No one likes to receive a collections notice. However, ignoring correspondence from a debt collector won’t make the problem go away. Debt collectors have several options available to them when debtors fail to pay. In this article, we explore the legal options available to debt collectors when you fail to pay a debt.
Regulating Debt Collectors
Debt collectors are strictly regulated at the federal and state levels. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) contains a list of rules that debt collectors are required to follow whenever they attempt to collect the debt. Although the FDCPA and other state and federal laws exist to protect consumers, they also provide a long list of legal actions debt collectors may take to collect money they are owed.
Debt Collectors Can Report to the Credit Bureaus
One action that a debt collector is permitted to take when you fail to pay is to report you to the three major credit bureaus. Collection accounts can remain on each of your credit reports for up to seven years from the date of default. This can lower your credit score and affect your ability to obtain certain types of loans.
Debt Collectors Can Contact You
Debt collectors may call and write you in an effort to collect a debt. In fact, debt collectors can even contact your friends and family to try to locate you. They may also call you at work unless you tell them not to. The FDCPA does, however, impose limitations on how and when debt collectors may contact you. For example, debt collectors can’t contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
Debt Collectors Can Sue
Unfortunately, debt collectors are permitted to file lawsuits against debtors when they are unable to collect a debt. If you ignore a debt collector’s collection requests, you may find yourself facing a debt collection lawsuit. If a debt collector sues you and is successful, or if you fail to respond to a debt collection lawsuit, the court will enter a default judgment against you. A default judgment can result in
- bank account levies,
- wage garnishment, and
- tax refund garnishment.
Therefore, if you have been contacted by a debt collector or have been served with a debt collection lawsuit, you should contact a California debt collection lawsuit attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a California Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Attorney
If you’ve been sued by a debt collector in California, you should contact a debt collection lawsuit defense attorney immediately. At the Fullman Firm, our debt collection defense attorneys have almost 50 years of combined debt collection lawsuit defense experience. When you choose us to fight your debt collection lawsuit, our knowledgeable attorneys will do everything in our power to ensure that your case is a success. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.