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Default Judgments: Many Defendants Are Not Aware of Lawsuits


The economy prior to 2020 showed evidence of mounting and potentially problematic debt in the US. quarter after quarter, consumer and household debt reached historical highs. Still, corporations like banks and credit-card companies continued to take on new customers, give out loans, credit cards, and raise limits. Any concerns about what would happen were quickly superseded by the escalating devastation caused by COVID-19. Not only that, as millions became ill with the coronavirus and hundreds of thousands of US citizens died, health concerns were the number one concern.

Unfortunately, financial concerns came hand in hand with health concerns. No one wants to worry about money while they are lying in a hospital bed or at home trying to recuperate; however, finances are hard to ignore when all the bills need to get paid, not to mention basic responsibilities like paying for lodging, utilities, and food. Student loans were also at the forefront immediately. With over $1.74 trillion owed by a cumulative total of over 45 million borrowers, the government offered substantial deferments on many federal loans right away, and for an extended amount of time. Borrowers with private student loans were left wondering what to do, even in the face of some help from private student loan debt servicers.

Landlords and debt collectors were put on hold for months; however, as fear of COVID dissipated, creditors and debt collection agencies were right back in the business of waiting to get paid. For some debtors, this also meant dealing with sums of money already owed previous to COVID-19 restrictions. If you have been served with a summons and complaint, acting as soon as possible is in your best interest. With 20 to 30 days to respond, it is critical to work with your collection lawsuit attorney on replying to the lawsuit, as well as creating a defense.

For many, however, and this could have happened in your case—service of process never occurs, or document are delivered erroneously to a wrong address or perhaps to another resident who forgets to deliver them to the defendant. This can lead to major problems, mainly in the form of a default judgment. If you do not answer to the lawsuit, do not show up in court, and are basically not present at all, chances are good that a default judgment will be granted against you almost right away.

Default judgments bring numerous headaches with them in terms of collection lawsuits, including wage garnishment (up to 25 percent of disposable income), levying of personal property, and loss of control over bank accounts too.

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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