Default judgments usually occur after a long, drawn-out process with a creditor. The relationship between borrower and lender is usually a positive one as offers are made, terms are considered, and shiny new credit cards arrive in the mail. All too often though, things become surprisingly ugly when a consumer hits a rough patch and is unable to pay. The creditor or debt collection company may be willing to work out different options at first, whether lowering payments or stalling interest for a while—or both—but if the consumer is truly tapped and cannot pay anything, the situation will begin to escalate.
With delinquencies comes the inevitable unleashing of phone calls and never-ending letters outlining the payments owed and dire consequences to be suffered should the bills not be paid. For consumers who simply do not have the resources to even consider paying credit card bills at the time, the calls and paperwork soon begin to mean nothing, and they may not be tuned in to the potential seriousness of a lawsuit; nevertheless, the company suing may not have their act together at all—and this can be easily revealed upon working with an experienced attorney from a firm like Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC.
If you have received a summons and complaint due to a collections lawsuit, a response is the best course of action. Usually required within 20 to 30 days of being served with the lawsuit, the response shows that you are willing to fight. Many creditors are surprised at such an action, considering most consumers do not challenge creditor lawsuits at all. And once the responsibility is put on them to verify your debt and their right to collect, you may find the case quickly dismissed. This is because of so much buying and selling of debt that goes on—and often with a staggering amount of disorganization and error in the process. While the company suing you may not be organized enough to produce all the paperwork regarding your account and debt, they may not even have access to it from the original creditor who sold the account ‘as is.’ Along with that, it may be impossible for them to show all the accounting on the debt from beginning to end.
If you did fail to respond to the collections lawsuit, but had a fairly good reason for doing so, a skilled judgment attorney can file a motion to vacate (or dismiss) the judgment and then go on to challenge it with all the same aforementioned defenses, although there could be other issues at hand like fraud, for example, that must be brought to light. While the hope is that the case will be dismissed altogether, if for some reason it is not, your attorney may be able to negotiate better terms for settling the debt.
If you are worried about a creditor lawsuit or judgment, contact us at Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC. We can review your current situation and discuss your options with you, whether that means a negotiated settlement, fighting a judgment, filing for bankruptcy, or more. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in all types of consumer rights matters, and we are here to help you! Call us today for a free consultation at (844) 431-3851, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.