Debt Collector Lawsuits Actions to Take When Youre Being Sued
Most people never have to go through the process of being sued, so they are shocked and confused about what to do when it happens with one of their creditors. But that’s exactly what can happen when you fall well behind on your debt payments. Your creditors may bring a lawsuit against you in order to get court-ordered relief for what they are owed, including the seizure of your assets or the garnishment of your wages.
You can stop all that by talking to a bankruptcy attorney in Gilbert and seeking relief through a bankruptcy filing. However, it is important that you understand what the process is like when you are sued by your creditors so that you know what steps you might take. Here’s what you can expect:
The Initial Complaint
No one can bring a lawsuit against you and you not know it. In order for the lawsuit to move forward, you must be officially notified of the action against you. So, you can expect to be officially served – likely by a sheriff’s deputy or other law enforcement professional – with a summons and complaint with the details of the action being taken.
In that initial complaint, you will learn the basic aspects of the case, such as when and where it will be heard in court, a deadline for receiving a response from you, and the argument against you (including how much the creditor says you owe). You’ll know who is suing you, for how much, and what you need to do next.
With the initial complaint, you may also receive some blank forms to fill out. These forms are likely asking for your financial information, such as where you work and where you bank. Some of these are required, but some of these are only optional and just make it easier for the creditor to garnish your wages if it comes to that. You don’t need to do anything to make that easier for them. However, you should talk to an bankrupcty attorney near Gilbert to ensure that you are filling out the right forms and ignoring the right forms.
You have the right to file an answer to the initial complaint from your creditor. There may be a form attached to the complaint that you can fill out, or you may need to draw up the paperwork yourself. You can dispute the charge, dispute how much you owe, or provide other information.
Never file an answer without consulting with an bankruptcy attorney in GIlbert first . You could jeopardize your case by providing information that could incriminate you, or you could undermine your case by filing the paperwork improperly.
After hearing the case, a court can grant relief to your creditor in the form of seized assets or garnished wages. You may be able to appeal this decision, but chances are good that action will move forward before you get a chance to appeal and to stop anything.
You can also hire a bankruptcy lawyer and file for bankruptcy, which will put an immediate end to action taken against you. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gilbert, you may get your debt dismissed completely while also ending any asset seizure or wage garnishment. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have your debt reorganized into an affordable payment plan – including what you owe the suing creditor – but the garnishment or seizure will be put to an end.
If your creditor sues you over unpaid debt, you can certainly fight the charge. However, if you do owe the money, there’s not much way to argue out of that. You can fight the garnishment or asset seizure by filing for bankruptcy, or you can take proactive action and file for bankruptcy before the creditor ever has the chance to bring suit against you. You may be able to free yourself of the debt and your association with that debtor completely, or you may be able to satisfy the creditor with a reorganized debt-repayment plan. Either way, the bankruptcy will put an automatic stay into effect that will prevent any legal action from being taken against you.
If you are struggling with debt and are worried about what might come next, call Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers to learn more about your options. We’ll help you understand the difference between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy and how each can benefit you. We’ll help you understand the path to maximum debt relief so that you can start rebuilding your finances and leading the life you want – free of debt. Call us in Gilbert today to schedule a consultation with an experienced and committed bankruptcy lawyer.