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Process Server Mistakes

A lawsuit for a credit card debt as well as many other forms of consumer-debt requires that the creditor first send certain documents to the courthouse. After the creditor files the lawsuit the creditor then has to perform some very specific steps. The full list of requirements are detailed in Florida Statutes § 48.031 but broadly speaking, a debt collector still has to find the consumer and either hand the initial court papers to them or to someone who lives in their home over the age of 15. The full procedures that they have to follow are a little complicated, consult an attorney if you want the precise details, there are exceptions.

While these steps are not particularly burdensome, debt collectors still make mistakes all the time. Instead of delivering the documents in person as generally required, Debt collectors sometimes instead…

● Mail documents to the consumer.

● Tape the documents on the consumer’s door.

● Leave the documents in the consumer’s mailbox.

● Slide the documents under the consumer’s door.

● Leave them with a parent, relative or friend who they do not live with.

● Give them to a person with the same name as a consumer, at a different address.

Any of those mistakes may be grounds to fight the debt collector, or at least to reset the clock on the lawsuit until the debt collector properly delivers the documents. The list above are mostly mistakes or carelessness, there are incidents where debt collectors outright ignore the law on purpose.

http://nypost.com/2015/11/22/over-350k-new-yorkers-settle-with-shady-debt-collector/

A recent class action lawsuit in New York accused a debt collector on a wide scale basis of engaging in what is sometimes called “sewer service”, where they claim that the legal documents were delivered to the person being sued but they were never sent out at all. It is called sewer service because the documents are thrown away or “tossed in the sewer”. The person who is supposed to deliver the documents then lies to the Court and tells them that the documents were properly delivered.

The time to start fighting a lawsuit is as soon as you learn you are being sued. If someone has tried to deliver court documents to you or even made any of the mistakes above, that does not mean you have some breathing room, that means you need to act even more quickly. If you believe you are being sued by your creditors, contact our office or another law firm as soon as you are possible to ask for help.

This document has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any legal issues related to the matters discussed in this article as the applicability of state, local and federal laws may vary.

  • ABC News
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • CBS 4
  • CNN
  • Daily Business Review
  • Florida Trend's - Florida Legal Elite 2014
  • Florida Trend's - Florida Legal Elite 2014
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • NBC News
  • National Consumer Law Center
  • The New York Times
  • Avvo
  • Avvo
  • Avvo
  • Avvo
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