Getting Debt Help if You're Sued for Debt

Being sued for serious debt is a serious business. Many times, lenders, like credit card companies, will threaten to sue you for outstanding debt, but very rarely do because of the time and expense associated with such lawsuits. Nevertheless, credit card companies can, and do, sue for debts owed to them. In fact, they sue not only for the original debt, but also for any accrued interest, fees, and legal costs associated with bringing a lawsuit. The credit card companies must do so before a certain statute of limitations applies, and if they do sue, you face a host of serious consequences.

What Happens if I am Sued for Debt?

If you are sued for your debts, and a judgment is filed against you, the court orders that you pay your debt in full.

  • Often the companies filing the suits are given permission to garnish your wages as necessary, if the state statutes allow for wage garnishments.
  • In states that do not permit wage garnishments, the court may allow the creditor to seize your bank accounts, place a lien on your property, or sell particular properties out right.

Being sued for credit card and other debt also has serious consequences for your credit rating. You can lose 50 to 100 points on your credit score, and the judgment entered against you appears as a strong negative comment on your credit report, since it is sent to all three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Judgments that remain unpaid will stay on your report indefinitely, so ignoring a judgment is NOT the answer. It will NOT go away on its own.

How Can I Get Help?

If you are being sued, or have been sued for outstanding debts, you need to get help, and fast. Essentially, you need to address the core problem of why you are in so much debt, and how to effectively combat debt in the future, rather than simply trying to address the immediate situation you are facing. You will need the advice of financial professionals – and the key here is professionals – who can help you build a budget, stick to it, and learn effective ways to dig out of debt. These professionals can also help address the suit itself. If you need debt help after a suit or judgment, speak to a professional about how to budget, pay off debt, spend with cash, save more than you spend, and live with less. You should also speak with a competent and qualified attorney who can assist you in fighting the suit or any wage garnishments associated with it.

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