Citibank aggressively pursues delinquent debtors, even if they can’t afford to pay back what they owe. If Citibank has begun collection procedures against you, or has filed a lawsuit, waiting isn’t an option. Not only will Citibank attempt to collect the entire debt against you, you’ll also be on the hook for attorney’s fees and court costs. This can lead to garnished wages, seized bank accounts, liens, and other collection actions. But the good news is that there is a way out of overwhelming debt. The Fullman Firm regularly represents debtors against big corporations like Citibank. We can help you save money and stress through a Citibank debt settlement plan, and we can get started today.
What To Expect From a Citibank Debt Settlement
If you have credit card or other debt with Citibank, and you fall behind, there are a few potential steps the company will take next. Citibank may assign your debt to a debt collection company that works on its behalf to try to get as much money as it can. The more that the debt collector gets, the more they profit.
Another option is for Citibank to sell its debt to whomever will buy it. All that really happens is another company owns the debt. They still try to collect on it, just as Citibank would, often by farming it out to debt collection companies.
Or, Citibank could refer the case to one of their debt collection attorneys who will take legal action. The end result is the same: Citibank, or whoever ends up owning your debt, won’t stop until they get what they want.
I’ve Missed Several Payments; Now What?
You probably won’t hear from Citibank right away if you miss a month or two of payments. But your account will become delinquent and late fees will rack up during this time. Eventually, the bank will do what’s called a “charge-off.” This may sound like a good thing, but in reality, it doesn’t mean you’re no longer obligated to pay the debt. To the contrary, the charge-off merely triggers one of the above actions, which means the company, a debt collector, or a debt buyer will start ramping up collection efforts.
Regardless of who ends up holding the debt, collections usually start out with phone calls or letters. Debtors are often tempted to ignore these, believing that if they don’t answer the phone or respond to letters the company will give up and write off the debt. But if you owe the money, and especially if your delinquent balance is significant, Citibank will work to get it. And that includes filing a lawsuit if necessary.
What Should I Do If Citibank Sues Me?
The longer your delinquent account goes without action, the more likely Citibank (or whoever ends up owning the debt) will sue you. This process begins when the company files a summons and complaint in court. The summons orders you to answer the complaint. The complaint is the substantive part of the lawsuit. It describes, among other things, how much you owe, the allegation that you haven’t paid your debt, and the relief that Citibank is seeking.
You will have 30 days after being served with the complaint and summons to file an answer. If you don’t answer, Citibank will obtain a default judgment against you. The 30-day clock won’t run until Citibank has successfully served you with the legal papers. This leads some debtors to believe that if they dodge service long enough, the creditor won’t be able to do anything. But there are many methods of service, and all this does is delay the process while running up more legal fees and interest on your outstanding debt.
You are allowed to assert any legal defenses you have when you file an answer to a debt collection lawsuit. However, if you legitimately owe the money, there’s not much you can do. By this point, Citibank is going to ask for the entire balance plus any attorney’s fees, court costs, and interest.
Eventually your case will go to trial, and Citibank will obtain a judgment that specifies the amount you have to pay. Citibank can then use the judgment to garnish your wages, seize your bank account, and take other actions to satisfy the amount ordered against you.
What Is Debt Settlement?
Debt settlement is the best chance you have to negotiate a lower payoff amount with Citibank. Working with your debt settlement attorney, you can negotiate an agreement to pay a lump sum that is substantially less than the balance you owe. If you satisfy the terms of this agreement and pay the lump sum on time, your balance will be cleared and the collection efforts will end.
Not all debtors can afford to make a lump sum payment, although doing so puts them in the best negotiating position with Citibank. But you have other options, such as a payment plan or a lowered interest rate. The Fullman Firm has successfully negotiated numerous debt settlements with Citibank that allow our clients to save money and move on with their lives.
The Sooner You Act, The Better
If you’ve been sued, or even if a judgment has been entered against you, our firm can help. But by this point you will have lost a good deal of negotiating ground. That’s why we advise debtors to take action sooner rather than later. The earlier you get started, the more open Citibank will be to a debt settlement plan that is better for you.
Contact The Fullman Firm Today
Debt can be overwhelming, and trying to deal with Citibank on your own is daunting. Count on the experience of the Fullman Firm. We’ve negotiated favorable terms for our Citibank debtor clients, and we can start working on your case today. Give us a call to schedule your consultation.