How long does it take a debt collector to take you to court if you’re enrolled in a debt settlement program?

UPDATED: Dec 2, 2011

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How long does it take a debt collector to take you to court if you’re enrolled in a debt settlement program?

My credit card account of $21,000 just went to a collection attorney; I just enrolled in a debt settlement program for this account. The program’s attorney states they will not make an offer until I have 20% in my account. How soon can they take me to court?

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The debt collector can sue you *immediately* if you are already in default on the debt (that is, if you have already missed payments). Or if you are not currently in default, then as soon as you are--that is, as soon as you miss a payment, only partially pay what you owe for a month, and/or are late on a payment--the debt collector may act.  The creditor or its debt collector does not have to give your debt settlement program a chance to collect funds or make an offer of settlement, but may immediately take action again you as soon as you are in default.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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