I’m Living Outside the U.S. and Just Got Sued Over an Old Debt

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I’ve been living abroad for the past two years. I just received a summons notice from my forwarding address in the US. I don’t really know the exact date as to when it was delivered, but I think within the past two weeks. I don’t have any wages they could possibly garnish. I do still have checking account.

I’m wondering if this is too far past the date when I can ask the them to “Show me the evidence.” Do I need to show up in court as the notice states? Should I get a lawyer to handle this? I’m not really sure how to choose one. Do they need to be based in my home state (NY)



Dear Zach,

I’m not an attorney and can’t give you legal advice. Here are a number of attorneys who are licensed in New York who are experienced in debt collection issues.

What we do know for certain is if you put up no defense, you will absolutely lose and have a judgment against you over this debt.

All of your defense will need to be raised in defending this suit.

The moment you read this answer you should find an attorney in NYC, where the case appears to have been filed. It appears from the summons you have 30 days after proof of service to answer the complaint. Act now.

You may also want to consider contacting the law firm who sued you and paying off the debt but since time is short, and in order to protect your legal rights, I would urge you to contact an attorney.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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