Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
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Are you disputing that the debt is yours?
Do you have any legal defenses to the suit?
How long has it been since you paid on it if it is yours?
What is your legal question I can help with tonight?
If you haven't actually had a sheriff or process server hand you a summons, then you haven't been served. They have to serve you with the lawsuit paperwork before they can proceed with the suit.
So they can't do anything at all until they serve you, then get a judgment against you in court. They have to first get a judgment before they could try and garnish your wages and they can't do that until you are actually served.
Well, if they never serve you, they can't proceed with any lawsuit. So there is no reason for you to help them by contacting them and accepting service. If you can avoid service for 5 years from the time you last made a payment, then it would be beyond the statute of limitations for enforcement. So that would be 2 more years though...
You could contact them and try to settle, but if you don't have a pretty good lump sum to offer them, as in probably half, then they might not be willing to settle and you might tip them off as to where you are even if they agree and say they need to send you a written settlement form. It wouldn't be the first time that a debtor thought they settled the debt, gave out their address for the paperwork and then the sheriff showed up to serve them..
So if you did contact them and were able to settle the debt or work out a payment arrangement, have them send any paperwork to a friend's or relative's house so they can't trick you into accepting service.