What Are the Consequences of Ignoring a Debt Collector?
Ignoring calls from a debt collector can be tempting, but is it always a good idea? Ignoring a problem does not make it go away, and this is especially true with debt. One of the worst things that can happen if you ignore a debt collector is that it can result in you being sued. If a judgment is entered against you for an unpaid debt, it can result in your wages being garnished, even funds being withdrawn from your bank account.
Here are some additional consequences that can occur from ignoring a debt collector.
Your credit score will continue to decline.
Past due balances and collection attempts can appear on credit reports regardless of whether the individual has responded to attempts to reach him or her. Sometimes it can help to at least speak with the debt collector to try and work out a payment arrangement before it can be reported to the credit bureaus.
The debt will continue to grow.
Many times, depending on the terms and conditions associated with the debt, the collection agency may be able to tack on interest charges, late fees, collection costs, etc. which can easily cause the debt to double over time.
The debt is passed to a different collection agency.
Debts rarely stay with the same collector for too long. If the first debt collector is unable to reach the person who owes the debt, the account can end up with a different debt collection agency. This process can continue so long as the balance remains unpaid.
Reaching out to people you know.
If the debt collector cannot reach the person owing the debt, they will often reach out to those connected to that person. These people can include third parties, such as relatives, neighbors, friends, even co-workers in an attempt to locate you. However, they cannot tell them about your debt; this is a violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).
You can be sued.
Ignoring a debt collector can result in a lawsuit being filed against you. You can try your best to defend yourself, but if a judgment is entered against you it can result in wage garnishment, even funds being withdrawn from your bank account to pay the debt. It is best to speak with an attorney before the situation reaches this point. These judgments are not always dischargeable in bankruptcy, and at that point, it can be too little too late for the person facing the debt.
The costs of debt.
Ultimately the stress of debt and constant collection calls can affect your sleep, your relationships, even your health. Trying to dodge phone calls on a daily basis can leave you feeling like you are living on the edge. Answering the call and trying to work with the debt collector can help alleviate some of this stress. Alternatively, you can seek advice from experienced legal counsel who can help field these calls and eliminate the debt for you.
At The Benenati Law Firm, we have helped thousands of individuals and families eliminate their debt and get a fresh start financially. If you have any questions on this topic or are struggling with overwhelming debt, call Orlando bankruptcy attorney, Walter Benenati at 407-777-7777. Ask Walter how you can restart your life. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment and collection calls. We make our hours convenient for our clients and offer free consultations on Saturdays (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) and throughout the week until 5:00 p.m. If you are in a financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Orlando bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options.