Over 70 million people in the U.S. have dealt with debt collectors.
If you find yourself when you receive threatening mailings and calls, or even an impending lawsuit to collect a debt you owe, you may wonder what options you have to fight back.
Are you ready to find out how to fight a debt collection lawsuit? If so, keep reading.
Don’t Ignore the Debt Claim
One of the biggest mistakes people make when being sued for a debt is ignoring it. They choose not to respond to the notice, which will usually arrive as a complaint or summons.
You may think if you don’t have the money to pay the debt, there’s not much you can do. However, if you don’t respond, the collection agency may get a default judgment against you, which gives them new ways to collect a debt, such as wage garnishment, bank account garnishment, and more.
While it’s smart to seek professional help for a debt lawsuit, there are things to keep in mind when responding:
- Avoid admitting liability for the debt
- File your answer with the Clerk of Court
- Get a stamped copy from the Clerk of your response
- Send the copy via certified mail to the collection agency
Usually, you will have 20 to 30 days to file a response but check with the professional you hire for help to be sure.
File a Challenge to the Company’s Legal Ability to Sue You
Another way to respond to a debt lawsuit is by challenging the plaintiff’s right to even sue. When debt reaches this point, it’s usually been sold and sometimes, over one time. The entity that owns the debt in question has to provide proof they have the legal right to do this.
When you do this, the other party must provide proof, including a credit agreement you signed and documentation regarding the chain of custody for all paperwork. If they cannot provide this documentation, they may not have the legal right to sue and the case will probably be dismissed.
Hire an Attorney
As mentioned above, seeking legal representation is a smart move. You can find out all the options you have to defend against the lawsuit being filled.
Some benefits of consulting with an attorney including understanding if the benefits are worth the additional legal costs, knowing what options you have, and hearing advice from an unbiased third-party.
other valuable tips:
Also, attorneys can help if the creditor acted illegally. In these situations, you may have the right to counter-sue.
How to Fight a Debt Collection Lawsuit: Now You Know
Even if you are facing a lawsuit for a debt you owe, you have options. Learning how to fight a debt collection lawsuit puts you one step closer to avoiding serious consequences.
To learn more about financial health and wellbeing and how to protect your credit rating, check out some of our other blogs. We regularly post updated information to help keep our readers informed.
Adobe Stock royalty-free image #124760667, ‘ Debt Collection concept’ uploaded by hafakot, standard license purchased from https://stock.adobe.com/images/download/124760667; file retrieved on September 8th, 2019. License details available at https://stock.adobe.com/license-terms – image is licensed under the Adobe Stock Standard License
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