If you have found yourself trapped with debt that you cannot repay, you have probably heard from creditors or collection agencies on their behalf. You have probably heard from them frequently, on the phone, by mail, or even at work. These collection efforts can make your life incredibly stressful.
Unfortunately, it can get worse, as lawsuits are one of the tools employed by creditors to collect outstanding debts.
Have I Been Sued?
How will you know if you have been sued? You will be served with a lawsuit. In order for a court to enter enforceable orders against you, it must have “personal jurisdiction” over you. This is accomplished by serving notice of the proceedings by means of a summons and complaint. This is generally by personal service.
Who Is Suing Me?
Debts are frequently sold from original creditors to other companies, who then use their own methods to collect on those debts. Therefore, you may not recognize the name of the company that is suing you. However, this is no reason to disregard the pleadings you have been served with.
If I Ignore the Lawsuit, Will it Go Away?
When you are served with a lawsuit, do NOT ignore these legal pleadings. While it is tempting to run away or hole yourself up in your house at the prospect of a lawsuit, there are no circumstances in which it will benefit you to ignore it. In fact, if you fail to file an “answer” to a lawsuit against you or do not appear before the court in opposition to the creditor’s claims, then you open yourself up to a “default” judgment.
What Is the Worst That Can Happen?
A default judgment against you can be devastating. This order can compel you to repay the full amount owed, including full interest, as well as attorney fees. To enforce this order, the court can order a garnishment of your wages, a levy on your bank account, and even a levy on your property.
This is why your first call after being served with a lawsuit from a creditor is to contact an attorney. There may be defenses that your attorney can utilize to mitigate the damages, or to even get an invalid claim dismissed. Further, an attorney can help you decide whether bankruptcy is a viable option for you.
Let Us Help You Move Forward
If you have been sued, or believe that a creditor intends to sue you, contact Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. Our attorneys have three decades of valuable legal experience in helping clients obtain debt relief. Further, we understand all of the tricks and unscrupulous tactics that creditors use to try to collect debts. You have options and we can help. Call us today at (973) 323-2953 to schedule a consultation, or you can reach us online.
We are proudly designated as a debt relief agency by an Act of Congress. We have proudly assisted consumers in filing for Bankruptcy Relief for over 30 years.