Whenever you sign an agreement or contract, you must adhere to the terms. With that in mind, yes they do have the right to sue. Most people experiencing financial problems would not be able to afford an attorney as most (experienced or not) charge a minimum of at least a hundred or two an hour. In more expensive areas of the country, one should expect to pay more. I don't know what happens if you are sued by a collection agency but believe it would be similar to any other lawsuit where you would receive a summons to appear that will tell you the time, date, and reason. It would be the debtors choice to hire an attorney but that's just throwing more money into the black hole if they're already being sued for non-payment.