Spif is right. If you ignored the court dates then the creditor received a default judgment.
Normally your debts are wiped off your credit report after 7 years (not 7 1/2 as Spiff stated). Also, each state has a "statute of limitations" where the creditor must sue you within that time, or lose the right to collect on the debt.
But as you state, they filed a lawsuit and you did not show up to defend yourself. They how have a default judgment. Now what?
The SOL on judgments is much longer, again depending on the state you live in. The judgment will continue to charge interest. Eventually the creditor will find out where you work, or where your bank is, and wills start to garnish your wages. If you own a car they may go after it.
So you are far from being out of the woods here. You may want to check either your credit report, or the court where you used to live, and see if there are actually any judgments against you.
Judgments will also drop off your report after 7 years, but they have a terrible effect on it...nearly as bad as a bankruptcy. But since judgments can be renewed, they can come after you for many years to come.
The only way to get out from under them is to file for bankruptcy. I don't know how much you owe, or how many judgments you are talking about. You may wish to discuss this with a BK attorney.
· 1 decade ago