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What seems to prompt a lawsuit?

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Been lurking for a couple of days. So glad I found this site and all the useful information! Please forgive me if I'm posting this in the wrong place but couldn't find a better place to ask this question...


Basically, I wondered if there was any occurrence or anything in particular that seemed to prompt having a collection lawsuit filed against you. The reason I'm asking is that I've noticed some people seem to get past the SOL without ever having a lawsuit filed against them, whereas others will be served close to the SOL expiring, and yet others get served rather quickly. The amounts involved do not seem to make any difference as to whether a suit was filed.


I've noticed many inquiries on my own credit report from different CA's and law firms, etc. It's almost like they're looking for something on my report to see if it would merit them taking the chance to file suit against me--such as a recently paid off vehicle or something.


So I was curious, from any of the folks here that have recently been served, if they can think of something that may have prompted the filing of the lawsuit?


Apologies if this has been asked before but I couldn't find it anywhere.

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no rhyme or reason.  I thing making a big purchase that requires credit may flag them that you have disposable income.  Sometimes they wait until the month before the SOL to file so they can rack up as much interest as possible before filing.  Some that file right away may not be able to charge any interest according to laws, and credit agreements for post charge off.  If the OC didn't charge interest after charge off, then the JDB can not charge it from the time of charge off until they get the account.  Even then they may not be able to until after they were to get a judgement.

They bank on default judgments for 98% of their wins, they look for low hanging fruit. Credit reports help them, Or if they know you have a job, or they have accurate addresses, etc.  But you just don't know so it is a good thing to always be ready for in case!

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Applying for large credit, like a mortgage is a trigger. They figure you can't get a loan without settling with them first. According to collections representatives, they try to only target people that are able to pay, but we've seen them go after people with no money.


Someone once said that collections law firms have access to a database of accounts and they basically select which cases they want to pursue - it could be grouped by location, workload, etc. One theme I noticed last year is that they seemed to sue on the same type of card from the same time frame, all at once.


We have found that requesting debt validation does not seem to affect anything.


There is supposed to be a place called "WebRecon" that lists debtors that aggressively fight back - collectors allegedly subscribe to that list to know who "not" to sue, but even that seems like urban legend, as we've seen fighters get sued multiple times.


Main thing is just don't be one of the 98% that don't respond.

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It comes with the advent of modern technology.  Some combination of math, statistical analysis, big data, and predictive algorithmic modelling.
Spending or borrowing money will set this trap off.  Filling out a credit application with a new address or employer can do it too.
Turnips can bleed: The Portfolio Recovery story

The key is restraint. Specially designed software helps the company pinpoint the consumers who are worth the expense to pursue and go after them when the time is right.

"We have a fleet of really smart math guys sitting just over there,” says Neal Stern, PRA’s executive vice president of operations, gesturing from his window-walled office into the company’s nerve center.

"You feed that into the statistical software, and it figures out what correlates to payment,” similar to the way underwriters determine insurance premiums, explains Mark Anderson, vice president of strategy and Stern’s right-hand scoring man.

Every account is recalculated each night, and its score drops every day it gets older. That is, unless something changes to indicate the debtor’s prospects have improved. When an unemployed mom gets a job or signs up for a cellphone contract, for example, her score goes up. PRA pays to access data from credit reporting agencies, among other sources of information.

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Thanks so much for all the replies so far! Very useful info.


I have some A/C's that are coming toward last year of SOL. Although I'm fully prepared to fight any suits filed against me, I was just curious if there's anything I should or shouldn't be doing to prompt one in the first place. At this point, I wouldn't ask for validation on anything, or mail C&D's, and I certainly wouldn't be taking any offers or even paying a single cent (which would restart the SOL). I also can't imagine moving house, changing jobs or making any other major life changes in the next year... although my wife and I did finance an RV earlier this year.


I was also curious if being in Texas had anything to do with things since TX is a very debtor friendly state. Though I see numerous people here from TX being sued--so maybe not. One thing that made me find this site is my curiousity was prompted after a friend of a work colleage got sued (here in TX) by Midland Funding for an old Home Depot card (approx. $2000) within 6 months of SOL expiring but they also had one or two cars recently paid off apparently.

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Texas has a relatively short SOL for suit so that may prompt creditors to move slightly faster on the lawsuit issue due to having a smaller window.  I suspect in states with a 6 year or longer SOL they move slower knowing they have a lot of time but then the account may fall through the cracks where no one pursues it.  Another factor is many people perfect living "off the grid" leading creditors with outstanding debts to assume they are not worthy of pursuing collection activities with a zero yield of payment.  Then when the SOL is expired the consumer re-enters the grid and there is nothing creditors can do via the courts to collect.  

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I think being employed, meaning wages to garnish, is a major factor.  I know the collection law firms do pull your credit reports.


Check your credit reports.  I know Transunion shows employment.  If you are unemployed, retired, or disabled, I would contact the CRAs to inform them of that fact.  Ask them to remove your job history.    If you aren't working now, but a credit report still shows your last job, the creditor will think you are still working. 


Making yourself appear to be judgment-proof, meaning collection-proof, helps, IMO.

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