You hear a knock at the door. You answer only to find yourself face to face with a process server and the unpleasant reality that you are being served with a lawsuit. Every year hundreds of thousands of collection lawsuits are filed in courts around the country. In the past there was a presumption by many that if a person was sued they must have owed the debt. With the dramatic rise in lawsuits by debt buyers in recent years this presumption no longer holds true.
If you have been sued by a debt buyer then your first response was likely – “I’m being sued by who???”. The reason you don’t recognize the name of the company who is suing you is because you never bought anything from this company, you never agreed to pay this company, you likely have had no interaction with the company whatsoever. Debt buying companies do just that – they buy old debts, typically from credit card companies – and then sue people in hopes of getting a judgment and then garnish wages and bank accounts.
Surprisingly, after getting over the initial shock of getting sued most people do nothing. This is why nearly 98% of lawsuits by debt buyers result in a default judgment. Once the debt buyer has a judgment they can garnish your wages or take money out of your bank account. Once the debt buyer has a judgment it can be very difficult to have a court set it aside.
If you act early on in the lawsuit you can preserve your legal defenses and in many cases there is a good chance you can defeat the debt buyer. Many times the debt buyer does not have sufficient evidence to back up their allegation that you owe them money or that they have the right to sue you. However, if you don’t act, if you do nothing, then the court will give the debt buyer everything they are asking for, resulting in a judgment against you.
If you have been sued with a collection lawsuit, you need to act. You need to meet with an attorney to evaluate what defenses you may have and how best to deal with this debt issue.
*Please note that I am licensed to practice in the State of Arizona only. Because of this if you reside outside of Arizona I cannot provide you with legal advice. I do however, maintain a separate website with some general information on debt collection suits that may be helpful in your case. You can access that information HERE at my Consumer Warrior website.