a lot of information related to people in the military and their legal rights.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Can I be sued in one state if I live in another?

by Menchie
(colorado)

you just answer my question and thanks for that. But i have another question?, you said if i stop my payment from the debt collector they will put a judgement againts me (again). what if that papers i sign is in colorado and they continue the lawsuit again but i live in now in another state. what will be happen?do i have to go to court of colorado or just on the court where i live now? thanks!

Comments for Can I be sued in one state if I live in another?

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 12, 2011
Can I be sued in one state if I live in another?
by: DebtCollection Answers.com

Menchie: To clarify our earlier answer, if you stop payment, the debt collector MAY sue you and if it wins its lawsuit, it would win a judgment against you. In other words, we cannot say 100% that you would get sued but it is certainly likely, especially if the amount you owe is large enough and you are not judgment proof.

As for your current question, the debt collector will sue you in Colorado, because that is where you signed the paperwork related to the debt. So, you would either need to go to the court in CO to defend yourself in the event of a lawsuit or you would need to hire an attorney in that state to go to court on your behalf to defend you. You may want to contact a consumer law attorney in your current state who helps people resolve debt collection problems to find out if there is any way that the lawsuit could be transferred to the legal jurisdiction where you are current living. We don't know if this is possible because we are not attorneys, but it's worth exploring.

Aug 11, 2011
Foreign Judgement Document
by: Anonymous

Since I am going through a civil suit at this time that I have filed against my sister in-law. We are expected to go to trial soon, now She had to file a Foerign Judgement Document concerning collection of a debt of my husband and one she vreated. In order for the debtor to sue you into another state, they would have to file the document is District or county court depends on subject jurisdiction, in order to collect on the debt through court. Now since she is counter suing me with this, and tried to use it in A Summary Judgement to get my suit dismissed, however it failed on their part due to several factors, one statue of limitations, and it can't be used in my case as a forcible detainer, in which she had illegally sized my home without a court writ or any legal process in my state. Now if they want to sue it will have to be in District Court not Count because it is a foreign document from one state into another. Also, in our laws here where I live, courts will not use a summary judgement due to prejudice in favor of the defendant,against the Plaintiff. which has nothing to do with the subject of forcible retain act. However each state legislator has their own laws on what can and cannot be used. so a person would have to look up the laws and case laws in their own state as well under federal laws. I am also working along with my attorney on my case to make it solid, with Subject matter, Jurisdictions and case Laws as well as Statues laws. Yes it takes alot of will power and time, but it is a excellent learning tool on the law. Very Education.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being sued for car accident but can't pay


(California)

I am being sued for a car accident I had two years ago. I was insured, but for a small amount. The other party's car was totaled and their insurance company wants $35k to replace the car. My insurance company tried to hold the payment to my policy limit ($10k) but they refused and are coming after me for the total.

I have no assets, no home, no stocks, no cash in the bank, only a used car worth about $10k. To top it off, I have been unemployed for one year.

How do I proceed? I would prefer to settle out of court. I have good credit that I don't want to be ruined. Would they settle for less, and if so, would they be willing to put me on a long term payment plan? Is this something that is typical?

I could toss it into bankruptcy, but that is a last resort.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

It all depends on what the other party is willing to accept. Their attorney may be pushing them to try to get more, but if you don't have anything, you don't have anything.

Our suggestion is that you meet with a bankruptcy attorney to find out for sure that you are judgment proof - it sounds like you may be. If you are, see what the bankruptcy attorney advises. If you are able to demonstrate to the other party that suing you isn't going to get them anything more, they may decide not to pursue it. But you probably need something to back up your claim that you can't pay.

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being Sued, Will Tax Retun Be or Car Be Taken?

by Sheena
(Gary, IN USA)

I have been laid off for almost a year and receiving unemployment and I am being sued by a law firm in Chicago,IL for a credit card bill of $4822.82 and I live in Indiana.

Will my car or tax return be taken? Also do I have to pay any of the fees and interest if there is a judgement against me or can I ask the judge to eliminate those fees? I talked to a collection agency some months ago to try to arrangement payments but I could not afford the amount they were asking. Now a law firm has it.

