The credit card company will begin their collection efforts against you when you stop paying your monthly bill.
Many of the bankruptcy clients I meet with in Northwest Georgia will stop paying their credit card bills as soon as they make the decision to file for bankruptcy. Why should you keep depriving yourself of necessities to make payments on debts that you are about to eliminate in bankruptcy? The problem is that you have no bankruptcy protection until your case is actually filed with the court.
Credit card collection efforts usually start with a series of letters. These letters will tell you how long it has been since you made your last payment. Then, the collection calls begin. I had one client from Chatsworth Georgia tell me that they were receiving about 10 robo collection calls a day before their case was filed.
The next step for the credit card company is to sell the debt to a collection company. My guess from talking with my clients is that this happens about three months from the time they have stopped paying on the credit card bill. After a few months of letters and phone calls from the collection company, their attorney will mail a letter to you that threatens a lawsuit if the account is not brought current.
If there is no response to the lawsuit letters, a complaint for collection will be filed in your local Georgia county court against you. In Georgia, it is not uncommon for the local Sheriff’s office to come to your house and serve the lawsuit. You will have 30 days to answer the lawsuit if you do not owe the money or you believe that the amount you are being sued for is not correct. If you fail to answer the complaint, a default judgment will be entered against you.
Once a judgment has been entered against you in Georgia, the collection company will use it to garnish your wages, your checking account, and put a lien on property you own.
When you file Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all collection efforts against you must stop immediately.