Can Credit Card Companies Sue You?

Posted by CreditCardGuru

Q: Can you be sued for credit card debt? What can I expect after I stop paying my bills?

A: Well, let me first start off by saying I am not a lawyer. Nothing that follows is legal advice.

What can you expect in the near term?

First bill is not paid
For the first bill that is not paid, a late fee will be applied which will probably be $35, depending on the balance and card issuer. Any payment that is between 1 and 30 days late is a “30 day late payment” so that is where you will be at after the due date passes. That being said, many banks don’t bother reporting 30 day late payments (so you can probably still pay and avoid a late payment being reported). The late fee and newly accrued interest will rollover to the next bill.

Second bill is not paid
Once the due date passes on the second bill, that’s a 60 day late payment. At this point, your APR will almost certainly go up to the default/penalty rate (which is usually around 30%). This rate increase after a 60 day late payment is permitted under the credit card reform laws, regardless of whether or not you’ve had your account open less than one year. That higher rate and another late fee will be reflected on the following statement.

Third bill is not paid
Now the credit card account is 90 days late. The debt will be growing even faster right now, because you have the late fees that have been added onto the balance and interest is probably now accruing at close to 30%.

Fourth bill is not paid
At 120 days late, it’s quite obvious you won’t be paying the bill and the account will likely be charged off. Even while the debt is in collections, the interest will continue piling up.

Can credit card companies sue you at this point? Yes, they can take whatever actions they wish under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and suing you is one of the options. But how often do credit card companies sue for not paying debt? Well, the likelihood depends on a number of factors including the amount owed and the creditor (some are more aggressive than others). However more often than not, instead of the credit card company suing you directly, they sell the debt off to a third-party collection agency.

What happens if you are sued for credit card debt?

Assuming the credit card company is still holding onto the debt, you can be sued anytime within the statue of limitations (which vary state by state). That means it may be possible for them to sue now or years from now, up to whenever the statue of limitations is.

If a lawsuit is filed and you get sued, then the judgment is typically for the full amount of the debt, plus interest and fees, as well as court costs and attorney fees. How that judgment can be enforced will depend on the state you live. In some states it might be possible for a creditor to request seizure of bank account balances or to place a lien on your house (but don’t worry, it’s highly unlikely that a credit card company can take your house). To the best of my knowledge, I believe all states allow wage garnishment by creditors except for Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina (these are states where it still might be possible under certain conditions – i.e. if it’s the only way to fulfill a judgment).

Ultimately, this is something you need to consult an attorney for – to both find out how you should handle it and what a creditor can and cannot do to enforce a judgment in your state. I understand that if you’re in this circumstance, you’re probably saying “I can’t afford an attorney!” Well I have good news for you – cities and counties provide free legal aid sources where qualifying individuals can go get help without paying a dime. LawHelp.org provides free legal aid referral information for all 50 states.

Conclusion?

Can a credit card company sue you for debt? Yes. I wouldn’t say it’s extremely likely but it is possible and the amount of debt, the credit card company, and the state you live in will probably all be factors in whether or not it actually happens.

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105 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Babs July 28, 2014 at 8:31AM

    We are in our 80′s, live in Florida and have only retirement income. Consumer credit counseling advised we quit paying credit cards. We have a reverse mortgage with no equity. Should we write to creditors and tell them we have no eRned income or just quit paying.

  2. jennifer a. March 31, 2014 at 12:36PM

    Hi I just received a call from a credit card company thats saying they are suing me for $1,100 & taking my nursing licenses away.I don’t mind paying the settlement they offered but why would they threaten to take my LPN license they don’t have anything to do with that & if that is the case then No license No money They really won’t get paid then! I live in Virginia can they do that? Thanks

  3. DBinTN March 15, 2014 at 5:33PM

    Ok. I was served paperwork with a court date today on a credit card debt that is about 2 years old (about $8000 now). This particular debt was sold a couple of times to debt collectors and was written off of the books in June of 2013 by the original credit card company. What I know is that my bills (all necessities) are just shy of my income and there is barely anything left over for food, gas, etc. I live pretty slim. I’m not sure what to do. This is a debt collector company so I’m surprised they’re even suing me.

    Should I call them and see about some type of payment plan? Should I go to court and show them that I don’t have anything left to pay and keep my fingers crossed? Should I ask for some type of discovery? Lawyer (which I cannot afford)? I do have a house and a car so I’m a little worried about them. Please any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    • alexis July 5, 2014 at 8:18PM

      hi we don’t any money left to pay credit cards but paying our mg truck payment etc

  4. Melissa Rhodes March 12, 2014 at 8:34PM

    I live in North Carolina I’m being sued by Capital One my bill is only worth 1,000 now I was served with papers now I owe 2200 I think it’s crap that I’m being sued and I can loose my car.I’m a single parent of two young kids I need my car to work.that’s the only thing I own.I didn’t plan on not paying my card I just got behind.the company I have been working at for the past 8yrs told me they couldn’t work with my schedule anymore.so management knows that I’m a single parent.now I’m partime with no benefits working only 19hrs a week unfortunately I lost my full-time job since I can’t be available at all times. I have really no money at this time to pay it off.

    • Miss Karen March 15, 2014 at 6:32PM

      Melissa,
      There should be a legal aid clinic that can help you so get an appointment or find out about their walk-in schedule right away. In the meantime, do your research online! You can sometimes get low cost help from paralegal or ‘executive’ legal services. YOU MUST ANSWER THE SUMMONS TO THE COURT THE PROPER WAY AND IN A TIMELY MANNER! There is a LOT of info online. State your position. Has the Statute of limitations expired? Have they validated/verified the debt is yours with PROPER DOCUMENTATION (They may need to have the original signed contract on hand in Court to prevail). There are also things that make you JUDGEMENT PROOF so check your state laws. I don’t think you can quit to avoid a judgement but if you were laid off and had to apply for welfare??? I hate to say it but crappy pay and only 19 hours per week isn’t enough for a single Mom and her children to live on anyway, is it? My friend was a victim of domestic violence and had to leave her home with her two young daughters. She now gets the equivalent of $2,500 tax free benefits in food stamps, section 8 housing, free medical and some cash on welfare in Alameda County, California. That allows her to stay home with her children while they are young. It’s important. She also gets education benefits so she can go to school later and get off welfare. She is judgement proof. Think about that. Good luck to you.

