By: Robert J. Nahoum
Being sued by a debt collector can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. If you are facing this situation, it is important to know your rights and what steps you need to take to protect yourself.
What to do when you are served with a summons and complaint
The first thing you should do if you are served with a summons and complaint is to contact a consumer protection attorney experienced in debt collection defense. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and can represent you in court if necessary.
If you cannot afford an attorney, there are a number of legal aid organizations that can provide free or low-cost legal assistance. You can find a list of legal aid organizations in your area by visiting the website of the Legal Aid Society of New York.
What to do if you cannot afford to pay the debt
If you cannot afford to pay the debt, you may be able to negotiate a settlement with the creditor. Settlements may include a discount on the total balance, an affordable monthly payment or a combination of the two.
What to do if you believe the debt is not valid or if you have defenses
If you believe the debt is not valid, or if you have other defenses, you may be able to defeat the lawsuit through an appropriate motion made to the court or at trial
What will happen if you do not respond to the lawsuit
If you do not respond to the lawsuit, the creditor may get a default judgment against you. This means that the creditor will automatically win the lawsuit and you will be ordered to pay the debt. Don’t give the creditor this easy victory.
If you have been sued by a debt collector, it is important to take action immediately. Contact an attorney or legal aid organization to learn more about your rights and options.
Here are some additional tips for dealing with a debt collection lawsuit:
- Be polite and respectful to the debt collector. Even if you are angry or upset, it is important to remain calm and collected.
- Do not give the debt collector any personal information, such as your bank account number or Social Security number.
- Do not agree to make any payments without getting it in writing.
- Keep a record of all communications with the debt collector, including the date, time, and content of the conversation.
- If you are unable to pay the debt, be prepared to negotiate a settlement with the creditor.
- If you believe the debt is not valid, be prepared to defend yourself against the lawsuit.
- If you do not respond to the lawsuit, you could be ordered to pay the debt and may have your wages garnished or bank accounts frozen.
- If you have been sued by a debt collector, it is important to remember that you have rights. Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself and protect your financial future.
If you need help settling or defending a debt collection lawsuit, stopping harassing debt collectors or suing a debt collector, contact us today to see what we can do for you.
The Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C