Skip to Content

Collections Lawsuit: How Long Before I Am Affected by Negative Repercussions?


If you are being sued, you may be very concerned about what lies ahead. This is one of the inherently stressful parts about being in debt: the unknown. The entire process usually begins with that, as we as the unexpected; in fact, you may have been doing just fine financially, with a good career, paying the bills, supporting your dependents without a problem, only to be stricken with a serious illness or to be debilitated due to injuries from a car or motorcycle crash. Along with that, you may have lost your job, or you may be unable to return either temporarily or permanently. Such a situation can be catastrophic not only to your health, but also to your finances. Without immediate action in consulting with an attorney from a firm like Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC, you could be in for long-term problems.

Your concerns may continue to grow as debt collectors call and write incessantly, and delinquencies continue to escalate. This is especially common after an illness or injury as medical bills can grow to astronomical sums rapidly. These debts may quickly be so out of control that you don’t see any way you could ever pay them in your entire lifetime, in fact! And while debt collectors may be sympathetic to your plight, chances are they lack sincerity—and they will not wait for long before getting back to stressing you out over payments that are due.

Obviously, you are probably wondering what the result will be as debt collectors become more frustrated with you and your lack of income continues to dwindle. The reality is that some debt collectors will continue indefinitely with the calls. Some creditors, however, are prone to filing lawsuits quickly and their lawyers are used to dealing with such lawsuits expediently. Remember though: in most cases they are used to receiving absolutely no response.

This is where you really need to pay attention. The collections lawsuit, as tempting as it may be, is not an action you should ignore. To do so will only lead to much worse consequences later, especially if a default judgment is granted against you. As soon as you have been served with a summons and complaint, consult with an attorney so they can reply and launch a defense for you in court. While you may be concerned that repercussions could strike immediately, in most cases upon reading the summons you will see that you have 20 to 30 days to reply, preferably with the help of your attorney (unless you have been to law school, this is not a task to take on by yourself!).

After that, weeks or months may pass before your court date. It is critical to keep up with the date that you are supposed to be in court and stay in touch with your attorney in the meantime regarding your plan—and your options. If a default judgment is granted against you, there will not be much time as the creditor is almost automatically imbued with much greater power to see their debt satisfied. This includes taking up to 25 percent of your disposable income, freezing your checking account unexpectedly, and enforcing their right to have property seized and sold off at public auction.

Speak with an attorney from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC as soon as possible to examine your options. Our attorneys have decades of experience in serving clients as they navigate through challenging financial situations, to include student loan issues, bankruptcy, and other debt management processes. We are here to help! Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation, call us at (844) 431-3851, or email us at

Share To: