A lot of Arizonans are in the same boat these days; a bad economy and a bad job market have caused hard times and put a lot of people behind on their bills. Waiting for the bill collectors to start calling can be a nerve-wracking experience, and dealing with the calls once they do come adds a lot of stress to an already stressful situation.
Understanding what is going on behind the scenes can give you the facts you need to make a clear decision about your future once financial troubles begin. In this series we will look at the life cycle of a bad debt to give you some insight into what to expect next and how to deal with it.
The worst case – going to court over your debt
A lawsuit can be brought against you over an unpaid debt by either the original creditor or by a debt buyer; it just depends on the original creditor’s policy. The suit can be filed anywhere between six months and six years after the debt becomes delinquent. If they can find you, you have a job, and you have been uncooperative with previous collection attempts, they may very well file a lawsuit against you.
While most creditors will only file suit against you for a debt of $5,000 or more, you can be sued for as little as $500. If you get a notice of a lawsuit and fail to respond to it, the creditor will ask for a default judgment – meaning the court will rule against you even if you aren’t there to defend yourself. The creditor can then garnish up to 25% of your paycheck.
Your best bet is to go to court and ask the judge to work out a payment plan based on your finances and budget. It may be hard to swallow, but you are likely to get a much more favorable deal than if you simply ignore the lawsuit.
At The Pew Law Center, PLLC, we believe that your life shouldn’t be defined by debt. We have helped hundreds of people just like you find the relief they deserve from harassing bill collectors, paycheck garnishment, foreclosures proceedings, and – most importantly – the constant worry about money and what to do about your debts.
We are a dedicated debt relief law firm. We help people from Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Chandler, Scottsdale, Apache Junction, Tempe and throughout Arizona file for bankruptcy or work through tough tax problems every day. We can help stop the debt cycle and give you relief from your overwhelming, burdensome, and crushing debt. Please don’t wait another moment. Call us right away – our attorneys will help get you the fresh start you deserve.