What Happens If You Are Sued by a Debt Collector

A surge of the lawsuits may swamp consumers who lost their jobs in the pandemic and can’t afford to pay their bills. During the pandemic, banks and other lenders have been giving consumers more time to pay bills and waiving late fees and interest.

However, those moves are mostly temporary, and as states move to reopen their economies, consumer advocates said, they worry that collection activities will surge.

Due to the pandemic, people may need to set financial priorities. If you already have a debt payment plan and you have lost your job, say so — and ask if the collection firm has “hardship” programs that could temporarily suspend payments.

If you can’t handle the situation on your own, you may want to seek legal help. Places to start for low-cost services: here on the Legal Services Corporation website and the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

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