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Ignoring debt collection lawsuits can mean wage garnishment

Feb 11, 2011 Kyle Duncan

For many Americans, times are tough financially. Even though the economy is technically in recovery, some people are still slowly digging out of debt. A consumer who is receiving debt collection calls is not alone. Many people have experienced these communications. But even if money is still tight, debt collectors cannot be ignored. If a debt collection lawsuit ensues, consumers can be subject to wage garnishment. This form of debt recovery is when money is deducted directly from an employee's salary to pay back companies that are owed money. This is a last-ditch effort to collect on debt, and employers are legally required to do follow the orders. According to Todd Ossenfort of Fox Business, a credit card company can only send garnishment orders to an employer and a bank if the company has been granted a judgment from a court, so unless a person has ignored the lawsuit and correspondence on the matter, wage garnishment should never come as a surprise. Creditors are required to provide lead time to debtors regarding any pending legal action and generally try to avoid the hassle of filing a lawsuit to collect on funds, says However, once the judgement is rendered, consumers have little say in the matter. "By not responding, things tend to escalate from bad to worse," says Ossenfort.