What Happens If You Ignore a Debt Collector?
George Simons | July 21, 2022
When creditors come for old debts ^
Summary: Thinking about ignoring that debt collector who is suing you for a past due balance? Find out why that's a bad idea and how you can win against them in court.
Ignoring a debt collector does not magically dissolve the debt. Understandably, a debt collector's persistent calls, messages, and letters may be one of the most frustrating experiences some borrowers encounter. But if you ignore them, there is a slim chance that the debt collector will leave you alone.
On the contrary, debt collectors are always determined to compel you to honor your debt. For this reason, they will most likely exhaust all legal means they have, including a debt collection lawsuit, to pursue you. Also, your credit score may drop drastically if you ignore debt collectors, which could limit your chances of ever getting approved for loans, including mortgages.
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Why a debt collector won't leave you alone
Creditors often sell delinquent debts to debt collectors, who then assume the responsibility of pursuing repayment from the borrower. As a result, they earn their share from the debts they collect for the credit agencies. Therefore, the more debt they collect, the higher they make from creditors.
However, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from using aggressive, abusive, unfair, or deceptive means to pursue a borrower. Therefore, if any of the methods a debt collector has used to pursue a debt you supposedly owe defied this provision, you can sue them.
Either way, consider talking to the debt collector at least once when they contact you. If you want them to contact your lawyer instead, let them know via mail, and be sure to keep the return receipt of the mail. Otherwise, if you decide to do nothing at all, here's what could happen:
Debt collectors always report debt delinquencies to the credit bureaus that prepare your credit report. If they receive frequent negative reports about your debt, your credit score will most likely drop.
Don't ignore a debt collector
Most debt collectors often have a debt repayment plan that may work way better than what your original creditor had. Therefore, you may lose a chance to negotiate a suitable repayment if you keep ignoring them.
When you ignore a debt collector, it adds more weight to your debt through interests and other penalties. By the time you respond, it may the too late to lower the amount you owe the debt collector.
The debt collector can sue you if their efforts to reach you become futile. A lawsuit may be more frustrating and time-consuming, and you may lose the case, especially if you do not know how to Answer a debt collection lawsuit. In the end, the court will order you to pay the outstanding amount you owe the debt collector, and in some cases, the incurred court charges and attorney fees.
If you ignore the lawsuit altogether, the court will pass a default judgment ruling that essentially renders all the claims by the collector to be correct. Therefore, you will be ordered to pay all that you owe and other necessary charges. In addition, the debt collector can garnish your wages, hold money in your bank account, or place your property on lien.
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Get the debt collector to validate the debt
Sometimes, a debt collector may pursue you for a debt whose statute of limitation has expired. You have the right to ask for debt validation to confirm if you truly owe the debt. If not, you may have to appear in court for a debt that you would have simply disputed by filing your Answer via SoloSuit or directly with the court.
It may be tempting to try and ignore a debt collector in the hopes that the situation will just “go away.” Such hope is rooted in delusion since most debt collectors are relentless and will continue to harass you even to the point of escalating the situation to litigation. This is why it makes more sense to proactively respond to the debt collector and advocate for your rights and interests.
What is SoloSuit?
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
Respond with SoloSuit
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate
>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance
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