Debt collectors sue on credit card debt, medical debt, student loan debt, car loans, lease returns, cable and internet debt, rental disputes, gym memberships, online subscriptions, and so on. Debt collectors are required to follow state and federal law when attempting to collect debts.
Act Quickly to Preserve Your Rights
Do not wait. Do not assume a company who is suing you will do the right thing for you; do not expect a debt collector to do anything for you. If you get a Summons and Complaint, your time to respond is limited. Read the document.
Do not ignore a lawsuit, even from a company you have never heard of. Too many times I meet with a person who brings in garnishment or lien paperwork on a lawsuit that was ignored. If you are served with a summons and complaint, you need to act right away to protect your rights. I recently met with a person who was being garnished on a debt from a company he never heard of – except for when the company filed a lawsuit against him. The company bought a very, very old credit card debt and sued this person. The person ignored the lawsuit because he thought they must have sued the wrong person. Even if a company sues the wrong person, if that person does not respond to the summons and complaint, a judgment will likely be entered. When a judgment is entered, even on a debt that is not yours, it is much more difficult to handle.
Debt collectors can make mistakes
They sometimes sue the wrong person. They sometimes sue the right person in the wrong court. They sometimes sue a person for a debt that was already paid or settled. They sometimes sue for the wrong amount. They sometimes include illegal fees and costs to a lawsuit. They sometimes attempt to obtain a small payment on an old debt to revive the statute of limitations. They sometimes sue after their legal right to collect a debt has passed. They sometimes obtain judgments without the debtor knowing a lawsuit was filed in the first place by attempting to serve a lawsuit on an address that is several years old – several addresses old. Sometimes debt collectors suddenly find the correct address after obtaining a default judgment based on an old address. Sometimes debt collectors suddenly find out where a person works or banks, but was unable to find that person to given them notice of the lawsuit prior to obtaining a default judgment.
There are Defenses
There are many potential defenses when a person is sued for an alleged debt. Some include: arbitration, failure to state a claim, statute of limitations, standing, capacity to sue, release, waiver, etc. Some need to be raised in the initial pleading, others can be raised at any time. It’s a good idea to meet with an attorney to see what defenses are available for any particular situation.
Get Legal Help
I am happy to meet with anybody who has been served with a summons and complaint, or who is facing any debt collection activity. The initial meeting is always free.