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Have you been sued on an old debt?

You may have accumulated some old credit card debts at one time and the credit card company may have attempted to collect. Maybe you were just out of school, trying to find work or were between jobs and you had little or no income. The company may have eventually given up its efforts and stopped contacting you about the debt.

But computers at these companies never forget, and they may have finally sold off a large group of these old, "charged off" debts. They sell the debt to another collection agency that buys them for pennies on the dollar, hoping they can obtain enough in payments to make the purchase worthwhile.

And one day, in the mail, there is a notice from a court in Wisconsin that you are being sued by this collection agency. You may hardly even remember having the debt and you may not have any records. You may even think you can ignore. It's old, right?

Wrong. Don't ignore it. These companies are known for having less than scrupulous business practices and recordkeeping. To save money, they may not have purchased any supporting documentation for the debt beyond your name, address, the amount of the debt and the last payment made.

If you ignore it and they have incorrect information or have run up a bunch of bogus fees in an effort to make their endeavor more profitable, you could have a legally enforceable "default judgment" entered against you and they could then garnish your wages to repay the previously questionable amount.

If you are not sure what to do, you probably should speak with an attorney who handles debt relief and bankruptcy. Simply by having your attorney respond to the filing may cause them to dismiss the case, as they hope you will ignore it and they will obtain a "default judgment" that costs them little, but may cost you dearly.

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