Start My Answer

How to Walk Away from Credit Card Debt

Chloe Meltzer | December 02, 2022

Legal Expert
Chloe Meltzer, MA

Chloe Meltzer is an experienced content writer specializing in legal content creation. She holds a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, complemented by a Master’s in Marketing from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Not sure what to do about all your credit card debt? Thinking about just walking away? Find out how to walk about from credit card debt and if it's the right decision for you.

Credit card debt can feel like it is swallowing you whole, but if you do not pay it, then your credit score will take a big hit. If you do not care about owning a home, obtaining a rental lease, or being able to get a new credit card, then you might not care about your credit score.

However most people want to be able to have credit in their lifetime, so walking away from credit card debt is not always simple.

Respond to a debt collection lawsuit in 15 minutes with SoloSuit.

How walking away from debt usually goes

If you have decided to “walk away” from your credit card debt then you may have stopped making payments. After 30 days you should expect a letter or a call from your creditor. This will explain that you have missed a payment. At this point, it will most likely be reported to one or more of the credit bureaus.

After 60 days if you haven't paid, the creditors will most likely begin to call more. You may notice late fees, and penalty interest being added to your bill. You will notice your credit score begin to drop at this point.

After 90 days you will be declared in “default”. You will see your score continue to drop, and the account may be sold to a debt collection agency.

What happens when your debt goes to a collection agency

Once your debt has reached a collection agency the agency will report it as a collection account to the credit bureaus. You will see your credit score dramatically drop, and they will begin to pursue you aggressively. It is good to be aware that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act limits collection agency practices, but most often debt collectors will still push you to pay.

If you continue to walk away from your debt you may be served with a lawsuit. Collection agencies file millions of lawsuits every year and sometimes lose the required paperwork. This can be a good defense to a debt collection lawsuit.

If you do not respond to the lawsuit then a default judgment will be placed against you. They may be able to garnish your wages, place a lien against your property, or take money directly from your bank account.

Protect your wages from debt collectors by filing a response with SoloSuit.

It is also good to note that collection agencies typically buy debt for an average of 4 cents for every dollar of your debt. Because of this, many agencies are willing to settle your debt for less than you owe.

How to walk away from credit card debt

The best way to walk away is not to walk away. Despite this, if you choose to you will need to avoid multiple reminders from your creditors before it goes to collections. Since credit card debt is one of the most common forms of debt in the United States, you might find it easy to walk away, but this is not always the case. After 90 days you most likely will not be able to use your credit card, and debt collection will get more serious.

Your credit score will dramatically decrease. You may no longer be able to get a loan, and even if you do, you will have an incredibly high-interest rate putting you deeper into debt.

Once the collection agency begins to pursue you, you will be sued. If a judgment is placed against you then your wages could be garnished. Your only true option lies in hoping that the debt collector makes mistakes.

Make the right defense the right way with SoloSuit.

More options for dealing with your credit card debt

Because many people walk away from debt simply by ignoring the calls and letters, it is usually by accident. Most people want to avoid dealing with debt if they cannot pay them. Debt collectors assume you will never answer them, but you can choose to fight the lawsuit instead, and possibly have it dropped.

Debt collectors often purchase multiple debts at a time and at a lower price (as mentioned). If you happen to ask for proof that you owe the debt and they cannot provide that, the lawsuit will be dropped. The only way to force you to pay the debt, or obtain a judgment, is to prove that you are responsible for it. Should this paperwork be lost, they have no proof.

Another way to somewhat walk away from the debt is to settle it. This is by offering a lump sum of money in exchange to have the debt wiped clean (also known as satisfied). It is not the perfect option, but it is better than allowing your credit to be destroyed.

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

Get Started

>>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

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.

Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.

Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendant's Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouse's Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

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

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

You're Drowning in Debt — Here's How to Swim

Help! I'm Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Here's What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court