What do I do if I’m being sued by a debt collector and no longer have any paper work to prove anything?

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What do I do if I’m being sued by a debt collector and no longer have any paper work to prove anything?

I owed only about $500 on a CC, and started having difficulty with paying my mortgage. Through the mortgage adjustment process I was told to make sure I made all mortgage payments on time and not worry about anything else. So the CC got put on back burner to seave house. Now I’m being sued for the CC for about $2800. It has not reached the SOL which is 6 years in my state. What are my options? I work in construction and are in the middle of winter in New england so work at present slows down at this time.

Asked on January 1, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can try to defend against the suit, but if you believe that you do in fact owe around $2,800 (in principal; in interest; in late fees; etc.), assume that you will probably lose--especially since you seem to not have the documentation to prove otherwise. In that case, there will be a judgment against you for that amount and you will have to pay it; if you do not, in addition to damage to your credit rating, the credit card company put try to garnish your wages, levy on (take money from) your bank account, execute on (seize and sell) personal property, and/or put a lien on real estate.

You could try to settle with them: negotiate to some mutually agreeable and feasible amount and payment plan. They do not have to settle--it is voluntary on their part--so while this is almost always worth trying, do not assume you will automatically be successful.

Ultimately, if have to pay more than you can afford, and especially if you have other debts which are difficult for you, you could consider bankruptcy as an option to discharge debts.


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