A Debt Collector Hired a Law Firm. What Should I Do Now?
If you have a debt that you have not paid, you may face a lawsuit. Many Americans go through this every day, and they are not sure how they should proceed. It is not uncommon for a lot of people to just ignore it thinking that it will go away. This is never a good idea as it can just lead to a judgment. We have created this article so that you can have a better understanding of what happens when a debt collector hires a law firm to sue you and what steps you should take to get this resolved.
Receiving A Summons and Complaint
You probably will not know that you are being sued until a summons and complaint shows up at your door. The summons and complaint will have information about the case against you. This will include who sued you and how much they are suing you for. There will also be a date on it that you need to respond to the complaint by. If you do not respond by this date, the creditor will automatically win their case, and a judgment will be placed against.
You may also receive a form that has some questions for you to fill out. These questions tend to include things like your place of employment and your bank account information. Do not fill out this form as it will make it easier for creditors to garnish your bank account. If you receive several forms and are not sure which ones you can ignore, look to see if any of them say that they are optional to fill out. Keep in mind that it’s always best to contact an attorney before you fill out any types of forms.
Responding To the Complaint and Summons
Many lawsuits do have a form that you will need to fill out to respond to your complaint. Even if you think you are innocent, you still should not fill out this form on your own. Creditors are notorious for twisting words in a way that will help them win their case. If you have an attorney respond to the summons for you, they can word the correct way. Keep in mind that you probably will have a little bit of time to respond to the complaint and summons. This will give you the opportunity to discuss all your options with an attorney such as settling your debt with the creditor or filing for bankruptcy.
What Happens If You Do Not Respond
You may not want to deal with the debt because you think that there is not much that the creditor can do. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. Once they get a judgment against you, they can have your wages garnished. This may equate to around 25% of your net paycheck every single pay period until your debt obligation is satisfied. If they are not able to get their money this way, they can seize all the money that’s in any bank account that is in your name.
Getting The Help, You Need
Being sued by a creditor can be scary. However, an attorney can help you. They will make the debt collector prove that you owe them the money. If you do, they can work out some sort of payment to them that will keep them from seizing your bank account or garnishing your wages.