Can I Pay a Debt Before the Court Date?

Chloe Meltzer

November 03, 2021

Summary: Do you have a collection agency after you for an old debt? Find out if it's smart to pay a debt before the court date.

If you are dealing with a debt lawsuit, it can be a stressful process. Especially because many debt lawsuits are the result of poor financial planning, or simply forgetting to pay a bill. If you are being sued for debt there are many options and things to consider. Although you may want to simply pay off the debt before you go to court, you will need to respond properly first, and decide whether or not that is the best option.

What happens when you don't show up for your court date

What is important to note is that although you won't go to prison for not paying a debt, you can go to jail for avoiding a court date. This means you should always respond properly, via a legal Answer.

If you don't respond, the creditor will be awarded a default judgment. This means that you lose the case automatically, and they then have the legal ability to garnish your wages, and even take money directly from your bank account, or seize your property.

This is why the most important thing to do when it comes to a debt lawsuit is to respond and show up for your court summons.

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What happens when you are sued for a debt

Credit card companies can sue you for a debt that you have defaulted on. Each bank has its own policy. Usually, you do not need to be worried about being sued for debt until a debt is at least six months past due.

If they attempt to collect on your debt and you ignore it, or you have not paid anything for six months, it may be considered uncollectible. The next step is reporting to the credit bureau. At this point, you might either be sued by the original creditor or sued by a third-party debt collector to whom they have sold the debt.

You must be aware of a loophole that exists when it comes to being sued for debt. The statute of limitations governs how long you can be sued for debt. Depending on the state that you live in, you can be sued for anywhere from three to 20 years. If you pay on your debt, then it starts the debt period over again. This means that if you have an older debt, you may be able to have the lawsuit canceled until you wish to pay on it.

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Can you pay a debt before the court date?

If you forgot about a debt and have the funds to pay it off, or you suddenly have come into the means to pay for the debt you are being sued for, you have a few options. One positive part of being sued for debt is that you have the opportunity to negotiate. Since you are willing to pay the debt in full, you can attempt to settle the debt for less. You can also set up a payment plan ahead of time. Both of these options can help you avoid having a default judgment be placed against you.

Avoiding the courtroom, in general, is always the best plan. Creditors and debt collectors prefer to avoid the courtroom since it costs them money in legal fees. Plus, once you enter the courtroom you can no longer negotiate in the same way.

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Handling a settlement before your court date

Once you are summoned for court, you have fewer options, but you still have more options than when you are in court. If you are looking to settle your debt you need to take the following steps to prepare yourself.

Find out information on who is suing you

Check to see whether or not you are being sued by your original creditor or a debt collection agency. If you are being sued by a collection agency, they most likely bought your debt for pennies on the dollar. This means that you have a better chance of negotiating a lower amount.

Respond to the lawsuit

As mentioned previously, it is essential to respond to the lawsuit. Even if you plan to pay off the amount before the court, you still need to respond within the allotted amount of time.

Ask for a settlement

The final step is to contact whoever is suing you and discuss a settlement. You can offer a lump sum at a lower price, and pay it immediately in full. Typically you will be able to pay a lot less in this situation. Another option is to ask for smaller, more manageable payments on a schedule. Although this will not reduce the amount you pay, it can make it so that you do not have a default judgment placed against you.

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


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