Getting served with a lawsuit can ruin anyone’s day. First, the way the law requires that you get notice of the lawsuit is very intrusive. A process server must come to your home, unannounced, and give you the summons and complaint. You stand there looking at documents with names like Midland Funding, CACH, LLC, Unifund, Portfolio Recovery, and wonder “who in the world are these people?”.
A lot of people panic when they get the lawsuit and take no action to defend themselves. Often this is because they don’t know what to do and second because they assume it will cost a lot to hire an attorney.
However, if you take the time to learn who the company is that is suing you, what they are alleging, what they have to prove, and what defenses you have you can make the entire process much less scary and a whole lot more manageable.
A Lawsuit is Nothing More than a Set of Allegations
Just because you were sued does not mean all is lost. The way you need to look at the complaint you received is it is nothing more than a document with allegations that the debt collector has against you. That’s it.
And, you have an opportunity to respond to those allegations. You can admit what they are alleging. You can deny it. Or you can simply say you don’t know if what they are alleging is true or not. The debt collector can lob their allegations and then you get an opportunity to respond.
The Debt Collector Can’t Take Anything From You Unless they Win
Sometimes people panic because they believe that a lawsuit is a signal that they are now going to get their wages garnished. It is important to understand that in most cases an unsecured creditor like a credit card company cannot garnish your wages unless they sue you and get a judgment against you.
From the time you are sued until a judgment is entered takes a long time. In Arizona’s justice court it takes about 6 months up to a year to get a trial date. If you happen to be in the superior court it could take 18 months up to two years! You have time.
Your Case is Better than You Think
If you are being sued by one of the debt buyers I mentioned above your case is better than you think. The debt buyer likes to try and make it appear that this is a simple collection case. However, anytime you are dealing with an original creditor and then the transfer of the debt to one or more other entities things can get complicated. And the more complicated they get the more difficult it can be for them to prove their case.
The point of today’s article is this – don’t panic. Get educated on the process and what your defenses are and then press forward.