What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

George Simons

August 17, 2020

Summary: What happens if you never answer debt collectors? Bad things. Read below to find out specifics. If you've been sued for a debt, use SoloSuit to respond in 15 minutes.

When it comes to communicating with a debt collector, the old adage, “you can run, but you cannot hide” is applicable. The truth is that, nowadays, it is virtually impossible to ignore a debt collector entirely. Even if you let all of their phone calls go to voicemail, debt collectors are relentless and may try to contact you online through different social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Even if you ignore or block a debt collector online, it will likely get to the point where they file a collections lawsuit against you in court.

Once a lawsuit is filed, the debt collector will attempt to obtain an adverse judgment against you. If you ignore the lawsuit, a court will likely enter a default judgment that empowers the debt collector to garnish your wages. This is why you need to be proactive and respond to the debt collector and/or debt collection lawsuit. You may discover that their collection efforts are misplaced (i.e. they sued the wrong person) or lack a solid legal foundation (i.e. you could have the debt lawsuit dismissed because they failed to file within the applicable statute of limitations).

Here are five other reasons why you should avoid neglecting a debt collector and what could happen if you never answer a debt collector.

1. Your Credit Will Take a Hit

When a debt goes into collections, there is a very good chance that your credit score will suffer as a result. The delinquent debt will probably appear on your credit report. Even if you work out a payment plan with the creditor, there is a chance that the delinquent account will still ding your credit, even if just for a finite period of time.

2. The Amount of Debt Could Continue to Get Larger

If you ignore a debt collector and do not repay the debt, not only will the principal still exist, but the amount you owe will probably continue to increase because of accruing interest, late fees and penalties. Some debt collection companies even tack on the expenses they've incurred in an effort to collect on the debt.

3. Family and Friends Might Be Contacted

If you ignore a debt collector, they do not disappear. In fact, some aggressive debt collectors will reach out to your friends, family, and neighbors. You may be asking yourself, “Is that even legal?” Well, in some states, a debt collector is allowed to contact third parties such as neighbors, relatives or even your employer – but only in an effort to track you down. The law does not allow a debt collector to disclose the fact that you owe a debt or to discuss your finances with third parties.

4. Your Stress and Anxiety Levels Will Probably Increase

Trying to avoid communicating with a debt collector often results in people feeling anxious, concerned and stressed out. It can be difficult to speak with a debt collector, but actively avoiding contact with the debt collector can be just as stress-inducing.

5. You Will Probably Be Sued

If you continue to ignore communicating with the debt collector, they will likely file a collections lawsuit against you in court. If you are served with a lawsuit and ignore this court filing, the debt collection company will then be able to get a default judgment against you. Once a default judgment is entered, the debt collector can garnish your wages, seize personal property, and have money taken out of your bank account.

SoloSuit makes it simple to respond to a debt lawsuit the right way.

As mentioned earlier, you can run, but you cannot hide. Here is the bottom line - never answering a debt collector is almost always a bad decision. Why? Because, as we discussed above, ignoring the debt collector typically makes the situation worse and does not lead to a resolution. Ignoring the debt does not make it go away. This is why, if you are contacted by a debt collector or are served with a collections lawsuit, it is important to take action.

Need Help Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit? Use SoloSuit

SoloSuit helps explain and walk you through the complicated process of responding to a debt collection lawsuit, including lawsuits filed by Javitch Block. Here is how it typically works - you access SoloSuit, which is a dynamic, step-by-step web-app. When you are in the app, you will be asked specific questions. Once you answer these questions, you can either print the completed legal documents and mail the hard copies to the court or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney review the document.

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If you need help in effectively responding to a debt collection lawsuit, consider utilizing the services available through SoloSuit. What is SoloSuit? Take a moment to review these FAQs to learn more.

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Overview of What To Do If You are Sued by a Debt Collector

Here is an overview of what you need to do if you are sued by a debt collector:

  • Do not admit liability for the alleged debt since the burden is on the debt collector to establish that you in fact are responsible for the amount owed.
  • Be sure you file your Answer to the Complaint within the time period provided by the Court. For example, in many debt collection lawsuits, you usually have between 20 to 30 days to file your Answer.
  • In your Answer, make sure to raise any applicable affirmative defenses (e.g., the statute of limitations) and demand that the debt collection company prove that you are responsible for the specific amount owed. These are examples of the types of strategies you can use to defeat a debt collector in court.

Best of Luck!

Additional Resources

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit.

How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection Guides for All 50 States

Here's a list of guides on How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection in each of the 50 states.

All 50 states.