Debt delinquency timeline: what to expect

Stage 5: Court
6 of 7

Trigger: The third-party debt collector is unable to contact you -- the consumer -- and sues.

"You can ignore a lot of people, but you can't ignore the guy who knocks on the door with a judgment," says Ulzheimer.

What to expect: You will receive a summons to appear in court regarding your debt. If the debt collector or creditor receives a judgment, then it may garnish your wages or seize assets such as bank accounts to satisfy the debt.

Your options: If you receive a summons, show up for your court hearing, says Creamer. There, you can dispute the debt. Otherwise, it's an automatic win for the collector, she says.

The judge may also serve as a mediator and create some kind of repayment plan before choosing wage garnishment or the seizure of assets.




Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
Credit cards on a table

Get advice for managing credit cards, building your credit history and improving your credit score. Delivered weekly.

Debt Adviser

Is power of attorney status risky?

Dear Debt Adviser, I am so glad you recently posted a question about an elderly mother. My mother has dementia. Eight years ago, she opened a credit card for a family member who has now declared bankruptcy. My mom only... Read more

Partner Center

Connect with us