The late notices and “final warning” letters will only continue for so long. No, the debt won’t just disappear. Your creditor won’t just give up, realizing that you aren’t going to pay the bill (or that you can’t). If you don’t take steps to negotiate with your creditor or to work out a payment plan, your creditor is likely to take the next step and bring legal action against you.
When this happens, don’t be caught unawares. You can talk to a lawyer about fighting the lawsuit, but you will spend a lot in legal fees just to learn that you have to pay the creditor. If you cannot pay, you can talk to a bankruptcy lawyer in Gilbert about your options for debt relief. You may be able to get your debt reorganized into an affordable payment plan, or you may be able to have your debt discharged completely, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file and the type of debt you have. Filing for bankruptcy in Gilbert will issue an automatic stay, which will put an end to all legal action being taken against you, at least until the bankruptcy is resolved.
Here’s what you can expect if you are sued by a debt collector or creditor:
Getting the Summons and Complaint
The first action of the lawsuit is for your creditor or the debt collector to send you notice of the legal action being taken against you. You will receive a summons, which will give you the basic information, such as where your case will be heard and when. The summons will also include a return date, which is the deadline for you to file a response. If you don’t take any action by this date, the creditor will automatically win a judgement against you.
With the summons, you will also receive a complaint, which outlines the argument against you. It will include information like how much money you owe and the party that is suing you. If a debt collector is now suing you, the complaint will also include the name of the original creditor.
Filing an Answer
It is important that you file an answer when you receive notice of the lawsuit. Otherwise, the debtor will automatically win a judgement against you, which will include steep fines and penalties. Your wages may then be garnished or your bank accounts levied.
Talk to an attorney as soon as possible to learn the best way to respond. If you are unable to pay the debt, now would be a good time to talk with a Gilbert bankruptcy attorney about how bankruptcy could get you the debt relief you need. You may be able to discharge the debt for which you are being sued, or you may be able to include it in a debt repayment plan that you can better afford. Either way, filing for bankruptcy will issue an automatic stay that will keep the lawsuit from moving forward until a judgement can be made about your filing and your debts.
Allowing the lawsuit against you to proceed – or failing to get the proper legal representation – can result in serious repercussions. The creditor is likely to win a bank levy or a write of garnishment, which means that funds in your bank account can be taken, or the debt can be taken from your paycheck. If you are having trouble making ends meet now, imagine how things will go with smaller take home pay or with less money in your account.
Don’t allow that to happen. Call an attorney to fight the lawsuit, or call a bankruptcy attorney serving Gilbert to get needed debt relief.
Hiring an Attorney
You should never attempt to handle any lawsuit without legal help. You need a legal advocate on your side, helping you understand your rights and your options. Otherwise, you risk being bullied and winding up on the losing side.
If you are facing a debt-collection lawsuit, call Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers today to learn about your options through bankruptcy. We can help you understand how Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may help you get out from under your crushing debt and avoid legal action. Our goal is to help you get the maximum debt relief possible so that you can take control of your finances once again. Call us in Gilbert today to schedule a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney today.