Now that I've been sued, what can I do?
When you first get the news that you are being pursued by a debt collector in collections, a lawsuit or a post-judgment scenario such as garnishment, your instinct might be to panic.
Seeking our advice will go a long way to helping you process the information and learn what if any next actions you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your assets.
There are proper legal defenses consumers can make to a debt collector's efforts to collect money against you. We can show you what your defenses are.
Debt collectors only have a certain number of years in which to bring a lawsuit. This limitations of time is known as the "statute of limitations," because governments pass laws or statutes that indicate the length of time in which a suit must be brought.
Believe it or not, debt collectors can and do bring lawsuits against alleged debtors past the statute of limitations. This happens more often than you think.
We can help you determine whether the lawsuit that was filed against you was filed past the applicable statute of limitations.
Once a debt collector has committed to file a lawsuit against you, the courts have determined that they must either (1) serve a copy of the lawsuit upon you personally, (2) serve someone at your true residence of suitable age, or (3) serve by publication after they have tried without success to serve you personally. Typically, the courts give the debt collector 120 days in which to find you and serve you. Most debt collectors hire full-time process servers to personally serve you.
Several mistakes or intentional acts are sometimes committed wherein a default judgment is made against you without your knowledge. Failure to actually serve the lawsuit, or misrepresentations by the process server that the lawsuit was served when in fact it was not, is often referred to as "sewer service."
We have uncovered fact patterns where the lawsuit was not properly served within the 120 days period. Improper service can be grounds to set aside or void a judgment against you.
Lawsuits are based on evidence. But you don't defend yourself, the debt collector wins by default.
Not all evidence is admissible, but someone needs to be there to object to evidence that is inadmissible.
It's important that you answer the complaint and then evaluate the evidence that they intend to use in court. Not all evidence is admissible in evidence.