  5. undray March 4, 2014 at 8:41PM

    I have defaulted on at least five credit for large amount never pay it back 7 years later same company gave me a credit card for a large amount North Carolina is a great state for debt

  6. Brittany January 15, 2014 at 2:31PM

    Hi there, I had a credit card back in 2009 with Capital One, the total was only 1100$, now a week ago this guy started calling me to meet to get these papers he had for me. the end of the first week i tried meeting with him but he said ill have to wait until he has time bc he was going out of town. finally met with him, he says he was delivering papers bc i was being sued, mind you it is 2014, i had the credit card 5 years ago. i opened the paper and half of the info is not filled out like where the officer would have to sign and fill out when i was served and such. a random guy gave me these papers, anyways along with being half empty, the official seal was photo copied on it. doesnt it have to be a actual stamp? also why woulndt it be all filled out? it also says the card was charged off jan2013, that was a year ago, why would i be sued for so little? the court costs would exceed that amount. Also i was only given 14 days to respond, is this real?

    • Jennifer February 5, 2014 at 3:38AM

      Hi Brittany,
      I was sued by Capital One as well. Same situation-I had the card five years ago. The amount I owed was $600 and they decided to sue. I found the papers shoved under my door and they weren’t all filled out and the seal was photocopied. I was under impression that they had to hand deliver in person? And they never once attempted to call me or send me a letter about my debt-I figured it was because of a trifling amount. I ended up doing nothing because an attorney was more than I could afford at the time (I had been laid off right before) and because I thought it wasn’t official. Then I got a notice from a judge that a judgment had been filed against me. I would definitely take it seriously and try to come up with the money for an attorney or represent yourself in the court room.

  7. Lisa January 2, 2014 at 1:50PM

    Have just been contacted by a debt collector saying are sending out papers to appear in court for a debt from 2005. I live in Texas. After reading some of the posts, I am not so sure it is a good idea to try to come to a settlement amount with the debt collection agency. Don’t want to wait til it goes to court because the amount they would be suing for is triple the original amount. Can anyone offers some advice on this matter.

    • Tammy January 5, 2014 at 1:16PM

      I would check the statute of limits on this debt. Texas statutes are only four years on most debts then person can not be sued. I would check with an attorney or research more on the internet.

    • Mariska January 29, 2014 at 1:56PM

      I just got a call yesterday about a credit card debt that is over 10 yrs old yesterday. I just called them back and the lady asked if I had gotten my court papers yet? I said no. I said this bill is over 10 yrs old you cant do this. She said that they could. Can they? Please help.

      • undray March 4, 2014 at 8:29PM

        no after 7 years

      • kitty March 11, 2014 at 4:50PM

        No they can’t if the statue of limitations was already up. Look up the amount of time of that in your state. It most likely was already exceeded, so they can’t do anything.

    • DB February 1, 2014 at 11:18AM

      i got sued once by a cc company. first of all, if its been more than 7 years, they may not even have a case unless you agreed that the debt was yours. second, if its been that long, its probably been sold more than a few times to new debt collectors. you have the right to what’s called discovery and they have to hand over any evidence they have against you. In most cases, they have nothing because the paper work on you gets lost after a couple times being sold. my case got dropped after i asked for discovery.

    • Rjmommy February 4, 2014 at 5:10PM

      If it’s been 7 yrs or more they can’t sue you!

      • B Allen March 8, 2014 at 12:50AM

        But keep in mind that if you pay just a penny or agree in writing to pay after the 7 years the statute of limitation. If you do, the 7 years (or whatever it is in your state) starts over.

    • undray March 4, 2014 at 8:43PM

      Call the court you being sue in and also after 7 years they cannot sue you its being charge off your credit took a hit

  8. chris December 27, 2013 at 7:37AM

    I live in pa. can they take my home ,car. ssi security?

    • Anonymous January 10, 2014 at 9:24PM

      While it is very unlikely that they will take your property, it is possible once they obtain judgement that they can put a lien on it, so when you try selling or refinancing your house, proceeds from the sale must first pay off that lien. Regarding your SSI, typically they can’t do a wage garnishment, because they aren’t necessarily wages; however, they could take they money by doing a bank garn. Still, you may be able to claim you money in the bank as protected/exempt funds considering they come from your SSI

    • hayfa February 5, 2014 at 9:08PM

      Hi, they cannot touch your SSi and they cannot seize an account that has SSI deposited into it.

  9. sharon December 26, 2013 at 1:52PM

    I have been served with a summons for a credit card that the bank sold I write a responds to the court with in 20 days. now I got some papers that the company filing a request for a judgement. can they get a judgment with court day and if I get a court sate can I asked for a payment plan and pay monthly? the amount was $9400 now they are saying I owe $11000 and they add that amount on I live in Florida.

    • Jasmin January 1, 2014 at 6:20PM

      OMG!!! the same thing just happened to me. I was served this past Sat, and the amount was around $6,000. They are charging me $8000. I am requesting a payment plan. I am not working, but I do not know if they can go after my husband. I had this card before we were married. I am trying to do my research incase they do not except my $50month and they decide to take me to court. I cannot afford a lawyer.

      • hayfa February 5, 2014 at 9:10PM

        figure out how long it has been and sometimes it is worth going to court. They have to show proof it is your debt.
        If your debt has been sold, they may not have any information. Also depending on your state, it might be passed the SOL
        Good luck

  10. katy p. December 13, 2013 at 9:56AM

    My debt is less then 500 should I really worry about this lawsuit? I dont knoaw what to do im a single mom and dont have 500 to pay in full to a debt collector… help please

    • LAZER/// December 27, 2013 at 1:25PM

      Your credit and good name is worth much more than 500 bucks…I would find a way to pay it because at some point in your life you’ll want to get credit extended to you for something (house, car), and that will hold you back. I wouldn’t really worry about a lawsuit though. They’ll probably just let you rack up a bunch of fees and interest and then sell your debt to another company.

