You’ve been served with a debt collection complaint. What to do now? You must answer the complaint within 21 days of being served or the debt buyer’s lawyer will take a default judgment against you. Do not let a default judgment be taken against you – most often it is quickly followed by the garnishment of your wages (up to 25%). Answer the complaint or have an experienced consumer lawyer answer it for you.
It may be that for weeks or months prior to being served with the summons and complaint you were harassed by the debt collector. And after you were served with the complaint you may have called the debt collector’s lawyer and talked with his staff to discuss a possible resolution. If so, they were probably cold and demanding.
Too often, consumers are confronted with aggressive debt collectors who are willing to cross the line. And the thought of walking into a crowded courtroom to confront the debt-collector’s lawyer can be daunting. But you must appear for your court date or have a lawyer appear for you.
Often, when you enter the court room the judge has a stack of case files on her or his bench more than a foot high and is moving though them rapidly. The debt collection lawyer suggests you step outside into the hall to talk. Having done this many times before, he or she knows how to quickly defeat a lay person’s arguments.
If you retain an experienced consumer lawyer you may not have to appear in court. The consumer lawyer will appear in court for you, answer the complaint, and expertly litigate your file.
Most important, an experienced consumer lawyer knows how to defeat the debt collector’s claims, or if the claims are well-founded (sometimes they are) an experienced consumer lawyer can negotiate an effective settlement for you.