Debt Collection for Personal Debt

I am indebted to several credit card companies. How likely is it that a debt collector is trying to collect from me personally?

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Bill's Answer: Answered by Mark Cappel

It is possible and legal for a collection agent to appear at your door to attempt to collect a debt. I spoke to a reader who had a debt collector do just that. However, it is very rare for personal debt collection due to the cost. A telephone call is more cost effective.

It is far more likely that the visitor was a process server and you were to be served a summons and complaint. A summons and complaint is just that -- a court order to appear before a judge for the reason stated in the summons. My guess is that one of your creditors became impatient and decided to sue you to collect the balance due on your account.

Tip If you have problems paying your credit card debts, consult with a debt resolution partner who can discuss your options.

I recommend you attempt to resolve this debt with the creditor or the creditor's attorney before the hearing. If you obtain a fairly sizable portion of the balance, the creditor may be willing to settle the debt. For example, if you can offer 40%-60% of the outstanding balance in a lump sum payment, the creditor may be willing to forgive the remaining balance and dismiss the court case. Contact the creditor's attorney to discuss settlement of the debt and keep trying to negotiate. If you come to a dead-end there, you have the option to set up a payment plan.

If you cannot access a lump sum to settle the debt, the creditor may be willing to accept monthly payments to stop further collection activity, but will probably not dismiss the case against you. The creditor will want to obtain a judgment against you just in case you do not make your scheduled monthly payments. Again, contact the creditor's attorney to discuss possible repayment plans and ask them about a stipulated judgment payment plan.

More About Collection Agents
Portfolio Recovery Associates
Northstar Location Services
Zwicker & Associates
Always validate a debt.

If you do not resolve this matter, the creditor will likely obtain a judgment and proceed to attempt to collect on the judgment. Depending on the state you live in, judgment execution could include wage garnishment, bank levies, and property liens, and other actions. I encourage you to speak with an attorney licensed in your area to discuss the implications of a judgment against you, and what is the best course of action to resolve the account.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.



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Comments (3)

Tonisha L.
August 23, 2012
Hello! I am an freshman student at MSU! I owed them a little over a thousand for my tuition. I do not have a job. I talked to my dad about paying them and he decided to pay them the whole amount at once and I've been owing them since last summer! He paid them Aug 3rd he sent a check through the mail and days later a reliant company (debt collector) sent me a letter and I called and told them it was invalid and she was saying okay n I told her when I sent it and she was saying they probably haven't received it yet! So when they do she'll cancel it and now MSU forwarded their check to them saying they had already gave it over to them and it's nothin they can do and I also took a picture of my MSU account saying the amount was due Aug 9th and my dad have a copy of the check of how they put reliant name on the back of it so they could cash it! Also the debt collector calls me from a Louisiana number and her paper hve Ohio on it and she had acted very unprofessional one day even though she claimed she was recording the call!! What should I do can I fight this in court?
August 31, 2012
I certainly understand why you're frustrated. I am not sure what steps are best for you to take, if you continue to get the run around. If you're not being hit with additional fees, then I think that you should just pay the collector and close the issue. You could take them to court, but is it worth the time and effort?
Michel A.
Los Angeles, CA  |  December 28, 2010
Hi fellow debtors, I need to take all that on board. As the use of Credit cards is easy, we use them now and then and one day we find ourselves in massive debt. I was overcome with debt and was very distraught. I chose a debt resolution firm and it was the answer to all my prayers.
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