Debt collection agencies can file lawsuits for debts that fall within the statute of limitations. Each state has its own statute of limitations. The statute of limitations on debt is the length of time that debt collectors have to sue you to collect on old debts.

According to one Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report, 1 in 7 or about 15% — of consumers contacted about a debt in collections were sued. However, the likelihood of a debt collection lawsuit depends on several factors.

When a debt goes unpaid for an extended period, creditors often turn to debt collection agencies to recover the amount owed. These agencies may attempt to collect the debt through various means, such as phone calls, letters, or even legal action.

If you’ve defaulted on a debt and the creditor or collection agency decides to pursue legal action, they may file a lawsuit against you in court. This typically involves serving you with a summons and a complaint, outlining the details of the debt and the reasons for the lawsuit.

Once you’ve been served, you have a specified period to respond to the lawsuit, usually around 20-30 days depending on the jurisdiction. Ignoring the lawsuit or failing to respond within the given timeframe can result in a default judgment being issued against you, which could lead to wage garnishment, bank account levies, or other legal actions to collect the debt.

However, it’s essential to note that you have rights as a debtor. You have the right to dispute the debt if you believe it’s inaccurate or if you’re being unfairly pursued for a debt that isn’t yours. Additionally, you have the right to seek legal advice and representation to defend yourself in court.

Furthermore, there are legal limitations on debt collection practices outlined in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Debt collectors must adhere to certain rules and regulations when attempting to collect a debt, and they’re prohibited from using abusive, deceptive, or unfair tactics.

In summary, while debt collectors can sue you for unpaid debts, you have rights and legal protections. It’s crucial to respond to any legal action promptly, seek legal advice if needed, and understand your rights under the law.

Our attorney has more than 14 years of experience with fighting debt collection agencies, visit his profile page here, attorney profile.

  • There are absolutely no legal fees that you will ever be responsible for.
  • Under the FDCPA the collection agency is liable for attorney fees. 
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