Do Not Avoid Creditors: What Could Happen If You Do

If you are struggling financially and seem to be behind in everything, you are probably avoiding all phone calls in case they are creditors looking for payment. If you don't see any end in sight to your credit worries, consider filing for bankruptcy. Things could get worse if you don't. Here are a few things you can expect if you don't gain control of your financial situation.

Creditors could contact your employer

If you ignore phone calls, emails, and regular mail, your creditors may try to reach you through your employer. While creditors are not legally permitted to release any information regarding your account, especially when it comes to one that is in negative standing, the mere act of calling your employer can be unsettling for you. It may raise suspicion, which could cause problems with your employer if you handle any of your company's monetary funds or have access to expensive equipment or material.

Speak with your creditors when they call and when you receive notification to place a call to them. Perhaps they will allow you to set up a payment plan in order for you to get caught up on the debt you owe them. If, however, you simply can't make a payment plan of any kind work or they are unwilling to work with you, consult with a bankruptcy attorney.

Creditors could file civil lawsuits against you

If you continue to fail to pay what you owe your creditors, they could file civil lawsuits against you. If so, you would receive a letter in the mail from your local county courthouse informing you of the date and time of your court hearing. If you lose that case, the court will enter a judgement against you, which you will be required to pay. If you can't pay your bills as it is already, you would probably have a difficult time paying a judgement, which could result in the following:

Garnished wages. Creditors can force you to pay the judgement by garnishing your wages. This, obviously, would result in your employer learning more about your financial situation.

Writ of execution. A creditor can file a writ of execution, which authorizes your local sheriff to seize your bank accounts, personal property, vehicles, and real estate, which would get sold in a sheriff's sale to pay off your judgement.

Liens placed. Creditors may choose to place liens on your real estate property. If this is done, you would not be able to sell any property until the judgement is paid. However, judgements can be paid from the equity in the property, if there is enough, but this could leave you with nothing from the sale if the judgement is the same amount as the equity or more.

Vehicle seizure. A creditor could seize your vehicle if you fail to pay a judgement. This is similar to a repossession, but repossessions are only done by vehicle loan lenders when installment payments fall behind. Any creditor with a judgement against you can seize your vehicle for failure to pay. They would file a lien against your vehicle similar to how they would file a lien against your real estate property, except a lien against your vehicle gives them the authority to take possession of it.

Instead of allowing your financial situation to get as far out of control as these examples, consider filing a bankruptcy instead. If you've already received notification of a hearing, it's not too late to file bankruptcy. Actually, filing bankruptcy at this point would put an immediate halt to collection attempts, including any hearings. If you've already had your wages garnished and assets seized, a bankruptcy petition may allow you to regain your lost assets.