Woman reviewing her debt collection lawsuit.

What to Do If You’ve Been Served With a Debt Collection Lawsuit

Debt collection agencies sometimes use lawsuits to recover money from debtors. When a debtor fails  to make required payments, a lawsuit is often a debt collector’s only available recourse. However, debt collection agencies often make mistakes when filing lawsuits against debtors, and this provides debt collection lawsuit defense attorneys with multiple ways to defend their clients. Below is some guidance on what to do if you’ve been served with a debt collection lawsuit. For additional assistance, please contact a California debt collection lawsuit defense attorney

Respond to the Lawsuit

If you’ve been sued by a debt collector, you must respond to the lawsuit. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. The documentation you received from the court contains a deadline by which you must respond. If you fail to respond to the lawsuit, the court will likely automatically rule in favor of the debt collection agency. In addition, some people wrongly believe that they can avoid a lawsuit by refusing to accept service. This is incorrect. In most cases, the court will consider a suit served when an individual refuses to accept service. If an individual refuses service and takes no further action in the case, the court will likely enter a default judgment in favor of the debt collector. If you fail to respond to your debt collection lawsuit or refuse service, the court can garnish your wages, seize funds from your bank accounts, and place a lien on your property.  

Negotiate a Payment Plan

A debt collection agency that files a lawsuit against a debtor is after one thing: money. The debt collection agency wants to collect as much of the debt owed as possible. Therefore, most debt collection agencies are willing to enter into payment plans with debtors. In fact, most debt collectors are willing to compromise on the total amount owed as long as a debtor agrees to make regular payments. Therefore, as a debtor who has been served with a debt collection lawsuit, you may want to consider negotiating a payment plan. However, before doing so, you should keep in mind that there are probably several defenses available to you that have the potential to result in dismissal of the lawsuit. 

Contact an Experienced California Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Attorney 

Finally, before you take any of the above steps, you must contact an experienced California debt collection lawsuit defense attorney. A debt collection lawsuit defense attorney will ensure that you effectively respond to your lawsuit and will negotiate on your behalf if necessary. In fact, even if you believe you owe the money in question, there are likely several defenses your attorney can assert to absolve you of legal responsibility for the debt. At the Fullman Firm, we’ll utilize our over 40 years of combined experience to help you fight your debt collection lawsuit. If you’re ready to fight back, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.