  11. Mary December 8, 2013 at 9:31AM

    I live in NC and just got sued by Target Credit card. I owe them less than $5000. I’m thinking about calling the lawyer and try to come up with a payment plan so I don’t have to go to court. Any thoughts?

    • undray March 4, 2014 at 8:36PM

      If it is on your credit then you still owe it but check credit before you pay anything

  12. Bonnie November 24, 2013 at 6:32AM

    I had an attorney tell me last week, that these debt consolidation companys have no legal, or any leverage on getting your interest rates dropped down, or the amount owed dropped down. I know of a man who went thru one of these company’s, and was paying as the consolidation company had instructed him to do, and he still got sued over one of the cards, and which he had to pay that debt of 5000.00. So they do not help you. It’s another way to fool the public, and take your money. They get a certain percentage of the payment you pay them each month.

  13. Bonnie November 24, 2013 at 6:27AM

    It appears to me, it’s not the credit card company that is suing for the debt. They have already charged it off, and took a loss. It’s a way for these scum bag collection agencys to pay little for the debt, then want you to pay them the full amount you owed the credit card company, who now could care less about the money. I think all of us should have went to law school, so we would know who is taking us for a ride. Which I believe the collection agencys R, and getting away with it.

  14. Bonnie November 24, 2013 at 6:23AM

    I had heard that if I owe a credit card company, that just because a collection agency buys the paper for pennys on the dollar. That I don’t owe the collection agency, I only owe the cc company. I didn’t sign any contracts with the collection agency. How can this be legal? Like If I buy a car, and I don’t pay for it, it goes back, now the car company sells that debt to the collection agency, do I now owe the collection agency for a car that I never bought from them in the first place. I think I still only owe the car company with whom the only contract was signed. Now if the CC company charges off the debt, then how legally can the debt collector have the right to come and bring up the debt again? Just another way to cheat people out of money.
    President Obama, told the CC company’s your not going to keep raising interest rates after a certain date. So he gave them a yr to do whatever. So what did they do, everyone one of them, shot those interest rates right on up to 32% whether or not your had been paying on time, and had good credit. This is what happened. If you were living on a budget, and paying all your bills, they shoot up the interest so high, that now it’s not fitting into your budget. THIS IS JUST WRONG. No wonder people can’t get them paid off.

    • John December 13, 2013 at 7:48PM

      Thank’s to our GOV., they screwed every credit card holder!! The lobbiest hired by Visa & MC paid big bucks to our congressman to pass the credit reform law. On the news, congress did this to help the people but in the back room, congress lined there pockets & gave the credit card co’s the ok to charge what ever they want. I have 840 credit score,was paying 5.5% interest then after the law it went to 18.99% in a month just because they could do it with out a reason. Thank You Congress!! (WE PASSED THIS LAW TO HELP AMERICAN’S,WINK-WINK SUCKERS)

  15. Cynthia November 12, 2013 at 3:11PM

    I have a credit card court judgement against me since 2007, I never received any notice giving an opportunity to plead my case in court. I started paying what I could but the interest rate keeps going up, now they are getting judgment against my state of Michigan income tax, the original debt was about 4,000 but with interest and attorney fees and court fees, it is now over 8,000 dollars, I have paid almost 3900 but with interest and court, and attorney fees looks like I can never pay this debt off is there a limit to this madness of interest fees court cost?

  16. Gail November 5, 2013 at 9:23AM

    I am a senior, 65 and my only source of income is social security, which is very minimal. I broke my wrist before i was eligibe for Meidicare and incurred medical bills that have been difficult for me to pay. I have about $10,000 in credit card debt along with the medical bills. I have always had good credit and still do but I simply cannot manage these overwhelming bills. I live in Oregon and the laws here are similar to those in Texas. I own a mobile home and also own a 10 year old car. Will i lose my home and my car if i stop paying. Please advise. Thank you.

  17. Isa November 4, 2013 at 2:13PM

    I am recent college graduate working on getting my first job and fixing my credit. I recently sent out letters requesting Debt Validation to a couple of creditors. Today I received a reply from CENTENNIAL(FIRST PREMIER®BANK)Credit Card Company. The letter say’s as follows ” We received your request for a copy of your applications. You applied for a credit card account via Internet of by phone on 02/17/2007. We are unable to provide application copies that were processed electronically. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused”. Does this mean that the debt has been verified? Can I submit this to the CRA’s of lack of proof? What are my chances this account will be deleted from my credit report?

    Thank you very much for your time..

  18. Allan Henry October 24, 2013 at 12:07PM

    How did this credit card debt lawsuit turn out for you? Generally collection companies will file suit as a way to scare debtors into paying. Junk debt collectors normally do not fight very hard as it is just not worth it to them. Its all a numbers game when it comes to collecting. Collectors purchase the debt for pennies on the dollar and once they turn a profit on the paper in the portfolio that meets there minimum your collection immediately gets lost on the way side. They forget about you because they really don’t care. The would rather spend their time with other easy low hanging fruit sort of speak debtors then rack up their costs over your lawsuit. Lawsuit is a means of settlement. No more no less. You get what you negotiate.

  19. JOE September 27, 2013 at 2:27PM

    TO JON >> YOU ARE AN A**HOLE!

    I can’t wait for things to go wrong for you. Yeah, it is our debt. And guess what? Most of us WANT to pay it. The problem is, you don’t pay YOUR debt. You pay YOUR debt + pretty much whatever else they want you to. If they worked with people, and said, “we understand, we’ll start you at X amount, and work up from there.” But they don’t do that. Late fees, over the limit fees, increase your rates… It’s messed up. Jon, I hope you have kids. And I hope you get to co-sign for their cc to go to college. LOL, but then again, ppl like you don’t have problems. People like you ARE the problem! Until you have problems. And I can’t wait.

