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  1. #1
    txdadof2 is offline Member
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    What happens if you don't respond to summons and do not appear in court

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas

    I know this is probably a dumb question, but I truly do not know the answer. I received certified letter yesterday from an attorney's office wanting to verify my address. They are representing a debt collector for a delinquent account since 2005. I am assuming the next thing I will receive is a summons for a court hearing.

    What happens if I continue to avoid the debt? For instance, I avoid being served or I do not show up to court for the hearing? I don't need any responses such as "grow up, pay your debt, stop being a dead beat." Just simply want to know. Is it grounds for jail time for an 800.00 debt that has accrued fees and interest now in the amount of 1500.00? Will they issue a warrant for an arrest if I do not appear in court?
  2. #2
    randolph76 is offline Member
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    If you get a summons to appear in court. APPEAR in court! If it comes to that hire a lawyer to prepare your case. They're not going to put a warrant out for your arrest if you don't show but it's in YOUR best interest to show. If they get a default judgement they'll get pretty much whatever they ask for.

    The lawyer could simply be verifying your address for future communications. I don't have a crystal ball on that one.
  3. #3
    txdadof2 is offline Member
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    Probably another dumb question, but doesn't it disappear off your credit record after X amount of years? This is a debt that went delinquent during my divorce.

    Call it a bad attitude, but I have had to suffer the past 6 years with this on my credit. Now I still have to pay all the interests and fees?

    And what is the rational behind hiring an attorney for around 3,000.00 for a 1,500.00 debt? Wouldn't I be spending more at that point?
  4. #4
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by txdadof2 View Post
    Probably another dumb question, but doesn't it disappear off your credit record after X amount of years? This is a debt that went delinquent during my divorce.

    Call it a bad attitude, but I have had to suffer the past 6 years with this on my credit. Now I still have to pay all the interests and fees?

    And what is the rational behind hiring an attorney for around 3,000.00 for a 1,500.00 debt? Wouldn't I be spending more at that point?
    The rationale of hiring the attorney for approximately $3,000 is that you will pay the original debt, plus interest, plus the attorney. Sounds perfectly logical to me to have the deadbeat pay for the chase, don't you think
  5. #5
    randolph76 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by txdadof2 View Post
    Probably another dumb question, but doesn't it disappear off your credit record after X amount of years? This is a debt that went delinquent during my divorce.

    Call it a bad attitude, but I have had to suffer the past 6 years with this on my credit. Now I still have to pay all the interests and fees?

    And what is the rational behind hiring an attorney for around 3,000.00 for a 1,500.00 debt? Wouldn't I be spending more at that point?
    Yes most things after 7 years of last activity. However, each state has statute of limitations for collecting debt which is different. Even if it fell off your credit report you could still be sued if it was within the statute of limitations for that debt.
  6. #6
    BOR_ is offline Member
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    If you avoid being served then you will not have to pay. Good luck ! Tag, your it !
  7. #7
    randolph76 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOR_ View Post
    If you avoid being served then you will not have to pay. Good luck ! Tag, your it !
    WRONG.

    And as I said it's in OP's interest to show up to court.
  8. #8
    heliios is offline Junior Member
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    I can speak from experience, I ignored summons and let them make their judgement. It was for an $1100 college bill I owed. Without me showing up they went ahead and passed the judgement for about $2000 to include court and attorney fee's, then went on to garnish my wages. 12 months or so of garnishments and it was gone, but 5 years after the garnishment it is still on my credit report.

    In the end if they are summoning you that means they are going to sue. If they sue they get fees plus costs plus interest they want, and you WILL pay it, if you have a job. They will find you eventually. I would try to head it off before the court date and try to settle with the company.
  9. #9
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    and a judgment remains on your credit report for the life of the judgment.

    In Texas, a judgment is valid for 10 years and it is renewable so, if they obtain a judgment, it's there for at least 10 years.
  10. #10
    smorr is offline Member
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    Not sure about Texas, but judgments remain on the record in Massachusetts for 20 years. And didn't know a judgment could be renewed.

    To TXDADOF2 - if you signed for the certified letter, it obviously shows you received it. That alone will trigger a confirmation that your address is valid. If you refused it, then it goes back undeliverable.

    You probably won't get arrested for the debt, but you will continue to incur interest at the "default" rate (that is if this is a credit card debt). If you receive a summons, like others said here, show up in court. Not sure what you have for a defense, but showing up is better than just letting them get the judgment because then they have the ability to add all the interest to date, plus court costs and attorney's fees. Judgments carry less of an interest rate, but it still accrues interest. In some states they can also tag interest on the attorneys fees as well (but not sure about Texas - sorry) if the debt continues as unpaid. I'd call the attorney and see what they're up to. I know that's easier said than done as some people like the debt to just go away, but that unfortunately is not the case. Been there, done that. Good luck!
  11. #11
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    smorr;2833345]Not sure about Texas, but judgments remain on the record in Massachusetts for 20 years. And didn't know a judgment could be renewed.
    that is based on the state involved. Some states allow renewal, some don't. The life of the judgment varies with the state as well.

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