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You’ve Been Sued by a Debt Collector – Now What?

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You may receive a letter from an attorney telling that you are being sued even before the process server has a chance to serve you with the Summons and Complaint.  Once you receive a copy of the lawsuit, it may say that you have 20 days to file a response (if it’s in County Court or Circuit Court) or that you have to appear in Court on a specified date and time (if it’s in Small Claims court).  Should you try to defend the lawsuit on your own (called appearing “pro se”) or should you hire a lawyer?

There is a lot of information floating around on the internet, but much of it is simply wrong.  Even if it’s not wrong, the failure to follow the court procedures, rules and deadlines can result in you losing valuable rights, or even losing the whole lawsuit without even a trial.  However, when you hire our consumer protection law firm, we will attend all necessary court hearings, depositions, and trials; we will apply our knowledge from beginning to end.  Don’t risk Summary Judgment or take the chance of having your wages garnished or your bank accounts or other property seized.  We are here to help.

Some of our clients trusted a mediator, only to learn when it is too late that they had other options.  All too often someone tells us what they signed is not what was explained at mediation.  Always take your time and be sure to read what is in front of you; this may help avoid severe negative consequences later.  Once you sign a mediation agreement, you may later realize you have lost important rights.

When we are retained, we typically file our Notice of Appearance to inform the Court and the debt collection lawyer that we represent you.  From that point on, you should not be contacted by the debt collector or its lawyers.  If you are, you may be able to file a law suit against them.

Next we will typically file an Answer and Affirmative Defenses.  After that, the parties often engage in discovery.  This includes sending and responding to Requests for Admission, Requests for Production and Interrogatories.  Answering these properly is critical.  For example, if you do not respond to Requests for Admission in the time frame specified by the Court Rules, they are automatically deemed admitted.  If this happens, you can lose your whole case without even a trial.

Remember the debt collector bringing the lawsuit has the burden of proof.  Some things to consider in deciding how to respond include:  Did I own a credit card from this company?  If it’s a debt buyer, do they have proof that they bought my account?  Are these even my charges?  Is the amount sued on accurate?  Many people get confused thinking the law firm that is suing them is the account owner, when in fact the law firm is only representing the company suing you.

We will keep you informed every step of the way.  I will work on your case from beginning to end.  When you retain our firm, rest assured my office manager and wife, Tina, and I will put our experience to work for you.  Please call us at 386-444-3032 or contact us through this website by clicking here.  We are here to help you.