Credit Card FAQ

What Happens When A Credit Card Company Sues Me?

3 December 2012 by CreditCardsCo™

When a credit card company sues, it is always because no effort has been made for a specific amount of time to resolve the total balance. Legal action is always a last ditch effort to obtain the money that is owed to them, but it is an action they will take if they have to.

Credit card companies run a business of loaning money to their customers who pay it back in monthly installments. When you don't pay them back it can result in legal action which ensures that they will get what is owed to them. Communication and patience can help avoid this legal action.

There are a number of reasons why a person might neglect to pay their credit card bills. While credit card companies can sometimes be forgiving and willing to work with you through any difficulties, failure to pay your credit card bills could result in legal action.

While credit card companies are often flexible with their customers when it comes to making payments and staying on track, there is always a breaking point. Even if you are able to consistently communicate with your creditors and they seem understanding you will still have to make a payment eventually. If you are not able to, you can expect legal action, probably resulting in your creditors suing you. Fortunately, there is a minimum amount of time that creditors must wait before they can do this, which is between one and five years.

Court Appearance

Obviously, when someone pursues legal action there is always a court appearance. The initial hearing is simply an instance where the judge will hear the accusation. Despite the fact that credit card companies are often very powerful you should always show up to the hearing. If you do not there will probably be a default judgment and you will be ordered, by the court, to concede to their demands; even if they start tacking on fees and asking for much more than you owe them!

What You Can Do

First of all, if you want to try to negotiate or avoid a serious and immediate judgment you need to show up! Now, if you really mean business and you truly want to meet an agreeable compromise then you should be prepared and bring some things with you:

  • Complete documentation of your account
  • Documentation of your income and expenses like pay stubs and billing statements
  • An attorney


It is important to remember that the point of a legal negotiation is not necessarily to prevent the inevitable result of a judgment against you. The purpose of legal negotiation is to find a reasonable agreement between the two parties. This is the reason why you need to have proof of your income and expenses. It is from these facts that the judge will determine what you have to pay once the judgment is decided. Sometimes you can use physical property as assets that you can sell in order to obtain some extra cash.


Almost any situation that results in legal action will incur some penalties. Aside from paying the judgment you may also have to pay legal fees. Usually, the total judgment will include the legal fees as well as the fees charged by the issuing bank. Now, you can pay your judgment in monthly installments, one lump sum, or through wage garnishment. There are several other penalties to a credit card suit:

  • Fines
  • Court fees
  • Reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Trouble getting credit in the following years


If you do not make any payments on your credit cards for a long enough period of time, your credit card company could sue you. You will then have to go to court and negotiate for the terms of the judgment.

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