How long does it take a debt collector to take you to court if you’re enrolled in a debt settlement program?

My credit card account of $21,000 just went to a collection attorney; I just enrolled in a debt settlement program for this account. The program’s attorney states they will not make an offer until I have 20% in my account. How soon can they take me to court?

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The debt collector can sue you *immediately* if you are already in default on the debt (that is, if you have already missed payments). Or if you are not currently in default, then as soon as you are--that is, as soon as you miss a payment, only partially pay what you owe for a month, and/or are late on a payment--the debt collector may act.  The creditor or its debt collector does not have to give your debt settlement program a chance to collect funds or make an offer of settlement, but may immediately take action again you as soon as you are in default.


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