Just because a creditor says you owe money doesn't mean you in fact owe that total amount of money. For instance, they may have made a miscalculation. Fortunately, you can answer that creditor's claim by admitting you owe some money but dispute the amount. In either case, at the end of the day it's the judge who's going to make a ruling to declare the official amount owed. When that occurs, that's when the creditor is going to come back to the judge and ask for permission to collect that money from you.
Depending on your specific situation, the creditor may try to collect that debt from you in one of several ways:
Wage garnishment. If you're working, the creditor may try to garnish your wages. That is, they can legally deduct money from your paychecks until the debt is paid in full.
Property liens. If the creditor puts up a lien against you on, say, your car or your house, that means you can't sell or finance that property without the creditor seizing the profit, which they would then put toward paying off your debt to them.
Levies. These creditors do have the ability to take homes if there's equity in it, but a lot of the time the creditor will try to find a bank account so they can sweep in and take whatever money they're owed.
As you can see, there are certain risks that come with allowing creditors to do whatever they want. That's why in many cases it's actually better to file for bankruptcy. Otherwise, you'll see this gradual progression we've just discussed. I don't say this because I want you to worry about worst-case scenarios, but because I want you to understand how the debt collection process works and take steps to avoid these complications. If you live in northern Alabama, the best way to do that is to sit down for a free consultation with a Huntsville debt solution lawyer such as myself. Get the support you deserve. Reach out and set up a free one-on-one meeting with me.