  20. mary September 12, 2013 at 6:14AM

    5 years ago i lost 2 of my 3 jobs. I was newly divorced and had to work all the time. I stopped paying on a credit card and things kept getting worse. Eventually i lost my last job, i was unemployed for a year and a half. It’s been about 6 years now and i got a letter in the mail from some law firm saying i was being sued and they could represent me. I didn’t know how to take this letter and thought maybe it was a scam. Later i came home to a letter on my doorstep saying i was being sued and i need to call the number on the letter so they could serve me papers or they would tape those documents to my door and consider me served. I am very stressed out for fear of them coming to my work or waiting for me somewhere. This is a 6 year problem. I’m not saying i don’t want to pay my debt but my credit has been less than good for some time now. My question is, why now and is it even worth it? I would like to pay the debt but i don’t have 5 k laying around and i’m afraid if i tell them i would like to make payments, they won’t accept what i can afford.

  21. KA September 3, 2013 at 7:09AM

    I am receiving calls about a credit card debt of less that $3000. I cannot pay the debt. Should I worry about anything, lawsuit, etc with with being that little of an amount or will they eventually just charge it off? I live in Georgia.

  22. Krissy July 30, 2013 at 7:12AM

    Hi! I have about $8,000 CC debt b/t a few cards. I have missed a couple months. The credit card companies are calling me nonstop all day at home & WORK up to approx. 9pm. I am single mom. A lot has happened over the few months to change my financial circumstances & ability to pay incl. them raising interest rate out of nowhere simply because they can. I would love to pay them & be able to pay, because who actually WANTS bad credit? I never thought I would be in this situation but I am a single mom now in over my head constantly working just to keep a roof over my child’s head & food on the table. I don’t know what to do at all. Any advice would help.

    • MG August 21, 2013 at 8:18PM

      The most important things are food and shelter for you and your child.You can ask the credit card companies to stop calling you at work (usually in writing) and by law they must stop calling. Its not the end of the world if you dont pay them. If you have some money you could ask them for loan forgiveness and pay back a portion of what you owe. Or ask them to reduce the interest rates.

    • hayfa February 5, 2014 at 9:17PM

      Hi Krissy,
      Purchase a phone (cheap) that allows you to block calls. This will alleviate the stress. Also, if you tell them not to call you or contact you at work, they have to do it. You can request communciate via mail, email etc.
      Good luck

  23. Terri June 21, 2013 at 4:20PM

    I am being sued by Hunt & Henriques in CA for $10,100. Citibank has “charged off” this debt. I was served a summons and need to answer that summons. Which form do I fill out (specific #)? If the account was charged off and Citibank took a loss and possibly a tax exemption for it, how can they be sueing me. Citibank is listed as the plaintiff. Please help….I’m running out of time. Thank you.

    • Jamie August 1, 2013 at 9:55PM

      Hi, I hope you already filed an answer. I had a paralegal do it for me.It was too hard and confusing to do it myself. I to was sued by Hunt and Henriques. This was a bad collection agency. Very rude and they will definitely take every court action to get the money. The judge granted me a debt mediation to try to work out a payment plan, but these idiots didnt budge. They are terminators. My only solution was to file chapter 7, but you must answer legally in court, or they will win and garnish wages,cease bank accounts etc. Good luck to you. I HATE HUNT AND HENRIQUES, but they didnt get anything from me……

  24. Jen June 12, 2013 at 4:24PM

    I live in Az judgements against me. my ex was to pay spouse maintaintence the only money I had , now doesn’t want to pay and I can’t pay my credit cards ? They have judgements against me ! Have health problems will need to apply for disability? Don’t know what to do!

    • Ivy May 5, 2014 at 11:51PM

      Jen, my reply comes after almost 1 year since your post. I live in AZ too. I recommend a book called: HOW TO FILE FOR CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY by Stephen Elias. I got the book from the library. You want the 18th edition. Very easy to understand solutions AND there is a section called Do Nothing regarding your debt. I know it sounds crazy but, it’s in the book.

      Also searched for PRO BONO Bankruptcy lawyers. Lots of help out there depending on where you live.
      Go here for more information and phone numbers: ‘Phoenix pro bono bankruptcy law’ section of “Phoenix Bankruptcy News dot com” Hope it helps

  25. Sam allie May 26, 2013 at 7:48PM

    I have unsecured credit card balance of appx. 27 k Mostof it with Amer. express Optima. I do owe it but been hospitalized for three months then under nurse care since at home. I have let them know that I put my house on market and trying to sell it to pay debts. They turned it third party and they threaten litigation. I am 67 yrs. old and only income I have is social security. Will probably not be able to work again. What can I do? I live in Missouri. The home and a 5 yr. old cheap car is my only assets.

  26. Mike May 23, 2013 at 2:47PM

    Hello, had credit card that charged off in PA. Can anyone tell me what if anything can happen. Own home but because of market no equity and still paying mortgage. If they get a lien what does that mean?

  27. cen May 21, 2013 at 7:24PM

    Pressler and Pressler froze my checking account on behalf of palisade collections, but they will not give me any information on the debt debt I owe. I tried making a police report and I cannot get 1. I’m in New York City and I need help.

    • Emily June 4, 2013 at 2:22PM

      They must have gotten a judgement against you somewhere. Check the county court where you live and then read up online! They seem to be a fraud. Pressler & Pressler (collection attorneys) own Palisades Collections. I defeated them in NJ because they could not prove that the debt was mine. You may be able to get the default judgement lifted if you were never served with the complaint. I hear that they purposely send it to an old address so you don’t receive it and they get a judgement in their favor when you don’t appear in court. http://www.presslerclub.com/

    • Anne August 15, 2013 at 8:42PM
  28. Diane S. May 6, 2013 at 9:48AM

    I have a couple of questions…if the original credit card company hires a law firm and let’s say, that the law firm says it is “a debt collector”, but the original credit card company is the plaintiff in a suit against you, does the law firm have to follow the rules and regulations of the FDCPA? Under the FDCPA, it says all “debt collectors” and this law firm is openly admitting that they are a debt collector (because it written all over their paperwork), doesn’t that mean they must follow those rules? And is there any way to find out if your debt has been sold? Will the original the credit card company tell you if they still own your debt or if they sold it?
    Thank You!

    • Emily June 4, 2013 at 2:26PM

      Yes they have to follow the same rules. You should write a letter to the collection agency asking for the following: a copy of the original credit card contract (containing the terms and conditions of repayment) which you signed at the cash register (note: this is NOT a copy of the credit card application.) b) a copy of the contract wherein the collection agency purchased the account from your credit card company and c) a copy of the creditors last billing statement. If they cannot produce these three things, they do not own your debt nor do they have the right to collect it.

  29. Denise L April 6, 2013 at 1:09PM

    I live in CA & I got a summons from Discover card, I owe them $17,823.20. There is no court date, just the summons saying I need to reply within 30 days. This is a bill I ended up with following a divorce. (Hubby ran up all the cards before he left).I cannot afford to pay it, I am now on disability & my spousal support will end in August. I am renting, I short sold the house when he left. I would pay this bill if I could, but I just can’t, I’m living payment to payment. The papers say the forms alone to file are $370! They do say if you can’t afford that there are some forms to fill out where you can ask the court to waive the fee. Should I even do that? I do owe them the money just can’t afford to pay. Can they take my car? It’s my only means of transportation. What should I do? Tks!

    • James June 4, 2013 at 8:36AM

      Discover is known to be ruthless in going after debtors. They are the only card that does not sell it’s bad accounts and always keeps in house. You need an attorney. I suggest you contact your local legal aid society to see if they can help you.

      • tony p. March 21, 2014 at 6:22PM

        .That is not always true.I’m in Michigan and Dicover tuned my debt over to a collection agency.

  30. Siddartha March 20, 2013 at 6:01PM

    I can give my personal acct. which i think is interesting, and can be tried by anyone.
    i was sued by a collection agency for approx. $11 K.
    first i got the summons, the server said it was just to set a court date, nothing important…i went anyway.
    all those that didn’t go, had judgements placed against them for the alleged amount.
    there were about 15 people in the courtroom. as they were called, they went up and told a hard luck story. the judge listened, then found them owing (which they acknowledged. and basically told them to arrange terms with the collection agency.
    i said i DID NOT OWE the debt.
    i was sent to mediation…in a backroom with a group of mediators and the lawyer for the plaintiff.
    we couldn’t meet a deal, so back out i went to the courtroom.
    the judge told me that if it’s found that i owe 1 dollar, I’ll be responsible for the plaintiff’s lawyer fees, and i might win the battle and lose the war. then he asked the lawyer how many pieces of evidence he will bring (to the next hearing). he said 4, i was asked the same thing, i said 5
    about a month later, court date. i appeared and signed in. at the appointed time, myself and the lawyer were led to a small room, the judge was there waiting for us.
    after the pleasantries, the lawyer produced the assignment papers his client had regarding the bank assigning the note/debt to them.
    i didn’t had anything to produce, but i had this to say.
    “i do not contest the right of the creditor to sell and or assign the debt note to the plaintiff, nor do i contest their right to buy it at a discount and attempt to collect it.
    However, Before i was offered credit, The lender ran my credit report and assessed the RISK i was.When i was late, They revised the risk, and upped my interest rate.
    Now, you know all businesses are there to make money, But they also have top Take a RISK. If they are successful, they get to make money, If they are not, they take the loss. and they hope to win more than they lose.
    I feel I PAID IN FULL for the money i got in those Interest Rates that were RISK RELATED.
    The Plaintiff no doubt too a RISK buying up bad credit noted for pennies on the dollar, Well THEY have to FACE THE RISKS, Now when they don’t or can’t collect, They come running to the judge, You Sir, For you to enforce that they have a RISK FREE GUARANTEED Make Tons Of Money-NO RISK, .
    The Bank Took their loss , Charged it off, Took a Tax Credit, Sold the paper, Got a few more bux and kissed it goodbye, If i pay this company, in full, The bank won’t give back the taxpayer the savings they got and give back this company their funds…
    They should know You win some, you lose some, That’s in any business, And this is one they lose, Because i lost my job and ability to repay.”
    The judge then said “I’ll review the case, and you can expect my final judgement on this matter within 10 days.
    about 8 days later, i got the disposition.
    In a nutshell. the main sentence was “The Plaintiff gets nothing, and the defendant goes without day ” meaning WALKS .
    That’s My Personal Experience, I live in Central Florida.

    In another case, i settled a $5,000.00 CC debt for $1250.00. I got a tax form for $3750.00 GIFT Income from the bank and had to pay tax on it like Income Tax,
    Be careful when settling.
    Good luck.

  31. Eli orm January 29, 2013 at 9:20PM

    hi, I owe 10,000 on my 4 credit cards and I am 4 month behind on all my CC. two weeks ago I joined care one ( a settlement company ), they collect 30% success fee, so far only bank of america has agreed to the settlement of 50%, commerce bank have refused and the two other cc companies have not responded. Was it a good idea joining a settlement company and if so, what is the likelihood of being sued ? is it possible that they can still sue me even know I am currently enrolled with Care one and trying to offer something at least better than nothing ?? the money now is going into an escrow account. I have an 19000$ student loan and I am trying not to go default on it which is one of the reasons why I got behind on my bills. hp you can help me with any comments, thanx!

  32. Mark January 5, 2013 at 10:47AM

    Help!! So hopefully someone can answer this that has experience with this. I live in Iowa and have been served an “Original notice and Petition for a Money Judgement” by Capital One. It says
    1) You are notified that plaintiff demands from you $2,600 plus interest rate….A verification/affidavit of account from the Plaintiff is attached as Exhibit 1.

    2) Judgement may be entered against you unless file an Appearance and Answer within 20 days of the original notice upon you.

    3.) You must electronically file an Appearance and Answer using the Iowa Judicial Branch Electronic System (EDMS) at http://www.iowacourts.state.ia.us/EFile unless you obtain from the court an exemption from electronic filing requirements.

