What happens if I ignore creditor phone calls for more than a couple of months? 24 Answers as of June 25, 2013

I keep getting creditor phone calls harassing me for money. I haven't talked to them or picked up any of their calls. This has been going on for two months and they are now threatening to close my bank accounts. Is this as bad as it can get? What consequences could I be facing if I continue to ignore them?

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
They will eventually give your account to a collections attorney who will sue you and proceed with garnishment, if that remedy is available in your state.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 9/21/2011
Heupel Law
Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
Creditors have the right to sue you and garnish your wages, which is worse than the phone calls. Thus, you're better to get on a payment plan or file bankruptcy because the situation will only get worse.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/19/2011
Law Office of Andrew Harris
Law Office of Andrew Harris | Andrew Harris
Ignoring your creditors for a few months, typically leads to harassing phone calls. However if this continues for many months, it could result in them filing a suit against you. If this occurs you would have the opportunity to respond and or attend a hearing. If you lose at the hearing, the creditor can garnish your bank account, your wages or place a lien on your home. They cannot however close your bank accounts.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 9/16/2011
The Law Offices of Katie M. Stone
The Law Offices of Katie M. Stone | Katie M. Stone
Eventually your creditor's may sue you for the default along with fees and interest. You are not protected from them unless you file a bankruptcy or settle the accounts. Just ignoring them will make them go away for a while; however, eventually they will sue you. I suggest that you go and speak with a bankruptcy attorney to see if it is an option that you should explore. I hope you found this information useful.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 9/14/2011
Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
If you have unpaid, past due debt, and you are basically trying to "dodge" your creditors, that can result in a few different courses of actions for them to take. In some instances, the creditors may just continue to call and call and eventually charge off the debt and give up. Another possibility is that the creditors may assign the accounts to a law firm to file a collections lawsuit against you. Once a creditor files a lawsuit against you, they are initiating the process for them to obtain a court "judgment" which is basically a court order for you to pay them what is owed. If this happens, and they obtain a judgment, they can "enforce" the judgment against you by: 1- Garnishing your wages- up to 25% of your net income for that pay period 2- Freezing your bank account and withdrawing the funds therein 3- Placing a lien against property that you own Some lenders can actually freeze your bank account if you owe past due amounts to the same entity/ lender with whom you bank, without them first filing a lawsuit against you. You should be conscious of this. All in all, getting harassing phone calls and having them close your accounts are a normal part of the collections process, but you should know that it may just be a matter of time before they start initiating a collections action against you, and if you aren't paying them, and you are a collectible, meaning you work and have a bank account with regular deposits, it is likely they are going to come after you. You won't want to wait until they start suing you or you are in the midst of a wage garnishment, before you start taking a bankruptcy action to protect what you have left.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/14/2011
    D T Pham Associates, PLLC
    D T Pham Associates, PLLC | Duncan T Pham
    Creditors could file suit against you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/25/2013
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    If you ignore creditor phone calls, things usually just get worse. They start to call you on the job. (Tell your boss you do not take personal calls at work.) They'll call the neighbours. Sometimes they will send someone to knock on the door. Much better you answer the phone and get their name, number, account number and then tell them not to call you again. Section1692 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices allows you to do this. That should shut them up. If they want to, they are welcome to sue. I assume that you have no assets to lose, so let them sue.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    G. Anthony Yuthas & Assoc.
    G. Anthony Yuthas & Assoc. | Tony Yuthas
    They could file collection actions against you and attempt to garnish wages or take bank accounts.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Creditors tend to sue around 6 months after default. Some creditors will not sue unless they can verify employment status and/or ownership of real property or other significant assets. Once the lawsuit is reduced to judgment, the creditor generally garnishes wages or bank accounts, and places a judgment lien on your real property. NEVER ignore a lawsuit. If you are served a summons and complaint (Lawsuit), contact an attorney immediatedly.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    The Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm
    The Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm | Thomas A McAvity
    Eventually they will probably sue you and start garnishing your paycheck and levying your bank accounts.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    Eventually, creditors will file a lawsuit and have you served with legal papers to obtain a judgment. With a judgment they can levy your assets, garnish your wages, or garnish your bank accounts. Until they get a judgment, they cannot do anything more serious than call or write to ask for payment. Once they have a judgment, you may want to think about seeking a bankruptcy discharge.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    If you ignore creditor collection calls the most serious consequence is that you can be sued.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    Creditors cannot "close" your bank accounts, unless of course the creditor is your bank, in which case they could seize funds as an offset to the debt. In order to reach your funds, either in a bank account or wages, the creditor must serve you with a Summons and Complaint, get a judgment, either default or after a trial, and turn that judgment into a garnishment order. Creditors will eventually do this.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    If you don't pay your debts, creditors can sue you and get a judgment against you that can result in wage garnishment, liens, bank levies.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton | Daniel Moulton
    They can begin collection proceedings and ultimately file a lawsuit to collect. This can vary depending on the type of debt.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    They could freeze for bank accounts and garnish wages.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/25/2013
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    They can sue you, get a judgment and take the money out of your bank accounts or garnish your wages.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    Eventually you may be sued in a court of law and made to pay the judgment thru garnishments, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    Lawsuits, judgments, wage garnisment, bank account levies. The list goes on and on.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    You will probably be sued, after which they will seize your bank accounts (and maybe your car and home) and much of your paycheck. Instead of continuing a very dangerous course of conduct, see a lawyer. You may actually be able to eliminate some or all of the debt.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Offices of James Wingfield
    Law Offices of James Wingfield | James Wingfield
    The answer to what will happen next depends a great deal on your individual circumstances and the strategy of the creditors and type of debt you owe to them. If you have not been paying your mortgage, car payment or other secured creditors then you can expect that the creditor will begin taking steps to get their collateral back whether that is a foreclosure or repossession. If you are talking about unsecured creditors (such as credit cards, old phone and utility bills or medical bills) then they will need to take the additional step of suing you. The amount of debt and the strategy of the creditor will determine which court you are brought into (small claims, district court or superior court), and what other steps they might take up front. Prior to getting judgment they *could* seek pre-judgment relief in the form of an attachment on your real estate or on your bank accounts (i.e., freezing your accounts pending the outcome of the litigation). Once the creditor receives a judgment against you there are a whole slew of (nasty) tools that a creditor can use to satisfy the debt. If you are struggling with debt call by all means discuss the situation in full with a qualified bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Eventually, one of the creditors might say enough is enough, and just sue you in court. If they do that, they can get a judgment and follow that up by attaching your checking accounts, garnishing your wages, putting liens on property that you own etc. You might want to start consulting with a bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Eventually one of them will sue you and try to levy on your account meaning take the money out or garnish your wages. If you own a home they can get a lien on it. Consider bankruptcy and buy yourself some peace of mind.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/9/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    They can't close your bank accounts. The callers themselves are powerless. They can sue you, though, and then if they win they can garnish wages or freeze bank accounts. If they sue, go to court and make them prove it's your debt with evidence besides their word or charges made.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 9/9/2011
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