That fact that you are reading this blog means that you likely were recently served with a Portfolio Recovery debt collection lawsuit. Lawsuits are no fun, and you no doubt have been in some varying state of panic since the process server dropped off the Summons and Complaint. This is an important time in your Portfolio Recovery lawsuit and actions you take (or don’t take) now can really impact the outcome of your case.
With that in mind I thought I would give you 4 things that you can can do today in dealing with your debt collection lawsuit.
#1 – Don’t Panic – You Have Time
It is easy and understandable that getting sued can bring on total panic. But the thing to remember is a lawsuit is nothing more than a few pages of allegations. Further, this is a civil case. You aren’t going to jail or anything close to it.
In Arizona you have twenty (20) calendar days to file a written response (called an Answer) to the lawsuit. That is nearly a month to put together a game plan on what options you have and how you can attack this case.
#2 – Write Down the Day You Were Served
Often I meet with people that have been sued by Portfolio Recovery and when I ask them when they were served they really aren’t sure. It helps consumer attorneys like myself out a bunch if you know the exact date you received the documents – it tells me if I have 19 days to put together a case or if I need to burn the midnight oil and get an Answer filed ASAP!
Take the time to write down the day you were served.
#3 – Don’t Contact Plaintiff Portfolio Recovery
Some people think that maybe a quick phone call to Portfolio Recovery will make this all go away. Unless you are calling to pay them pretty much all of what they claim is owed, then there really is no reason to call them. Don’t call and agree to any type of payment plan, try and explain your side of the story, or anything else. Talk to an attorney, find out what options you have, and then take action.
#4 – Talk with a Consumer Litigation Attorney
If you can swing it, it is always a good idea to find a consumer litigation attorney who can assist you with your case. Most consumer attorneys like myself will offer a free consultation to at least let you know what options you have at this point.
When picking an attorney it is important to find a lawyer that handles “debt buyer” cases. I often meet with people who meet with general civil litigation attorneys who have given really bad advice and further want to charge 3x what they should.
For a long period of time before I focused on “debt buyer” cases I did general civil litigation. Debt Buyer cases are different than the typical litigation case. They need to be handled differently.
The last thing you needed was this current lawsuit you are dealing with. But you can eliminate a lot of the uncertainty (and the fear) and take control of the case by educating yourself on the process and if possible retaining an experienced consumer litigation attorney to help you out.