When times are rough financially, it may seem like you went from comfortable to broke in no time flat, with a few court judgment questions looming. While serious mismanagement of funds could have put you in such a situation, most likely there was one event or a series of them that caused your finances to slide into the red. Even if you had an emergency fund built up, you probably did not plan for a serious illness or an accident—or that of a partner or family member.
Financial Stress May Result in Creditor Lawsuits
Other problems could have caused an escalation of financial duress, such as losing your job or having your hours at work cut significantly. Unfortunately, it is all a process that happens over time, and you may not have given it serious attention until the debt collectors began writing and calling. This scenario usually builds into a crescendo of demands and then threats. You may be informed that the creditor is going to sue you, but nothing ever materializes.
Service of Process Notifies You That the Creditor is Suing
You might assume all is well if you have not received a summons and complaint, but there could have been court documents with your name on them that were not served for any number of reasons. You may have moved and the server could not find you, the service could have been forgotten all together, mixed up, delivered incorrectly, posted or left at someone else’s home, mailed (and to the wrong address), or more. The problem is that most likely if you were not served, you were not aware of the lawsuit or any impending response times or court dates; in fact, you may not discover all of this until you begin to experience the repercussions of the judgment that was granted against you in your absence.
At this point, you need the help of an experienced judgment attorney who can file a motion to vacate due to the lack of service, and then fight on your behalf. The creditor may also come forward quickly with an attractive settlement offer, if not backing down altogether.
It is In Your Best Interest to Respond
Service of documents to the defendant is a crucial part of the court process. While some defendants go to great lengths to avoid being served, in the end it is to their benefit to receive documents informing them that they are being sued, by whom, and how to respond. In the case that you do receive papers regarding a lawsuit, it is also in your best interest to work with an attorney in responding and then following through.
Contact Us Now
If you are concerned about a pending creditor lawsuit or if a judgment has already been filed against you, contact us at Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC. We know how to deal with debt collectors, and can win motions to vacate. Let us review your current situation and discuss your options with you. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in all types of consumer rights matters and we are here to help you!