    4.) If your appearance and Answer is filed within 20 days and you deny the claim, you will receive electronic notification through EDMS of the place and time of the hearing on this matter.

    5.) If your Appearance and Answer is filed within 20 days and you deny the claim, you will receive electronic notification through EDMS of the place and time of the hearing on this matter.

    Signed by the Law office

    WHAT DO I DO! Someone knocked on my door and gave me this, I cannot afford to pay the whole amount in full as I am a student, but I can probably make small payments, is there a way to do that without going to court? Or do I have to go to court now regardless?

    Any help would be really appreciated.

  33. Hope2Getout&StandLater December 26, 2012 at 9:06AM

    I was once in a whole heap of debt with credit cards. And yes I made that debt, but because I called them before a late payment, because I forsaw I was overextended and I tried to get them to just let me close the account, stop the late and interest and just pay what I owe at this time. They won’t!! I paid them more than $15,000 dollars, lost my home before I realized, I can’t pay them off. I never will. The interest and fees are too much. I wished I had kept my money and my house. I was a fool trying to pay them.

    SO my advice is if you have a home and a decent running car. If you live in a state which will not allow them to garnish your wages. Don’t worry about the lien on the house cause until you sell or die, they can’t get or do anything to you anyway. I say default, change your number, go to court if ordered, answer the phone if they call and make up a statement that you say, such as. “I am on a fixed income. Times are very hard for me at this time, I heard your concerns and you have a good day.” Then hang up the phone.

    One day, should you want to restore your credit and you are able to negotiate with them, then do so. Stop worrying and fretting. Credit card companies can only do what the law allows. They will harass you and try to scare you, but that is a tactic, ignore it and move on with your life. Learn from your mistake. Keep one card in good standing and let the rest go. Close bank accounts temporarily or open one in a family member, whom you are the only one with access. Say an out of state account, where the statements are online only. Times are hard, and we all are poor and sometimes you overextend yourself, but hope to get out now and then when you can pay them off, you and your credit can stand later. Until then, keep your money. Keep one card in good standing. Answer the phone, until you change your number, and learn your state laws. Open an account in a family members name and don’t make the same mistake ever again.

    • Jon March 20, 2013 at 2:47PM

      That is the stupidest advice ever! How about stop spending beyound your means? If you are behind..stop spending!! Lying (aka: opening an account in a family members name) is just that…a lie. You are telling people to be fools and try to hide form the system. It is fools like you that are causing a lot of issues in this country. Why am I even trying to comment to your post. Your an idiot.

      • KeeptheFaith August 10, 2013 at 8:08AM

        Give the person a break. They say in the last sentence to not ever make the same mistake again. How do you know how people get their bills? Maybe an emergency comes up and they need money to pay for it. The majority of time people are going bankrupt for medical reasons and it is not because of over spending. The banks “rate jacking” are not helping matters either.

      • Wes October 30, 2013 at 11:14AM

        Jon, We’re living in a country that is printing an extra trillion bucks a year out of thin air, that waters down the value of our savings and threatens our children’s future. Living with a government that is so dysfunctional that it shuts down for weeks at a time and threatens the financial Armageddon of the entire planet with default because it won’t spend within it’s means. Then you come trotting by on your high horse and lecture this person about “fools like you” who are causing the issues with this country. You are an ass and probably someone who has had a nice secure job all your life. Hopefully, you will get the chance to get out of your shell at some point and experience some of this life’s lessons that these poor souls have been having. It’s hard nosed people like you, who care not how much people suffer, that set up this nightmare system in the first place.

  34. Hope2Getout&StandLater December 26, 2012 at 8:49AM

    I have a question. I am separated and going through a divorce. I have over $15,000 in credit card debt. I live in South Carolina and am working a steady job. Because of family obligations of $1600 to my wife and 2 automobile payments I am overextended. What would happen if I stopped paying my 2 credit cards Discover and US Bank which is the same company that holds the mortgage on our house. I need some time to pay off one of the cars and free up $500 to then come back and knock down the credit cards. I know they will screw up my credit, but will my wages be garnished? #2 If not, then once I pay them off, how long afterward will it take to restore my credit if I default on them for about 6 months. #3 Can US Bank attach a lien on the house? The mortgage is alone and my name. My wife has sole use and possession and the deed is in both of our names. Please try to give me all the help you can. Thanks for anyone’s help

    • corey callahan January 5, 2013 at 5:15PM

      Hi I stopped paying a $5k discover card bill a year ago. Today I got a court summons order. So I cant answer your questions other than, discover card does sue. As far as your other questions Im trying to find the same info what will happen now.

  35. ellise October 7, 2012 at 5:31PM

    I live in Florida and received a letter saying they were suing my for a credit card back in 06 the latest its been so long I don’t even remember what will be the out come of it I’m not working right now and can’t pay it I’ve tried settling with them and a debt relief but they refused that was in 09 I think. What should I do ?????

    • Jon March 20, 2013 at 2:49PM

      File bankruptcy if it bothers you. If not..then pay your debt.

      • KeeptheFaith August 10, 2013 at 8:15AM

        This person may be known as “execution proof” or “judgement proof” meaning that even if they are sued and found guilty the Plaintiff can not collect because the Defendant only has exempt assets and income as provided by state and or federal law.

  36. Richard Lyman August 18, 2012 at 1:10AM

    Collections is the fastest growing industry in the United States. From what I’ve seen in the last two years, they will sue for any and all amounts. It used to be in the early 2000s that people would say “They won’t sue unless you owe at least $3000 on the card.” That was true then. Today they sue for any amount. I’ve seen people sued by collection agencies for owing $500 on a credit card.

  37. teresa awino June 25, 2012 at 6:31AM

    can a credit card company stop any bank from giving you loan?

    • Jon March 20, 2013 at 2:49PM

      no.

