If you get served with court papers, you are being sued by someone (person or business entity). For the sake of this discussion, let’s say you are being sued by a creditor over a debt you did not pay (or they say you did not pay). If you don’t show up for court, the debt collector wins, right or wrong – they win and get a judgment is set against you. With a judgment in place, the debt collector has the power to garnish your wages or seize your bank account, or any bank account with your name on it.
They can sue you and garnish your wages even if they have already repossessed their collateral (such as a car, furniture, guns, etc). They can sue you and garnish your wages even if they have foreclosed on your home if they say that there is a delinquency (the sale of the home, car, furniture, guns, etc) did not cover the entire balance you owed the creditor.
Don’t avoid being served. The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution mandates “due process” when someone is asserting a claim against a person’s “life, liberty or property.” State Constitutions have also adopted this right and passed what is called “service of process” laws that spell out how a legal document must be delivered to a defendant in a lawsuit. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that avoiding being served will avoid the consequences of being sued. It is just not true. Avoiding being served does not make the case disappear and avoiding being served could make things worse.