I recently met with a family who had been served with a debt collection lawsuit by CACH, LLC. They were low on money and decided that they would attempt to handle the case themselves. Their thinking was if they could only get the case in front of the judge that they could easily explain why they didn’t owe this debt and why judgment should not be entered against them.
However their day in court never came. Judgment was entered in favor of CACH, LLC without either party stepping foot into a court room and without this family ever even laying an eye on the judge assigned to their case. This was truly shocking to this family. After all, isn’t this America? Isn’t a core value of our judicial system that you will get your “day in court”? How did this happen?
The Motion for Summary Judgment
CACH, LLC filed a Motion for Summary Judgment with the court. This family received the motion, but wasn’t sure what it was, so they did nothing. Big mistake.
A Motion for Summary Judgment is a written document that debt buyers like CACH, LLC file with the court that essentially says “look judge, we don’t think the facts are really in dispute in this case, here is our evidence, please grant judgment in our favor”. In Arizona once CACH, LLC filed its Motion for Summary Judgment the defendant was obligated to file a written Response within thirty (30) days explaining why they didn’t think judgment was appropriate.
By not filing a written Response the court assumed that there was no objection to CACH, LLC’s motion and gave them everything they were asking for. Principle, interest, attorney’s fees, costs – the whole nine yards.
And all of this happened before they ever got a chance to even talk to the judge in their case.
Moral of the Story
The moral of this story is that if you have been sued by a debt buyer like CACH, LLC, Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery Associates, or one of the many others, you must file a written Response. And at the risk of sounding self-serving, you need to get an attorney to help you. You can’t simply deny what they are alleging like you did in the complaint. You have to provide case law and back up your objection with substance – and if you don’t, judgment will be entered.
Also, you have to realize that even though many cases do go to trial, many don’t. So if you are just holding out hope that by getting in front of a judge you will win your case, you need to understand that many times you will never see your judge and it is highly likely that a judgment could be entered without you ever even going to the courthouse.
If you have been sued by CACH, LLC get an attorney involved and do it early. This will give you your best chance of winning your case and eliminating this debt once and for all.