When the debt collector threatens to sue is when most people start getting scared.
Scared about losing part of their wages, or their bank accounts. Scared about being served with process at work.
The threat of a lawsuit often triggers the first call to my law office. Some collector has said he will take 25% of your wages, or will serve a lawsuit, or even will send the account to collection,
and the hearer panics.
Can I file bankruptcy today
? the caller asks.
Lawsuits don’t happen overnight
Remember the idea of due process
from high school civics?
Due process assures that the threatened collection suit is not happening immediately. The threat is weeks, if not months, away.
Due process, at its simplest form in a collection suit, means that you get legal notice and a right to contest the claim of any creditor before they take your property.
So, the only way the average unsecured
creditor can take your wages or your assets is to file a lawsuit, serve it on you (there’s your notice) and provide an opportunity for you to resist the suit by filing an answer.
In short, you will see this kind of creditor coming long before
they have a legal right to take anything from you.
The scary creditors operate by different rules