If I Ignore My Debts Long Enough Will They Go Away?

IgnoringIgnoring Debt Is Not a Solution

There are many problems in life that ignored will go away.

Unfortunately, debt is not one of them.

Ignoring your debt will cause your situation to get worse and the longer you hide from it the less likely it is to go away.

So why do people think ignoring debt is a good idea?

In part, it’s because there are so many myths about debt. Many people assume debt collection laws will protect them from the actions of bill collectors. The truth is these laws protect you from certain actions of bill collectors, but ultimately, if your debt is valid and within the statute of limitations, debt collectors have a legal right to collect on the debt.

Other people assume that creditors can just “charge off” the debt they owe. While this is true to some degree, eventually a debt collector is going to come calling. Your original creditor is unlikely to give up on a large debt, at least not for a while.

And regardless of the size of the debt, it can eventually be sold to a debt buyer that exists only to collect on the debts it buys. These companies purchase debt for pennies on the dollar and to make a profit, pursue every angle possible to collect on that debt.

What Tools Do Debt Collectors Have to Collect on a Debt?

The law provides a number of tools for debt collectors to legally pursue a debt. There are limitations, but you should assume that if you are dealing with an unpaid debt and a debt collector has notified you they are moving forward with collecting, you’ll eventually be forced to pay the debt – unless you take action.

One of the most powerful tools creditors have to collect on a debt is to garnish your wages and/or seize a bank account or other assets.

If a debt collector sues you the court will grant the collector a judgment, which gives them the power to take aggressive action legally. In addition to the threatening phone calls, letters, text messages, and more, a judgment allows a debt collector to take money right out of your paycheck or bank account.

One of the scariest things about judgments is that creditors can get them against you without you even knowing.

In some cases, people are given warning, but they don’t bother following up. If you receive notification of a lawsuit it’s important to not ignore it. Even if you’ve been ignoring debt collectors to this point, once you are served it’s important to respond.

Failing to respond will result in a default judgment against you, which gives debt collectors tremendous power over your life.

Debt Collectors Can Get a Judgment without You Knowing

Unfortunately, even if you understand the severity of a creditor suing you, it’s possible they can do it without you even knowing it. They’ll receive a judgment against you and you’ll have no idea what happened until your wages are garnished or your bank account is seized.

These sneaky judgments happen when a process server is unable to locate you. Maybe you’ve moved or it’s just tough to pin you down and give you the notification.

When this happens, the process server has the option “substitute service,” which means they publish notification of the lawsuit filed against you in a local newspaper. That’s considered enough to move forward with a judgment and unless you’re lucky enough to catch the notice in the paper, you’ll have no idea what’s going on.

Perhaps worst of all, judgments are renewable, which means once a debt collector has been granted a judgment they can be a force in your life for decades. Unless you’re able to afford to pay your debt in full, debt collectors can continue to take money from you until the debt is satisfied.

To learn more about how judgments work, check out this explanation from Cornell Law School.

How Do You Avoid Judgments and Other Aggressive Debt Collection Efforts?

The best way to avoid a judgment is to not ignore debt collectors. As hard as it might be to face your debt problems head-on, it’s going to help you in the long run.

You have options, even if you can’t afford to pay your debt in full or negotiate a settlement. Bankruptcy can help you eliminate a significant portion of your debt – maybe even all of it. This means there will be no judgment and you’ll be freed from the burden of your debt.

For more information about avoiding a judgment or to learn how bankruptcy can help you deal with your debts, contact R. Flay Cabiness, II, P.C. at (912) 554-3774 (Brunswick, GA); (912) 375-5620 (Hazlehurst, GA) or; (912)-554-3756 (Jesup, GA).

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Brunswick, GA 31520
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Hazlehurst, Georgia
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Hazlehurst, GA 31539
Tel: (912) 375-5620 | Fax: (912) 375-2681

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Jesup, Georgia
198 S. Macon St.
Jesup, GA 31545
Tel: (912) 554-3756 | 888.280.1437

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