What Happens if you Never Pay the Debt Collectors?

United States
August 27, 2008 7:21pm CST
I was just having a discussion with someone here on mylot who mentioned the 'Bill Collectors' calling, and I got to thinking.... I have had Debt Collectors calling me for years. I never answer the phone unless the caller ID says it's a friend or relative. I had my first credit card 20 years ago that I never finished paying off. Then other cards over the years that got out of control. After I missed payments and the total got so high I couldn't stand opening the envelopes anymore, so I got depressed and would throw them away without opening them. I got so used to them leaving messages that I skip over every day, but sometimes I get to wondering if they will actually DO something. Would they ever come and take my car away or something like that? I imagine if they could, they would have by now, but nothing has happened yet. I just wondered if anyone has any information on this sort of thing. I would LIKE to be able to pay everything I owe, but so far, I never even have enough money to pay for all of my utilities each month. When my son was little, his dad introduced him to a friend named Bill and my son asked if his last name was Collector!
3 people like this
14 responses
• United States
28 Aug 08
for credit cards they dont do anything really. just threaten and harresee. i mean you had your first 20 years ago. so if they havent done anything by now theres nothing to worry about.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Aug 08
they say that they will turn in the info to the Credit Bureaus, ruining your credit, but if you're still able to get credit cards I guess your credit hasn't been ruined. I have a hosptial bill that I accidentally got behind on & then I was approached w/ a settlement, so I guess they are happy to get a partial payment sometimes.
2 people like this
@sweetdesign (5152)
• United States
28 Aug 08
I know in some cases the statues of limitations run out on a company collecting the debt and they write it off. In the case of student loans there is no statues of limitations on them I do not think. But most cc companies end up writing it off as a bad debt and it hurts your credit which by that time it couldn't gt any worse so who cares right? I have an apartment complex that is on my tail every year or so they crop up again even though I have repeatedly provided proof that I owe them nothing. I also have credit cards that keep calling and my student loan. they will take my tax return next year for the student loan big deal at least it will get paid on since I owe $68,000.00 it will be a long long time before I get a tax refund again unless I win the lottery then first thing I will pay that student loan off completly.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Aug 08
Lol, YOU are the one I was talking to earlier who mentioned Bill Collectors calling and got me thinking about this subject.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Aug 08
They can ruin your credit for one and take you to court. You should just make a payment plan with them and pay them off slowly.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Aug 08
My credit is already ruined! The last time I remember trying to make a payment plan, they wanted post dated checks. Then I don't have enough money in the bank to cover them and the checks bounce and I end up worse than when I started!
1 person likes this
@tlb0822 (1415)
• United States
28 Aug 08
I know they can take you to court and get a judgement against you. But if it has been that long they might not have even bothered. A lot of time they will just right it off, or they will want to make a settlement offer with you.
1 person likes this
@ZephyrSun (7399)
• United States
28 Aug 08
LOL Collector...I don't know if they do anything. I know that if you don't pay on something that they can repo they will repo it. I have heard of people having their wages garnished due to unpaid bills. I don't answer the phone either, we are on the do not call list but everyone and their brother calls us for home improvements all the time. We live in an area that is mostly retired people 80+ years old and we have people knocking on the door trying to sell us everything.
1 person likes this
@baileycows (3671)
• United States
28 Aug 08
They can file suit and garnish your wages if they wanted. I don't know how much debt your talking about, but I am sure that they are also reporting to your credit agency and your score will never get corrected. You can make deal with them they will usually somtimes cut the debt in half to clear it.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jul 10
Be careful when the Debt Collectors call you. I have had one that had called me before I changed my phone number and the company lied about being from a law office. They had claimed to be a law offic from New York and I do not live in New York. I had investigated the compny to find out that the so called law office was a debt consolidation company. The office phone number they gave me was a UPS store. These collectors will use any means possible to get money from you even threatening to take you to court. They scare you. My husband's exwife had opened two credit cards using his last name as hers. The divorce has been finalized for six years now and my husband and I are currently married. I guess she had failed to pay her bills because on a daily basis we were getting phone calls from her creditors asking if she lives here and telling my husband that he needs to pay these bills because we live in a community property state. My husband refuses to pay her bills because the two of them are no longer married. The debt collector had the nerve to say well, how do we know that your so called current wife did not open these accounts using your exwife's name. My husband was so upset that he hung up on them.
• United States
29 Aug 08
it just goes on your credit, and i think they can take you to court for some things. if its the irs, they can garnish your wages.
@checapricorn (16076)
• United States
28 Aug 08
[i]Hi momalisa, ohhh..I am not sure about that company but as what I have heard by friends, they are being sued with that if they don't cooperate! Anyway, maybe trying to give them little amount each month, I am sure they will accept like $50 as long as you can start paying and out from savings after all the short cuts! But if that is after 20 years and they are doing nothing, maybe they are not really interested to go further except calling you! I have no experience...wish you will get a valid suggestions from other members![/i]
• Canada
28 Aug 08
Well it seems to me that maybe your debt is in trouble? But in some options they cant do anything unless it is court order or in case you are on social assistance or disability they cant garnish your wages and they are not aloud any documents signed by the bank unless of court order.So depending on yoru situation which looks to me you need some advice.Pay what you can little by little your choice...
@angelface23 (2502)
• United States
28 Aug 08
Depending on what state you live in there is a statue of limitations of how long a debt collector can come after you for. I am not sure what happens after that time is up. For example in Pennsylvania I think it is 6 or 7 years. My friend said to not answer the phone when they call or the time starts all over again. If you really want to pay it off why not try to use a debt consolidation program like CCCS (Consumer Credit Counseling Services) I used them for about a year and it stopped the collection calls and even the interest! I didn't pay them all off using this method but it did get them down to a manageable amount. I should have most of the cards paid off by November. I would maybe talk to a lawyer if you are afraid of them taking your possessions.
@sedel1027 (17870)
• United States
28 Aug 08
After awhile they just give up, That stuff drops off of your credit report 7 years after the last payment is made. They can say they will come after you legally, but in reality for what you owe they probably never will.
@irishidid (8105)
• United States
28 Aug 08
Some debts won't be discharged at all. You can't wish them away. Others like credit card companies may write them off but then turn around and sell them. Then you still owe it but to a different company.