Have you recently been served for a lawsuit for a debt you are unable to pay off? You may be worried that it is too late to do anything. Not true! Here are some things you can do:
NEVER Ignore a Summons & Complaint
If a lawsuit has been filed against you for a debt, you need to respond. This is a serious matter and if you do nothing, you run the risk of wage garnishment, property seizure, or liens being placed. In California, you must respond within thirty days of receiving the summons and complaint. However, the response time will vary based on the state in which you live. Did you know that “about 90 percent of consumers sued just never show up for court?” Whether you’re scared or doubt the validity of the lawsuit, you need to be proactive about being served for a debt.
So, once served, act quickly. When you do not show up for the court proceeding, the judge will rule against you and order you to pay the full amount owed. Since credit card debt is unsecured (no collateral tied to it), the lender will file a lawsuit quickly if there is no response from you.
DO NOT give up – Find out the Statute of Limitations
All civil lawsuits need to be filed within a set timeframe that varies from state-to-state. Most fall within a 4 to 6 year range. The time starts on the date of your last payment. The lawsuit should be dismissed when a Complaint is issued after the statute of limitations has ended.
STAND UP for yourself
Once you know the statute of limitations on the debt to validate the debt, you may be able to negotiate a settlement. Your best bet is to find out the statute of limitations and exactly how much is owed. You can then figure out what you can afford to pay and call to negotiate a payment plan. You may even be able to get a letter of deletion.
DO NOT rule out professional help
Because the legal process can be complicated, we recommend speaking with a qualified bankruptcy attorney. While the thought of consulting a lawyer can be intimidating, you should know that most lawyers offer free consultations. It is in your best interest to speak with someone that knows the law and can help you understand your best options. Your lawyer will also be able to determine if the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has been violated.
Need More Information?
At the Law Office of Daniela Romero, we believe in relationships that are based on trust. Before we work together, we would like you to get to know us. We want you to be sure you are the right fit for us and that we are the perfect fit for you. This will allow you to be completely comfortable sharing intimate and difficult details of your case, so we can offer you representation to the fullest extent of the law. Call us today to set up a free consultation.