Like millions of other US citizens, you were probably moving along in life, business as usual, completely unsuspecting that life was about to come to a very strange and disruptive halt. For so many who became—or who still have recently become—ill with coronavirus, or have been terribly worried about family and friends affected, the ramifications in terms of health have been and remain enormous; however, even worse is the amount of financial stress heaped upon so many.
Tens of millions of Americans are now unemployed for a variety of reasons. You may have been affected due to time off for quarantine, the business you worked for may have closed temporarily, or they may have been crushed economically due to the effects of COVID beginning in the spring and have now decided to close their doors permanently. Many have been laid off, had hours cut, and overall, most consumers have been affected somehow in a negative fashion. Even if you do not have a job anymore though, any legal action such as a collections lawsuit or default judgment must be taken seriously.
If you had accrued debt prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have already been struggling due to medical debt, serious student loan debt, credit card debt, auto debt, or other issues. Any financial issues have probably been further exaggerated now due to decreased income. You may be feeling helpless, tempted to procrastinate, and struggling with how to deal with debt and any legal action being taken against you such as a collections lawsuit; however, your priority should be seeking legal help from a skilled attorney as soon as possible to avoid the potential repercussions of a default judgment.
While times may seem dark if you are dealing with ongoing debt, and have now found yourself served with a summons and complaint, keep in mind that you do not have to and should not try to go it alone. With the help of an experienced collections lawsuit attorney, you will be able to formulate a reply within 20 to 30 days and decide on a defense. This is critical to avoiding a default judgment. Although you may not currently have an income or assets to worry about, keep in mind that if a default judgment is granted against you, it can be good for up to 20 years. Initially, the plaintiff will have up to ten years to try and see the debt satisfied, but they can also have the default judgment extended for another ten years. In that time, your wages can be garnished (up to 25 percent of your disposable income in California), any checking accounts can be frozen, and property can be seized to be sold off at public auction.
Do you need to speak with an attorney about replying to and defending a collection lawsuit or fighting a default judgment with a motion to vacate? Contact Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC now. Let us review your case and discuss what would work best for you. We are here to help! Our attorneys have decades of experience in serving clients as they navigate through challenging financial situations, to include collection lawsuits, default judgments, and more.