Hearing the words “you’ve been served” and being handed a stack of official court documents in terrifying for anyone. If you’ve been sued for not paying back a debt you may feel overwhelmed or helpless, especially when you know you defaulted on the debt. But you are not helpless, there are legal tools to get you out of debt, and our firm wants to help you so that you do not feel so overwhelmed.
What Happens If You Ignore A Lawsuit From Your Credit Card Company
If you do not file an answer, and otherwise ignore the lawsuit, the plaintiff creditor can get a default judgment against you. A default judgment gives the creditor rights to aggressive collection action, including:
- Wage Garnishment
- Bank Account Levy/Garnishment
- Lien on Property
These collection actions are powerful and may be devastating if you’re already struggling financially and trying to make ends meet.
Wage garnishment is when money is taken directly out of your paycheck before you receive it, and sent to your creditor. Pursuant to Georgia state law, O.C.G.A. 18-4-64 the judgment creditor must provide proper notice of their intent to pursue garnishment. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, including personal service, service to your attorney of record, or mail. Learn more about wage garnishment in our article Bankruptcy Stops Wage Garnishment.
Bank Account Levy/Garnish
A bank levy is when your bank account is frozen and money is seized by your creditor to satisfy the judgment against you.
Lien on Property
Creditors with a judgment or default judgment can place a lien on real property. This is an encumbrance or a claim on your property. When you sell the property you will be required to pay the judgment out of the proceeds of the sale.
Face The Lawsuit Head-On
Ignoring the lawsuit is not a solution. Once you are served, the lawsuit is in motion and it is critical that you face it head-on. You have the right to defend yourself. You may have valid defenses to prevent the creditor from getting a judgment against you.
For example, the Georgia statute of limitations may have run. There is a limit on how long a creditor has to bring legal action against you for unpaid debt. To get the case against you dismissed based on a statute of limitations violation you must face the lawsuit head-on and assert the defense.
If your only debt problem is with the lawsuit, then it is imperative that you avoid a default judgment. If you do not defend yourself the Court will set the judgment amount at the figure the plaintiff creditor asks for, plus penalties and interest that continue to accrue. You may owe less than the amount they are seeking, or you may be able to settle the lawsuit before it goes to trial.
If your debt problem is bigger than just this lawsuit, be honest with yourself about it. It may be time to explore how bankruptcy can help you get out of debt. Bankruptcy will put a stop to this pending lawsuit and prevent the filing of future lawsuits for unpaid debts that were incurred prior to filing for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy can erase debts and prevent wage garnishment, bank levies, and property liens.
Contact us for a free consultation. Together we’ll explore how bankruptcy can help you stop lawsuits, eliminate judgments, and erase debts.
We proudly serve the people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, including Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Ludowici, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, and Garden City.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.