I talked to someone at this law firm to arrangement payments, she agreed to payments of $20.00 or $25.00 per month, I asked for something to sign but were refused. I told both companies I was laid off but the law firm still want the court date. I sent a payment of $20.00 on 1/10/13, I was told by the law firm it would look like I am making an effort to pay. My court date is 2/7/13 still.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

We're sorry to hear the financial difficulties you are going through. Typically creditors can't seize your tax returns (that's not the case though if you owe certain federal debts like federal student loans) and they can't simply take your car. They have to first get a judgment against you then collect that judgment.

The methods they have available to collect that judgment, such as going after money in your bank account or trying to garnish wages, are a matter of state law.

Why don't you at least talk with a bankruptcy attorney? The attorney can explain what they can and cannot do to collect and help you weigh your options.

It may be that there is nothing they can really do to collect from you even if they get a judgment. This is what's sometimes referred to as being "judgment proof" or "collection proof." If that's the case, the attorney may be able to help you negotiate with them or suggest another course of action.

You can get a a free initial evaluation with a bankruptcy attorney and get answers to some of these questions that are no doubt keeping you up at night.

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being Sued And Don't Know What To Do

by needing help

I am being sued by a debt collector who bought my debt from an original creditor. I have since moved out of state and I am wondering what to do and how to go about handling the issue from out of state?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

Please start by reading our page about what you can do it you are being sued, then if you have additional questions please use the comments link below to submit them. We aren't attorneys so we can't give legal advice, but we are happy to point you in the right direction.

We hope this will help!

Click here to post comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Sued for a Credit Card Debt

by WILLY
(FLORIDA)

WHAT DO I DO IF I AM CALLED TO APPEAR IN COURT FOR A CREDIT CARD DEBT?

Comments for Sued for a Credit Card Debt

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 19, 2011
Sued for a Credit Card Debt
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com.

When you are sued for a debt, it is important that you show up in court for the hearing. If you don't, the judge will probably issue a judgment against you for the amount of the debt, plus other charges, without you having had a chance to tell your side of the story.

Before the day of the hearing, pull together any documentation you may have that helps explain why you did not pay your credit card debt, assuming it's because you were experiencing a financial hardship of some sort, as well as any documentation showing what you may have done to try to resolve the debt -- you asked for a reduced payment plan or tried to settle the outstanding balance on your credit card, for example.

Present your information to the judge at the hearing. It may cause the judge to view your failure to pay less harshly and the judge may even give you and the attorney representing the credit card company an opportunity to try to resolve your dispute at the hearing. Otherwise, the judge will probably find that you owe the debt you have been sued for you and you will be ordered to pay it.

If you need help preparing for the hearing or if you want an attorney to represent you at the hearing, contact a consumer law attorney in your area who handles debt collection matters.

Good luck!

Sep 27, 2011
what should i do
by: Anonymous

i received a judgement and then an appearance to be in court i called the court they have nothing except the judgement. the company called wanting to make an agreement what should i do the bill is 8 years old.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

The first thing you want to do is find out if you are judgment proof. If you are, that gives you more negotiating leverage with the judgment creditor. Read: What does being judgment proof mean? You'll also want to find out whether the judgment has expired. This is a matter of state law, and it's something that a bankruptcy attorney can explain to you.

Then you can go about trying to settle this debt so you can put it behind you. Judgments in many states can be renewed, and can thus last indefinitely. So you definitely want to find a way to resolve this one way or the other if you can.

If the amount is large and you can't afford to pay it, you may need to consider bankruptcy to get rid of it.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being Sued By Collection Law Firm

by Jeff
(Davie, Fl USA)

What is the procedure for a law firm that has had me served by the court to sue me? I have filed a written response to the court and the attorneys. What is the next step in the process so I am better prepared. This attorney debt collector has been unreasonable in negotiating a payment plan and it has come to this. What can they do?

Comments for Being Sued By Collection Law Firm

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 24, 2010
I've been sued for a debt. What next?
by: Mary

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

So sorry that you are being sued over a debt that you owe! As for what will happen now that you've been served, there will be a court hearing on the matter unless you and the law firm that sued you are able to resolve your differences outside of court. The notice you received when you were served should indicate the date, time and location of the hearing.

