If you’ve been sued by a debt collector, you must take immediate action. If you fail to respond to your lawsuit, the court will likely enter a default order in favor of the debt collector. In other words, if you ignore your lawsuit, you will automatically lose your case. Once this occurs, the debt collector can use the default judgment to take the money you owe by force, including:
- Garnish your wages
- Place a lien against your property
- Attempt to freeze part or all of the money in your bank account
However, by taking appropriate action, you can avoid these negative consequences. In this article, we discuss what to do if you’ve been sued by a debt collector.
If you’ve been sued by a debt collector, the first thing you must do is gather information. The primary things you must determine after being served with a debt collector lawsuit are:
- The identity of the creditor
- Whether the debt amount is accurate
- Whether you actually owe the debt
- Whether the debt is past the statute of limitations
Respond to the Lawsuit
The biggest mistake you can make after being sued by a debt collector is to ignore the lawsuit. By doing nothing, you put your wages, property, and bank account at risk. However, properly responding to a debt collection lawsuit without a legal background can be difficult. Therefore, to ensure that you assert the proper defenses and meet all deadlines, you should contact an attorney for assistance. The usual deadline to properly respond to the court is 30 days from the date the lawsuit summons is delivered to your home, work, or mailing address.
Contact an Attorney
As noted above, properly responding to a lawsuit can be complicated, so you should consult with an attorney as soon as you are served. When you hire an experienced attorney to represent you in your California debt collection case, he or she will:
- Review your case and identify all available defenses
- File a formal response to your lawsuit
- Negotiate with the debt collector on your behalf
- Represent you in court
If you fail to hire an attorney after you are sued by a debt collector, however, your odds of a successful outcome in your case are drastically reduced. Debt collection law is extremely complicated, and debt collectors have experienced and aggressive attorneys working on their behalf to ensure that they obtain the money they believe they are owed. Therefore, if you are facing a debt collection lawsuit in California, you should contact an experienced and knowledgeable California debt collection lawsuit defense attorney as soon as possible for assistance. At the Fullman Firm, our experienced attorneys are passionate advocates for our clients. When you come to us for assistance with your debt collection lawsuit, we will do everything in our power to ensure that your case has a successful result. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our talented attorneys.