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Collections Lawsuits: Should I Avoid the Process Server?


No one likes to see a process server at their door. And although these professionals are doing their job in alerting you to a court action filed against you, with documents that most likely require a response file by a skilled collections lawsuit attorney, the process server often gets a bad rap. You have probably seen plenty of movies (think Pineapple Express) and television shows (the character gets a suit slapped on them as they are sitting down at an outdoor restaurant) depicting service occurring at odd places as a huge surprise, but it is usually a simple process effected at a residence or place of employment.

Process of Service Alerts You to a Lawsuit Filed Against You

The process server is in many ways just like a courier, dropping off documents that you need to read; without them, you could be completely unaware of a lawsuit against you, not show up to court, and wind up with a judgment granted against you by a creditor who is pleased to have one more slam-dunk in court where the defendant did not show, and did not put up any legal resistance whatsoever. Once that happens, you are a target for having a substantial portion of your wages deducted from each paycheck, finding your checking account virtually shut down as it is frozen by the bank due to a creditor’s court order, and even worse—seeing your valuables sold off to satisfy the debt.

Evading Process Could Make You Look Bad in Court

Evading a private process server may seem like a logical way to get out of a court appearance, but keep in mind that these are trained individuals who are used to such behavior and know how to get the job done, eventually—whether by serving someone else in your home through sub-service, waiting for you at work (having alerted your employer, which is even more embarrassing) or eventually handing the job over to the Sheriff’s office if you have proven impossible to deliver lawsuit documents too. Along with any evasion tactics, the process server makes notes in their prepared affidavit for the court file and the judge may not be impressed to find that you did everything in your power to avoid service. The bottom line is that eventually it will happen—even if the plaintiff’s attorney must serve you by publication.

Accepting the Lawsuit Documents is Important So You Can Respond

Accepting documents alerting you to a lawsuit are the first step in getting your finances back on track. Read the summons and complaint thoroughly, and work with your attorney to file the response and formulate a plan for dealing with the creditor. Your best option may be to fight the collections lawsuit in court (or if the process has gone to far, work with a skilled judgment attorney to have a default judgment reversed or settled) or allow your attorney to negotiate with the creditor so that you can satisfy the debt at a discounted sum and move on with your life.

Call Us for Help

Speak with an attorney from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC as soon as possible to examine your options. Our attorneys have decades of experience in serving clients as they navigate through challenging financial situations, to include student loan issues, bankruptcy, and other debt management processes. We are here to help! Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation, call us at (844) 431-3851, or email us at

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