If you have unpaid debts, at some point the creditor or debt collector might sue you. While not all creditors will file a debt collection lawsuit, if you have income or assets that the creditor can grab, it's likely to sue you to get a judgment. But if you get served with a debt collection lawsuit, don't panic. The below articles explain how these lawsuits get started, what to expect in court, common defenses to creditor lawsuits, and how to negotiate a settlement once the lawsuit is filed. And if the creditor gets a judgment against you, be sure to understand the different methods it can use to collect on the judgment. In some situations, you might be able to prevent the creditor from taking some (or any) or your income or assets.
Creditor Lawsuits: How the Case Begins
Have you been sued by a creditor? Here's how debt collection lawsuits start -- from the complaint to your response.
Creditor Lawsuits: What to Expect When the Case Is in Court
Understand the procedures of a debt collection lawsuit.
Time-Barred Debts: When Creditors and Collectors Can't Sue You for Unpaid Debts
The statute of limitations bars creditors from suing for unpaid debts after a certain period of time.
Debt Collection Defense: Requiring That the Collector Document the Debt
If the collector or debt buyer can't prove it owns the debt, you may have a defense to a collection lawsuit.
Common Defenses in Debt Buyer Lawsuits
Learn about defenses you may have if a debt buyer sues you to collect a debt.
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What Is a Debtor's Examination?
With a debtor's examination, a judgment creditor can force you to answer questions about your finances under oath.
A creditor gets a judgment when it wins a lawsuit against you. Learn more.
How Creditors Enforce Judgments
Learn about the many ways creditors can collect on judgments.
How Judgment Creditors Get Information About Your Income and Property
Creditors can get information about your property through debtor's examinations, written questions, and court hearings.
Ways to Stop a Creditor From Collecting a Judgment
You may be able to prevent collection of a judgment by negotiating with the creditor or claiming property as exempt.
Learn what a credit card judgment is and how a credit card company can get one.
How long does a creditor have to collect on a judgment against me?
How long a judgment against you lasts depends on state law. But creditors can renew judgments, so you may be on the hook for a long time.
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Can I Sue Someone Who Has Filed for Bankruptcy?
Find out how bankruptcy can get in the way of a lawsuit.