  38. Maggie June 2, 2012 at 10:03AM

    If being sued by a credit card company and a citation is left on your front door to appear, since this is a cival suit do I have to appear? I live in Texas. Does anyone know the answer to this question. I understand that they can only put a judgement on me since this is Texas. My house is homesteaded and I do not work now as I lost my job in April. I tried to work with Capital One but at that time I did not have a job and could not continue to make the payment. Capital One would not work with me at all.

    • Richard Lyman August 18, 2012 at 1:23AM

      You don’t have to appear and don’t bother. You have no defense. Unless you don’t owe the money or the debt has passed the statute of limitations. I don’t know what that is for Texas. Where I live in Idaho its 4 years. Capital One always sues. After 20 days they will get the judgement. Close any bank accounts you have. If you don’t, they will levy the account or in short, drain it of all the money. If the suite is in your name only, put all your money in your wife’s bank account. If you’re not married, try using an online back account. These will be hard fro them to trace or levy. My brother told me that you can open a Swiss Bank account online.

      • John September 22, 2012 at 5:01PM

        You MUST appear or creditor will get a default judgement. As long as you appear, it is unlikely that the creditor will have sufficent documentation to prove that the debt belongs to you. Therefore, THEY will lose. They are betting that the majority of folks will follow Richard’s bad advice and just ignore it—and will then receive a default judgement just because you didn’t show up. As long as you appear, the judge will likely conclude that there is a) insufficient proof that the debt is valid. Or b)you do not have enough in liquid, garnishable assets (i believe 60K for a single person in Texas)to award a judgement. YOU MUST FIGHT!

      • Jon March 20, 2013 at 2:50PM

        Do go to court. You will be surprised at the outcome. If you fail to go you are doing the same as admitting guilt and then it can get ugly. Go and watch.

  39. wayne May 21, 2012 at 11:54AM

    I have $500 debt from cap one they say they are a law firm and suing me, but on the phone they acknowledge that they are a debt collector collecting a debt. Official looking papers but I’m suspicious it’s an agency acting like a law firm getting a judgement against me.

    • sally September 5, 2013 at 7:17PM

      I encountered the same thing, the envelope said it was from an attorny’s office, but when I called to work out payments, the guy I talked to said he was a debt collector.

  40. alexandra April 20, 2012 at 7:51PM

    Credit card I got from Express is threatening to sue me for owing 500 on it. I don’t have the money to pay it, what should I do?

    • Mike April 21, 2012 at 8:44PM

      Ignore them. They WILL NOT sue you for $500. They are liars.

    • Jon March 20, 2013 at 2:51PM

      You have money to get online?? Start paying a little at a time. It is your debt. pay it

  41. Mary April 16, 2012 at 10:51PM

    I have a considerably small amount of credit card debt I am unable to pay because I am making payments for an unexpected medical bill and simply do not have enough left over to make any type of payment after living expenses. The amount I owe is less than $1500. I received a certified letter from the Credit Card Co. I did not sign for it but the lady at the P.O. signed for it “refused” before I even had a chance to just tell her to keep it and give me back my notice. So much for that. Not that it will make a difference to the Credit Card Co. My question is this. Why do you think I received that letter? GE Money would sue for less than $1500.00? I think they were just notifying me that my account was in default in hopes of receiving some type of payment/s. That is my Guess. I think I will open a safe deposit box and deposit my paycheck $ there until I need the money to pay bills just for safekeeping. What do you think?

    • Mike April 21, 2012 at 8:46PM

      They will not sue you unless you owe like 10k.

  42. Amy April 10, 2012 at 8:56AM

    Hey i have a question I live in SC and within the last year my husband has lost his job and so have i we were unemployed (with no income at all) for 6 months and fell behind on our credit card payments.

    I have a Gold Option Line of Credit with Bank of America and they have sent me to a law office saying i owe $6200.00 ( i originally borrowed 9300 back Nov 07, and paid 231 a month from Jan 08 until April 11, and then additional 397.00 after that) meaning with my calculations, i have paid them back $9637.00 and they say I still owe 6200 (I’m assuming in late charges and interest). But does anyone know if they can sue me?

    I never signed to start the contract. The original contract was verbal and the original amount of interest was 8.9% but according to my last statement I was mailed Feb of this year it’s now 21.9%. Can I be sued for this bill? I don’t have any $ in my savings due to we both only work part-time and we don’t have 401k or any retirement or extra income like alimony or child care

    • Mike April 21, 2012 at 8:49PM

      You are likely past the statute of limitations. This is BS. Do not respond to them. Send a cease and desist letter and dispute it off your credit bureau accounts with TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.

  43. MMC March 15, 2012 at 12:26PM

    I have been sued by a collection agency representing Citibank. A judgement has been placed on me and a lien has been placed on my home. Also the collection agency seized my bank account. At this time am I able to offer a settlement for less than half of what I owe?

  44. MEMills February 19, 2012 at 4:41PM

    I need advice. I live in KY and I am being sued for a credit card debt that started off as 400 but now with court fee’s is 1200. I have no job (due to my child’s health problems), I dont own a house (just a car) and the only income is my husbands (I had the card before we got married so his name is not on it). We can do monthly payments now but how do I go into court to defend myself? Apparently the papers were served at my grandmothers house (she has dementia) and I found them and my court date is in two days! What can I do in such a short amount of time?

    • CreditCardGuru February 23, 2012 at 12:13AM

      I’m so sorry to here! Please post your question on the forum and see what advice others can offer. Good luck.

      • Mark February 8, 2013 at 7:35PM

        My wife & I have 4 credit cards totaling 14,000 $ I have been unemployed since 5-2011 & I have exhausted all my benefits My unemployment benefits

        have not found work my wife is still collecting un employment but still not enough to help pay our cards we owe on due date is coming up & we don’t know what to do this is gonna affect our score any suggestions?

    • Mike April 21, 2012 at 8:51PM

      They are lieing to you. Send them a cease and desist letter and they will not contact you anymore. Pay them back when you are able. They are not suing you.

  45. RR February 8, 2012 at 8:19AM

    Hello,

    I have a judgement that will expire on May 14th from a credit card in 2002. It is now in the hands of a third party debt collector and this company has several lawsuits against them for unlawful practice. I want to pay this now that our finances have improved, but i am afraid to pay on this account since it is so old. I am desperate for help. What do i do?

