debt notice

Can a Debt Collector Take You to Court?

If you’ve received a collection notice from a debt collector, you may be fearing the worst. You may be wondering whether the debt collector will attempt to take you to court if you fail to pay. First, a debt collector certainly can file a lawsuit against you in court. Whether a debt collector will take you to court, however, depends on several factors, including the circumstances of the debt and the age of the debt. 

Potential Consequences of a Debt Collection Lawsuit

If a debt collector files a lawsuit against you, you should receive a summons providing you with the details of the case. It is very important that you respond to the lawsuit by the due date. In fact, you must respond to the lawsuit even if you don’t believe the debt belongs to you. If you fail to respond to a debt collection lawsuit and default judgment may be entered against you and the debt collection may do any of the following:

  • Garnish your wages
  • Seize your personal property
  • Place liens on your property
  • Levy your bank accounts

How Often Do Debt Collectors Take Debtors to Court?

According to a 2017 report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, around 15% of Americans who’ve been contacted by a debt collector about a debt have been sued. Whether a debt collector will file a lawsuit varies from situation to situation. 

Steps to Take if You’ve Been Sued by a Debt Collection Agency 

If you’ve been sued by a debt collection agency, you should take the following steps:

  • Gather documentation: After being served with a debt collection lawsuit, you should gather relevant documentation, including proof that the debt doesn’t belong to you or that the lawsuit was filed outside California’s statute of limitations for debt.
  • Pursue settlement: If the debt in question belongs to you, you may want to try to negotiate a settlement with the collection agency. 
  • Fight the lawsuit: If settling your debt isn’t an option, you should prepare to defend the lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have multiple defenses available to you. 

Contact a California Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Attorney

Finally, before you take any of the steps above, you should contact an experienced California debt collection lawsuit defense attorney. At the Fullman Firm, our experienced debt collection lawsuit attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience protecting the rights of consumers, and we take tremendous pride in helping people fight back against powerful debt collectors. When you contact us for help, we will guide you through the legal process and do everything in our power to ensure that your debt collection case has a successful result. Please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.