In today’s economy, debt and financial issues are very common. These issues can cause a lot of stress and confusion to consumers. It is important to understand the legal implications of a debt related lawsuit.
Sometimes, in an attempt to make the lawsuit go away, consumers will contact the creditor, or the creditor’s attorney, and try to settle the case, or set up a payment arrangement. It is important for consumers to be aware that neither the creditor nor the creditor’s attorney has the consumer’s best interest in mind. The creditor or the creditor’s attorney will likely provide the consumer with documents to sign allowing the creditor to not only receive payments from the consumer (usually adding interest and attorneys fees to the original amount owed), but also to get a judgment against the consumer. It is important to contact an experienced debt defense lawyer before signing anything the creditor or the creditor’s attorney sends you.
The consumer only has 20 days from the date the lawsuit is served to file a written response with the court. Many times, consumers attempt to file their own response – whether to explain why they did not pay the debt, or simply to ask for a payment arrangement. To file such a response may be detrimental to the consumer’s case. It is important to seek legal advice from an experienced debt defense attorney before filing anything with the court, to ensure that any legal defenses the consumer may have are properly and timely raised. Certain defenses may only be raised in the responsive pleading, and are deemed waived if they are not timely raised.
The majority of credit card lawsuits are won by creditors simply because the consumer failed to respond to the lawsuit, or attempted to represent him/herself in court. Many times the creditor does not have sufficient evidence to prove its case, but without an attorney, consumers are unable to effectively argue this in court.
If the creditor wins the lawsuit, or if the consumer agrees to a judgment being entered against him or her, the creditor may take action to collect the debt such as placing liens on the consumer’s property or garnish his or her wages and/or bank accounts. In Florida, judgments are enforceable for 20 years.
Foreclosure Defense Jacksonville – If you are sued on a credit card, or other debt related matter, it is important to consult with an attorney immediately, prior to taking any action on your own. The experienced debt defense attorneys at Cleaveland & Cleaveland, P.L. offer a free consultations to discuss your options. Visit us website for more information.