Personal debt is at some of the highest levels ever recorded, and it shows no signs of slowing down. The sluggish economy isn't helping the situation, either. Much of this debt is beyond the control of consumers. They have lost their jobs, are hit with medical emergencies, or just need to provide the basics for their families. If this sounds familiar, you may be wondering if a credit card company can sue you for nonpayment. In short, yes they can.
There are a few things you should know about the potential of a credit card company suing you for nonpayment, though. The more information you have during difficult times, the better.
First, they do not like to sue their customers unless it becomes absolutely necessary. After all, it costs them money to go through the process, and there is always a chance they won't win. That being said, it's not all that common for a credit card company to sue a consumer, but it can happen. What is far more likely is that they will turn over your account to a collection agency. You have a much better chance of being sued by a collection agency than by a credit card company.
Second, you have to really mess up before they will even think about suing you. You not only have to owe a lot, but you also have to miss several payments. Actually, missing payments may not even be the tipping point. What really gives you the best chances of a credit card company suing you for nonpayment is not communicating with them about why you're not paying.
Therefore, the best way to prevent getting sued is to call the company as soon as possible, and let them know what's going on. Most card companies offer hardship programs. You may be able to have your interest rate lowered, have late fees forgiven, or other things that work to your benefit. Most programs are usually good for six months to a year, but you may be able to re-enroll once the initial time has expired. Remember, it's in their best interest to work with you, but they can't do anything if you don't clue them in.
Third, being sued isn't nearly as bad as a lot of people assume. It's not any fun, to be sure. But it's not the end of the world either. Being sued simply means you will be taken to court. It doesn't mean you will lose. Plus, if your finances are in really rough shape, the judge may lower how much you owe by a significant amount. However, if a judgment is entered against you, the card company will have the power of the courts to collect what you owe.
Finally, a credit card company suing you for nonpayment is a real possibility if things get too far out of control. But there are things you can do to minimize the chances of it ever happening to you.