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Credit Card Debt that Can’t be Served

Credit Card Debt that Can’t be Served

Credit card companies and debt collectors need to deliver formal court summons to debtors if they want to extract money for any defaulted credit card accounts through a lawsuit. The court summons serves as a notification to the defendant that a lawsuit is underway and is giving them the chance to defend themselves in court. However, there are times when a creditor cannot locate the debtor to deliver the court summons. While the summons is not immediately received, this does not mean the lawsuit will not proceed.

The state laws will differ how plaintiff in a lawsuit will serve the court summons to the defendant. There are times when traditional, in-person service is not possible. This could happen if the creditor is located out of state or when the debtor cannot be located. One option to remedy these problems is to use alternate notifications. One form of alternate notification is mailing the summons to the debtor’s last known address via certified mail.

When a credit card company or collection firm cannot service a summons officially but all requirements for alternate notification are met, the court will issue the credit a default judgment in the case. A default judgment is a court decision on behalf of the plaintiff by default due to the defendant’s failure to appear in court to defend himself or herself. Default judgment is used to seize a debtor’s assets including bank accounts, wages, etc., if the collection firm is able to locate the debtor.

There are times when credit card companies and/or collection firms will apply unethical practices that will lead to improper service that do not meet requirements of state laws. This practice is known as gutter service. Gutter service occurs when a creditor will claim to have served the debtor when, in fact, the creditor did not do what they claim or they cannot locate the debtor while being fully aware of the debtor’s address. Improper service will result in the debtor not receiving the court summons. Eventually, the credit wins because of an obtained default judgment.

If a creditor or collection firm cannot locate the debtor to notify him or her about the lawsuit, locating the debtor to enforce the judgment is often very difficult to pull off. For one thing, the creditor or the debt collector must know where the debtor works for wage garnishment. They need to find out the banks to contact for bank account garnishment. Additionally, judgments will not remain enforceable indefinitely.

Note that each state maintains a maximum amount of time during which the credit card company will enforce its judgment. Therefore, when a company cannot locate the delinquent debtor to issue the court summons, there is no guarantee that exists which it can relocate the individual to enforce the judgment after the lawsuit proceeds.

14 Responses to “Credit Card Debt that Can’t be Served”

  1. Julee Ishak says:

    I found this info valuable

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