    Thanks!
    RR

    • Mike April 21, 2012 at 8:55PM

      Yes, paying on it will hurt your credit if you pay on it, but not much. Do not pay debt collectors, demand they send the account to the original owner, this has likely been sold. It is 10 years old, it will have dropped off your credit by now, if not dispute it. They can do nothing. Send the guys a cease and desist order to never contact you again.

  46. stupidcreditcards January 4, 2012 at 2:42PM

    i have a bunch of credit cards all totaling 11,000 in debt. i want to stop paying on half of it. i just bought a house and car so i know my credit will be destroyed so i wont need it to get the two big things someone needs which is a house or a car because i just got them a year ago. so my question is if i stopped paying on $5000 of my debt will my other credit cards be closed automatically? what should i do?

    • CreditCardGuru January 4, 2012 at 7:56PM

      If I were you, I would not default on your credit cards. I understand how frustrating CC debt can be, but ultimately people like you and me did choose to spend the money in the first place, so we have an obligation to pay it back. What is the APRs you are paying? I would try and get those as low as possible so it’s not so burdensome on you. Another strategy could be taking out a personal loan if you can get one at a lower rate than your cards.

      • Stupidcreditcards January 5, 2012 at 2:53AM

        I have called all my cc companies and they say there is nothing they can do..4 of my card have a 0% apr until June 2013 those have a total of 4900. But the two cards that are killing me have high minimum payments each month. One is a GE capital with a 1700 balance and min payment is $86 a month and my chase card with a 1900 balance and min payment of 80 a month I just wanna drop those two cards bc with high minimum payments they are killing me. If I can just make it to tax refund time I plan on paying both those cards off..but then ill have the other 6,000 overt head. It is stressing me out..I’m never gonna use cc’s again but I guess with this economy 90% of people get by with credit cards.

    • Mike April 21, 2012 at 8:59PM

      No your other cards will remain in good standing. I advise this since you have a high total ballance…Stop paying all of them. Wait 6 months for them to go into chargeoff, then negotiate a payment for pennies on the dollar. Right now you are only paying interest and you will not get ahead for 25 years! Just pay on the one that has the smallest ballance, then go to the next one and the next, but only if the card is in chargeoff status. You can have this paid off in 2 years w/o any additional cash flow. Good luck.

  47. James August 10, 2011 at 1:10PM

    In Texas they cannot seize your home if it is homesteaded. They cannot garnish your wages…period… for payment of debt other than IRS or child support. Even if they get a judgement they cannot take your car, you retirement, 401k, various personal property (30,000 if single, 60,000 if married) and various other things (speak with an attorney).
    As an attorney friend told me once, Texas was a state founded by debtors for debtors.
    This goes without saying that this would be for an unsecured debt ( ie.. credit cards, etc.) but if you have a loan that is secured by property or whatever then it is an entirely different story.

    • Fred February 9, 2012 at 1:45PM

      I just got a call saying that I am being sued by a third party companay called Equity Financial LLC for a debt that I owed Washington Mutual. I remember the debt and admit I owe some of the amount but not all.

      I live in Texas and have been unemployed or under-employed for nearly 4 years now. I have sold my truck, got rid of my entertainment and barely making my mortgage thanks to my wife’s good job. And no she is not on the card. I have never heard of a credit card company taking some one to court unless it was over $10,000. My original amount was less than $1500 and it has been 3 years plus since I stopped paying. What can I expect when I go to court and what can they do. I know without a doubt the collection company only paid pennies on the dollar.

      Fred

    • John September 22, 2012 at 5:08PM

      James is correct about everything he mentioned.

    • KeeptheFaith August 10, 2013 at 8:34AM

      Each state has judgement proof exemptions so that even if you lose a lawsuit, the credit card company can not take anything from you if you are within the exemptions. These exemptions vary from state to state and Texas sounds pro debtor and generous with the exemptions. The credit card companies can come after you any time up to 20 years if you have assets or income that is not exempt. So if you are happy being “poor” than you are judgement proof and won’t be bothered. It may be the solution to overwhelming debt.

  48. CreditCardGuru July 16, 2011 at 7:10PM

    It’s interesting you mention Capital One, as they are notorious for holding onto bad debts for many years rather than selling them off. However in your case, it sounds like it is in the hands of a 3rd party collector and although additional information would be needed, it sounds like an empty threat. This forum thread should help you out, take a look…

    Old Capital One credit card judgement…

  49. Heather July 15, 2011 at 1:42PM

    Hey CreditCardGuru,
    I have a debt from 2002 with Capital One and I was living in Texas at the time, I believe my last payment was made towards the end of 2002 beginning of 2003, that statute of limitations in that state is 4 years, I moved to Illinois, back to Texas and now currently reside in Maryland, would the statute of limitations go by the state the debt originated in, or the state I currently live in? I ask because I keep getting third party collection calls about this debt still and they’re telling me it’s in pre legal action and it’s 2011, which I know is well past the statute of limitations for all 3 states!

    • Troy December 16, 2011 at 12:51AM

      In Texas, if a debt is more than 4 years old it is beyond the statute of limitations however, if you acknowledge the debt is yours or make a payment on the debt the clock starts over again. So, if it has been 4 years and you have not acknowledged the debt or made a payment… I would send them a certified letter letter telling them to stop calling you as you do not acknowledge this debt to be your responsibility. By Law they have to stop contacting you, by phone, if you send them a letter demanding that they no longer contact you.

      • katy p. December 13, 2013 at 9:59AM

        Does this apply if the debt is from another state and your living in texas now?

  50. CreditCardGuru February 18, 2011 at 11:22AM

    Hi Scott,

    Sure go ahead, all I ask is if along with it you can include a link back to the original source, this page.

    Best,
    CreditCardGuru

  51. Scott F February 17, 2011 at 11:04AM

    Can I use this information you have provided in a Q & A marketing piece I am working on? I will not change the context.

    Thanks,

    Scott

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