Either the original creditor or the creditor's debt collector generally can sue a person for an outstanding debt. The court decides if the debt is valid and issues a judgment stating the total amount of money owed.
This judgment allows the debt collector to obtain a garnishment order against the person. The garnishment order gives the debt collector the ability to direct a bank to turn over funds from the individual's bank account. If a debt collector files a lawsuit, it is imperative to respond promptly by the date specified in the court papers. Otherwise, the opportunity to fight the debt will be lost.