Are you behind on your bills and keep receiving collection letters and phone calls from debt collectors? The debt collectors will only keep contacting you for so long without payment. Their next likely step will be filing a lawsuit against you to collect what you owe.
While this seems scary, there are actions you can take.
Respond to the Lawsuit
The first thing that happens when a creditor sues you is they will have you served with a complaint and a summons. The complaint describes the nature of the debt collectors allegations against you. Mostly it would describe what you owe and how you have failed to pay the debt collector. The summons acts as a notice that the debt collector has taken legal action against you and gives details of when you must appear in court.
Your first instinct may be to avoid responding to the debt collector lawsuit. You may hope any actions against you will wait until you can pay the debt. But, the court only allows you a certain amount of time to respond to the claim and appear in court.
Failure to respond to the complaint and ignoring the summons to court will resort in a default judgment against you. This means you automatically lose the lawsuit and the court issues you an order to pay the specified amount of debt to the debt collector. This could lead to garnishment of your wages or a judgment lien against your property.
Debt collectors file thousands of lawsuits each year and are accustomed to debtors not fighting their claims. But, due to the way debt collection businesses function and that the burden of proof is on their side it is possible to challenge a lawsuit. An experienced debt relief attorney could help you prepare your defense against the debt collector and have the judge rule in your favor.
Bankruptcy could be your best option for stopping a debt collection lawsuit. As soon as you file bankruptcy, the aspect known as the automatic stay goes into effect. This court order prohibits creditors from taking any collection actions against you. This includes pursuing any collection lawsuit they have already filed against you.
Depending upon the type of bankruptcy you file, the debt you are being sued over could be discharged at no cost to you or at a fraction of the original debt.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you decide if filing bankruptcy is a good option for you. If you are facing a debt collector lawsuit, contact us for a free evaluation of your financial circumstances to see if we can help you.