If you’re struggling with credit card debt, the constant calls from debt collectors and pressure from creditors can be overwhelming. However, you might be wondering if things can take an even bigger turn for the worse and your creditors can move to take legal action against you. Unfortunately, the answer is yes, a credit card company could potentially sue you and a lawsuit can be extremely expensive and place an even bigger strain on your already troubled financial standing. To help you better understand what credit card companies can do in terms of legal action and your options for fighting back, here are some things credit card companies can do.
When Can You Be Sued?
A credit card company can sue you to collect the money you owe provided your case meets the requirements. First, you must have breached the terms of the contract you signed with your credit card company in order to set things in motion. This can include seemingly innocuous actions, such as missing a payment or failing to pay the required amount. While most companies won’t immediately sue you for one mistake, a collection of mistakes may be grounds to start the process. If your debt becomes too large or the company wants to collect, a debt collection company may buy the debt and try to collect on it before filing a lawsuit against you in court.
When a lawsuit is filed against you, you are served notice of the suit and given an opportunity to respond to the complaint by either affirming or denying the statements in it. Denying these statements is saying they are not true, and is the first step in your defense.
Possible Outcomes to Your Case
A lawsuit has three potential outcomes depending on the circumstances of your case:
- The court may rule in your favor, which prevents the credit card company from pursuing any further collection actions for the debt. You may also want to consider requesting damages in order to help you pay your legal fees.
- The court may choose to dismiss your case, which sounds like a good outcome but still leaves the possibility that the credit card company may try to collect the debt in the future, including re-filing the lawsuit to correct for errors that may have resulted in the dismissal.
- The court may rule in favor of your creditors, which then gives them the ability to enact other debt collection practices, including wage garnishments, property liens, property seizures, repossessions, bank levies, and much more.