Be sure to show up for the hearing! If you do not, it's likely that the judge will award the law firm a default judgment against you. If that were to happen, the court would order you to pay the amount of money that you've been sued for and the judgment would damage your credit scores.

I strongly encourage you to schedule a meeting with a consumer law attorney who specializes in debt collection matters. In order for you to resolve this matter with as little harm to yourself as possible you need an attorney's help. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a payment plan that's acceptable to you. If the matter does go all the way to court, having an attorney represent you will help level the legal playing field on your behalf. Of course, if the case is being heard in small claims court, you may have to represent yourself because many of those courts do not allow consumers to be represented by attorneys. However, after listening to your story and looking at all of the documentation you have about the debt you are being sued for, the attorney may be able to point out some problems and weaknesses in the debt collector's case and can also help you prepare your defense, which could be invaluable assistance.

Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

Best of luck resolving your legal problem and please let me know the outcome.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being sued. What should I do?

by Rebekah
(Glen Burnie, MD)

I have had seven 3rd party debt collectors try to collect over $800 from me since 2007. Have a merit trial 11/11 and they are the only ones that have tried to sue me and collect. I am on full disability and am very limited money wise. I lost my house to foreclosure 1/09 and lived in a shelter/abused women for 6 months. I am living in a one bedroom apartment and all of my money goes to rent, utilities and past due medical and current medical bills. Have nothing of any value any more. What can I do????

Comments for Being sued. What should I do?

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 10, 2011
Being sued. What should I do?
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com.

I am surprised that the creditor is pursuing a lawsuit against you because from what you tell me, you have nothing that the creditor could take from you if it wins its lawsuit. In other words, it sounds like you are judgment proof. So the creditor will have spent time and effort suing you for naught. Of course, if your situation improves in the future, the creditor might be in a position to collect on the judgment at that point.

Given your situation, I strongly recommend that you consult with a bankruptcy attorney right away. You can use bankruptcy to get rid of unsecured debt, like your medical debt, and to stop lawsuits.

Click here for low-cost and FREE help with debt collection questions. Among other things you will find a number to call for a free referral to a bankruptcy attorney. Also, your first meeting with the attorney will be free.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Being sued for a debt I cannot pay

I am being sued by a debt collector. I had no knowledge of the lawsuit until I received the summons in the mail. I answered the summons, but at that time I didn't know about the affirmative defense. Later, I went to court for an administrative hearing, but the debt collector never showed up. Now I have received a judgment summary to go to court on July 5th. I am writing an affidavit to dismiss and want to include my affirmative defenses, but I don't know if it's too late to do so. I sent a letter to validate the debt and they sent me copies of statements showing I did make payments to bank of america. I did take out a loan with bank of america, but the amount the collector is asking for I do not owe. I borrowed $15,000 and paid back $10,500, but they say I owe almost $20,000. Please, what else can i do? I am unemployed and have not worked in 2 1/2 years. Can I add the affirmative defense to my affidavit to dismiss? Hope to hear from you soon.

Comments for Being sued for a debt I cannot pay

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 30, 2011
Being sued for a debt I cannot pay
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com

Given your financial situation and the amount of money you are being sued for, I recommend that you schedule an appointment with a consumer bankruptcy in your area right away. The attorney will look at your finances to determine if filing for bankruptcy is a good option for you. If you do file, the law suit that has been filed against you will stop and you will have time to figure out what to do about the debt you have been sued for. Click here to schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney in your area

I understand that money is tight for you right now and that that is probably why you have been acting as your own attorney, but it's NOT a good idea given the amount of money that is at stake. So, rather than trying to defend yourself, I strongly urge you again to contact a bankruptcy attorney. Filing for bankruptcy may be the answer to your problem.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Learn how debt collection laws can help you!
This website does not provide legal advice.
All information is for educational purposes only.
Copyright 2007 - 2016 by Mary Reed and Gerri Detweiler.
All rights reserved.