You can get sued by a credit card company if you fall behind on your payments. If this occurs, you have several options. You could:
- Pay everything you owe immediately.
- Talk with the credit card company’s representatives to discuss what they need from you to drop the suit.
- Go to court to fight the lawsuit and try to get a judge to rule in your favor.
In This Article
When a Credit Card Company Sues You
G.S. § 1-52 (1) gives creditors three years to sue someone for failure to pay debts.
If your credit card company decides to file suit against you, you will receive notification in the mail. You then have a certain period of time to respond to the lawsuit. This also gives you time to consider hiring a bankruptcy attorney who can explain your rights and represent you for as long as the case lasts.
Although being sued is always stressful and even frightening, it may relieve you to know that many cases never get to the courtroom. Instead, your lawyer and the credit card company’s lawyers could negotiate “behind the scenes” to:
- Discuss the case and present evidence to support their respective positions
- Negotiate a compromise that would give you more time to pay what you owe
- Reduce the amount you have to pay
To make your case as strong as possible, your bankruptcy lawyer would collect evidence from different sources, including any financial paperwork you have and testimony from those who know you.
A Successful Outcome
If your lawyer successfully reaches an agreement, the credit card company will drop their suit, and you must abide by whatever terms are included in the agreement. Failure to do so could lead to legal consequences from the court presiding over your case.
An Unsuccessful Outcome
Your case will go to court if you cannot convince the credit card company to drop its suit. A judge would then listen to arguments from both sides and decide what to do.
If the judge decides for you, you could have another chance to pay your debts or renegotiate your agreement with the credit card company. Otherwise, you would have to pay what you owe as soon as possible. However, if you are incapable of doing so, bankruptcy may be the only way out.
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Dealing with Credit Card Debt
Sometimes, a person is still capable of paying off all of their debts: they have a regular income and need a little extra time to get themselves organized and start making payments again. In this type of situation, you can head off potential legal action from the credit card company by:
- Hiring an attorney to review your options and guide you through the process of reorganizing your finances.
- Having your attorney contact the bank or the credit card company to open negotiations and give you more time to pay back your debts.
- Getting financial help from a debt counseling group, which can provide free or low-cost advice on how to deal with debt.
- Consolidating your debt or taking out a loan from one entity to pay off many others.
However, there are some cases where a person is so deeply indebted and struggling so much financially that there is no way they could reasonably be expected to pay back what they owe. If this is the case for you, you may want to consider declaring bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is a big step that no one should take lightly. However, it offers several advantages for those struggling with credit card debt. These include:
- Relief from creditors: As soon as you declare bankruptcy, your creditors are legally required to stop trying to collect what they owe. Anything they receive from this point on is up to the court.
- Discharge of debt: When you file for bankruptcy, certain types of debts can be discharged entirely, while you would still be expected to pay others. Credit card debt can be discharged, and you would no longer have to pay anything.
- A new start: Bankruptcy gives you the chance to clean the financial slate and start over again without worrying about your old creditors demanding payment.
Which option is right for you? It depends on how serious your situation is. A bankruptcy lawyer can ensure you choose the best option and protect you from creditors, including credit card companies.
Learn About Your Options by Contacting a Bankruptcy Attorney Today
While a credit card company can sue you, know that you have options for protecting your rights and your finances. Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, wants to be there for you if you are struggling with debt and are unsure what to do. Feel free to call us anytime for a case consultation regarding your options.