What Can I Do When I’m Sued for an Unpaid Debt?

A shot of a middle age caucasian woman paying bills at homeIf you owe a debt of any kind and have not made any payments on that debt recently, then you may end up being sued for an unpaid debt. Creditors and collection companies that have not received any payments from you in some time may feel that filing a lawsuit against you is their best option to make you repay. Here’s a breakdown of what happens when a creditor sues you and what you can do.

What Happens When Creditors Sue for Unpaid Debts?

First, your creditor or a lawyer working on their behalf will file a complaint in court against you and any cosigners you may have. The complaint will list off who the creditor is, why they are suing you and what they are suing you for. Usually, creditors sue for repayment of the debt plus interest, as well as administration and attorney’s fees.

After filing their complaint, creditors are required to send you a copy of the complaint and a court summons. The court summons should tell you how long you have to respond to the lawsuit. Typically, creditors will mail you the summons along with a form, which you should sign and mail back as acknowledgement that you’ve been “served.” If you ignore the form and a creditor can prove you ignored it, you may have to pay more later.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Sued by a Creditor?

Well first, let me tell you what you shouldn’t do. You should not ignore the lawsuit. If you ignore the problem, not only will it not go away, but it will get worse. If you don’t submit a response by deadline, a default judgement may be entered against you, meaning the creditors essentially win by default.

Consider talking to a bankruptcy attorney when preparing to respond to a creditor lawsuit. They can help you draft an appropriate response and figure out your best options moving forward. Since the creditors will almost assuredly have representation of their own, having your own attorney fighting on your side is highly advisable.

The Manalapan bankruptcy lawyers with Garland & Mason, L.L.C. have been helping people with debt problems find the best solutions to suit their individual needs for years. 


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