Many people first find out about a debt collection lawsuit filed against them from a solicitation they receive in the mail usually urging bankruptcy. Sometimes, the lawsuit comes as a complete and total surprise and other times, you may have received collection letters from a debt collection law firm just prior to finding out about the suit. Regardless, finding out that you are being sued is a big deal. Most people have never been sued before and may have little experience with the legal system beyond a traffic ticket or a divorce.
Having dealt with several hundred debt collection lawsuits since 2008, we have found that our typical client is not an irresponsible person who went on shopping binges on credit and skipped out when the bill came. The vast majority of our clients are people who have struggled with a job loss, medical issues, or other financial crisis that put them and their families in a position where paying the credit card bill became a low priority among the financial obligations when the necessities, like mortgage payments and food, were hard enough to satisfy.
Many people consider lawsuits as a last resort option when all other avenues of settling a legal dispute fail. Debt collectors, particularly debt buyers, see filing lawsuits as a way of doing business. They would argue with you that like anyone else, they use this as a last resort option, but the truth is that the result of filing a debt collection lawsuit against a consumer ends with a default judgment approximately 90% of the time. Many people simply don’t know what to do and stick their head in the sand when confronted with a lawsuit. Others may feel like they can’t afford an attorney. Some believe they have no defenses to the lawsuit and believe they will lose anyway. For whatever reason consumer defendants fail to answer the lawsuit, the resulting default judgment can be financially devastating for years to come. Beyond wage garnishments, bank garnishments, or liens against property, there are other consequences of a judgment that many people don’t realize. A judgment can be renewed over time, lasting indefinitely if properly renewed, and may continue to accrue interest. A judgment is a public record and may remain on your credit report for ten years.
When served with a debt collection lawsuit, you have thirty days to file your answer before you are considered to be in default. Once you are in the default period, you are in danger of having a default judgment issued against you. To preserve your defenses, the time to act is within that thirty day period. It is crucial that you do not procrastinate or otherwise delay in securing representation or filing an answer on your own behalf.
At DeWoskin Law Firm, we stand up for our clients and demand that any party filing suit in a third party debt case produce reliable, verifiable documentation that the debts are legally collectible and that our clients are the responsible parties. If the third party debt collectors have violated the law, we do not accept it as “business as usual.”
Call Attorney Daniel DeWoskin (404) 987-0026. You may also contact us through the form below.
If you’ve already been served with a debt collection lawsuit, time may be running out to file your answer.