Getting sued is one of the most troubling situations anyone can go through. It is an experience like no other and can inflict great fear. “I’ve never been sued before, what do I do?” is the response of many people when they discover that their creditor is suing them. It is easy to become lost in the legal jargon and extensive paperwork, which is why it is crucial you seek the legal counsel of an experienced credit card debt settlement attorney.
What you don’t want to do is ignore the summons. By taking no action at all, you almost guarantee that the plaintiff will win the case. You also lose your only opportunity to refute the claims made against you and clear your name of potentially false charges. Instead, take the time to review the summons and file an answer.
Examine the Summons and Complaint
Inside the packet of paperwork you receive from the court will be the summons and complaint. The summons is an order to appear before a judge and the complaint details the reasons why the plaintiff is seeking a judgment against you. Check for this information when you peruse through the paperwork:
- Your court date
- Certification that you were served
- Instructions for responding to the complaint
- Any evidence the plaintiff provides (affidavits, documents of original debt information, and other supporting paperwork)
- Allegations of the plaintiff
Many people make the mistake of sending a debt validation letter in response to a court summons. In reality, the time for that has passed. If you still choose to do so, you grant the plaintiff an automatic victory which can lead to wage garnishment and frozen bank accounts. The way to properly respond to a court summons is to file an answer.
File an Answer
There is a specified deadline as to when the courts will accept your answer to the complaint that you must meet. This time period can range from 20 to 30 days depending on the court. It is most important that you take note of this information so that you don’t accidentally miss the deadline and lose the judgment by default. In your answer, you must admit or deny each allegation. No response is assumed to be an admission of guilt.
An experienced credit card debt attorney can help you through the entire legal process. He or she can advise you on how to respond to each allegation and also relevant defenses for your case. Some of the most effective affirmative action defense are:
- Lack of Legal Standing: The plaintiff has no evidence that entitles them to collect the debt
- Debt is Time-Sensitive: The statute of limitations on the debt has expired
- No Legal Basis: The plaintiff fails to identify a state law that was broken
Heather Benveniste with Benveniste Law Offices is the credit card debt attorney for you. She has years of experience on the other side of the lawsuit as a debt collection attorney and uses her unique knowledge to benefit her clients. Contact us today at 1-800-497-5358 for a free case evaluation. You don’t pay a penny until we win your case.