I just got sued for a debt. What should I do?
June 22, 2013 1 Comment
If a creditor files a lawsuit against you for a debt you do owe them then you can fight the case and try to win in court. Chances are though that the creditor can prove that you owe them so you will have a tough time winning. It is possible that the creditor cannot prove that you owe the debt but these creditors are usually not stupid. (I wrote about this before in a previous blog here).
They will most likely produce in court some sort of proof that you indeed owe this particular debt. They will have copies of your original contract you signed for a credit card for instance and some sort of monthly tabulation for the charges. If that is the case then it is hard to argue that you do not owe the debts.
You can try to stall the case for a certain amount of time and ask for a trial date which will stall it further. The creditor though will then often file a motion for summary judgment based upon their evidence. They will use this motion try to get a quick judgment so they can begin collecting the debt from you.
If you have evidence that warrants a trial then you can get one possibly but if they have sufficient proof of your owing them then you are likely to lose at trial. If you win then you are off the hook but if you lose then the creditor will begin to collect the debt from you.
At some point before the trial you will want to consider making payments to them or take the other way out which is bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will stop this lawsuit and wipe out not only this debt but also all of your other debts. Bankruptcy is an excellent lawsuit destroyer. Bankruptcy will usually cost less than hiring an attorney to fight the suit and if you fight it yourself and lose then you will still probably owe the creditor for the debt and their attorney fees and costs.
I recommend consulting a bankruptcy attorney before you start the process to see if you qualify for bankruptcy and to see if bankruptcy makes sense for you. It is possible that you have too much income or too many assets to file or you may have too few debts to justify a bankruptcy.
I am a San Diego bankruptcy attorney. For further questions please visit my websites at www.farquharlaw.com or www.freshstartsandiego.com. Or call my office for a free consultation or for any other advice about bankruptcy or debt at (619) 702-5015. Call now for free credit report and analysis!
For a free e-book on “13 things to do to prepare for your bankruptcy filing” please e-mail me at email@example.com.
Lawsuit photo courtesy of thinboyfatter. Bankruptcy sign courtesy of wes gaddy.