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What To Expect In A Lawsuit For An Unpaid Debt BEFORE You File An Answer

Anyone with credit card debt should never ignore a creditor's attempts to collect an unpaid debt. The likely result is that in the near future, the creditor will attempt to collect the debt by filing a lawsuit. The creditor will then serve the obligor for the debt (and now defendant) with a summons.

What may a debtor immediately expect once served with a lawsuit for an unpaid debt?

*Increased difficulty in negotiating a solution

Once a case is filed, it is possible to contact the creditor and still resolve the case before it moves forward. However, to abruptly and meaningfully stop a court case typically requires some combination of expert negotiation and, more importantly, some concrete solution which sees some cash paid to the plaintiff by the defendant in the very near future.

*Collection attorneys

Credit card companies use collection attorneys located throughout the United States to pursue millions of dollars of unpaid debts annually. Delinquent debt collection is an ongoing part of the consumer lending industry, therefore, credit card companies are fully loaded with an arsenal of legal resources to pursue unpaid debts.  

A debt collection defense attorney is often crucial in this situation as he or she may help formulate a defense and provide guidance through court proceedings. Most debt collection defense attorneys, like the attorneys at Loan Lawyers, provide free consultations.

Despite the fact that the creditor may have imposing legal resources, it still has the burden of proving that the defendant owes the money. In some circumstances, the credit card company may not have all of the records related to a case, which is more common than expected, especially if the creditor is not the original lender and has purchased or been assigned the debt.

It's also possible that the statute of limitations may have run or expired on the debt. Perhaps the creditor may have failed to credit payments that, in fact, were actually made. A debt collection defense  attorney may help ensure that all available defenses are set forth in a timely filed answer.

*A limited period of time to respond to the summons

Once a defendant is served, he or she only has 20 to 30 days to prepare and file a response to the creditor's complaint. Failing to file an answer to the complaint is the worst, single act that a defendant may do when served with a summons. In this situation, the creditor may obtain judgment by default, which is the equivalent of an automatic victory by the creditor.

Once a creditor receives a judgment as the victorious plaintiff, it becomes a judgment creditor while a defendant becomes a judgment debtor. In this situation, a judgment creditor may execute (try to collect) on the judgment in various ways. In Florida, it may garnish wages or a bank account, as well as file a judgment lien on or levy property.

The experienced South Florida defense attorneys at Loan Lawyers are here to help you if you are experiencing difficulty because of unpaid debts. To schedule a free consultation at any of our three conveniently located offices, contact Loan Lawyers today by calling (888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813).

  • 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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