I have 100k of CC debt I haven't paid for months. Would cc companies actually sue? The way I see it-

  • They have no way to find me. Would have to be service by publication.
  • A normal civil suit takes a year. 2000 hours on a 400/hr lawyer is 800k.
  • Cc company is not going to do something that massively unprofitable.

Is there a realistic chance of me being sued?

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because OP's intent increasingly appears to be to solicit advice on how to commit (indeed, continue an ongoing) fraud and circumvent the law entirely. – zibadawa timmy Jun 29 at 18:21
  • +1 for being a new user and I to would like to know where is the line. – Muze the good Troll. Jun 29 at 18:41
  • It's not just about closing your debt, but also discouraging future clients from not paying theirs. So potential gains are not 100k, but infinity. – Consis Jun 30 at 4:04

For what it is worth, service by publication is not allowed in a lawsuit to collect a credit card debt, although certain kinds of substituted service reasonably calculated to give you notice (e.g. via text message or a facebook direct message) can be authorized by a court in a suitable case. But, skip trace firms and private investigators are very good at finding people, especially with this kind of debt at issue. Unless you go completely off the grid and grow your own food, somebody can usually find you.

Also even if you can't be served, the credit card company could, if it could locate assets belonging to you, bring a lawsuit and attach the assets, tying them up until you could be served with process, possibly by substituted means.

Now, if you simply don't have any assets or income, the credit card company knows that it can't get blood out of a turnip and may not bother. But, usually, people with no assets or income aren't permitted to run up $100,000 of credit card debt in the first place.

In addition, it wouldn't be uncommon for a credit card company to sue to get a judgment on a large debt even if you don't have a current ability to pay because who knows when your circumstances might change in the future for the better, for example, if you win the lottery, or receive in inheritance, or get a better job. A money judgment often lasts twenty years and sometimes can be renewed if it is not collected by then.

Your estimate of the cost of a credit card debt collection lawsuit is wildly exaggerated. A lot of the work is done by paralegals and the total litigation cost would exceed $5,000 only in rare cases. Also, the credit card agreement almost certainly provides that any attorneys' fees and litigation costs incurred are added to the principal balance of the credit card debt, so it is always cost effective to sue.

  • Good point codes.findlaw.com/ca/code-of-civil-procedure/ccp-sect-585.html (a) looks like publication is not allowed for money judgements. To my knowledge the skip trace only looks at your addresses and Worknumber or smaller databases that only cover some companies right? If I travel all the time with a small company not in worknumber how do they find me? – user26414 Jun 28 at 21:27
  • "To my knowledge the skip trace only looks at your addresses and Worknumber or smaller databases that only cover some companies right?" Wrong. Skip trace uses a variety of sources and has come to mean any firm or service for finding people whose location is not known. Myriad sources are used. – ohwilleke Jun 28 at 22:08
  • Ok but how would they actually find me specifically? I have no fixed address, where can I find these workplace databases of where I work? – user26414 Jun 28 at 22:34
  • Adp and Worknumber are the only ones I'm aware of, as a contractor I've hardly interacted with either. Which other ones? – user26414 Jun 28 at 22:52
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    @user26414 This is starting to feel very much like asking for advice on how to commit fraud... – user4210 Jun 29 at 1:10

You will almost certainly be sued

For a small amount like this they would use junior lawyers and while the suit may take a while I’d be surprised if a lawyer spent a week all up on such a simple case. Say 40h at $200 = $8,000 which, when they win, you have to pay. Bargain.

  • How much do they think I have? Say they think I make 2k a month and get 25%, judgement good for 5 years, they get 30k. Although it's split among cards I think there's some limit to total garnish. Can I keep appealing and trolling them into the dirt? – user26414 Jun 28 at 5:04
  • Or they can send you bankrupt and take all your stuff – Dale M Jun 28 at 5:42
  • Appeal doesn't cost that much does it? How much will it cost them to keep demanding summary judgements to federal court? – user26414 Jun 28 at 5:46
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    A lot, and then the judge gets annoyed because you're being obnoxious and obstructive and makes it everything. – Nij Jun 28 at 7:03
  • Eh where do you find that, it looks a few hundred uscourts.gov/services-forms/fees/… . For me at least. – user26414 Jun 28 at 8:11

They have no way to find me.

Really? How do you know? Are you completely off the grid?

A normal civil suit takes a year.

I think you're falling prey to availability bias. The type of cases that tend to get a lot of publicity also tend to be the ones that take a while. That doesn't mean that your case is going to take a long time. What exactly is there to litigate about? Is there some colorable legal argument for why you shouldn't pay? Is there any factual basis for why you don't owe the money? Courts don't spend a year litigating an issue just because there's a lawsuit. There have to be actual issues to dispute. Otherwise, it can over in months. They might even be able to get a summary judgment if your defense consists of nothing but "nuh-uh".

2000 hours on a 400/hr lawyer is 800k.

You seem to have gotten the 2000 as being the amount of hours that is the typical amount worked in a year. But even when a case drags on for years, that doesn't necessarily mean that lawyers are constantly working on it. Those long times come from continuances, where the parties show up to court every few weeks or even months, one of the party asks for more time, and the case gets put off until the next court date. If there's a large team of lawyers working on a big case, they could be racking up several times your 2000 hour/year figure. But this probably isn't going to be a big case. This is quite likely going to be a few dozen hours, a hundred at the most, of billable hours. And they probably have in-house counsel, so probably not $400/hr.

Also, if by "credit card company", you mean the network, you don't owe them any money. You owe the bank, and banks are really, really good at getting money from people. That's kinda what they do. If you owed only a few hundred dollars, the bank would probably just ruin your credit and move on. But they're not going to let a six figure sum go.

  • I live in hotels and contract mostly through obscure vendor companies, what are they going to do? I understand if I was full-time at Walmart or something they could use worknumber but I dont, and doesnt inverify require consent? What are there other options? – user26414 Jun 29 at 2:32

Is this all on one credit card? If yes, you will probably be sued, given the firm doesn’t drag their feet and miss the statute of limitations. Even if the debt is spread across multiple cards, the cutoff point for a firm to decide whether or not to pursue a debt could be as low as a few hundred dollars.

It sounds like you won’t be going to court either, so default judgment will be entered against you. Since you wouldn’t be contesting the matter, it would take no more than a few months to obtain judgment. In addition, much of this work would be done by a paralegal if not almost exclusively by a paralegal (except for the trial part), whose billable hourly rate is much less than that of an attorney. The real question is will they be able to collect on the judgment.

  • You can only appeal so many times. And appeals typically only address if the court had erred in some way. – coffee guy Jun 28 at 5:11
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    Unless you bring up a substantive defense where facts would be in dispute, it may be as simple as the plaintiff writing a motion for summary judgment. Also remember, plaintiffs can sue for attorney fees as well, so you may end up in a situation where you would have to pay the opposing counsel’s reasonable attorney fees. Bottom line, courts have little patience for frivolous appeals. Also, I believe at some point the court will have to allow the case to be heard. I know this is the case for the Supreme Court, where they must grant certiorari. – coffee guy Jun 28 at 5:33
  • At that point the clout is more valuable than the money. – coffee guy Jun 28 at 5:41
  • Well that's a lot of clout for 1 tiny debtor, i doubt that ever happens – user26414 Jun 28 at 5:42

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