Credit card companies generally don’t forget about the unpaid obligations of their cardholders. Eventually, they will file a civil lawsuit to obtain a judgment for an unpaid debt or obligation. 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.
Not filing an answer to any complaint, including one for an unpaid debt, is a huge mistake. There is no worse failure or omission that a defendant may undertake when served with a summons. Why? Once this occurs (or doesn’t), the creditor may obtain judgment by default, which is the equivalent of an automatic victory by the creditor. Assuming the defendant in a credit card lawsuit has wisely filed an answer, what may he or she next expect once this answer has been filed?
- The discovery process: court proceedings which gather information
Once the answer is filed, the judge will typically schedule discovery. This is the process by which both parties to the lawsuit “discover” or exchange information. It may be done by deposition, which consists of pre-trial oral statements given under oath, interrogatories (questions), requests for the production of documents, or statements of admission. All parties in the case must obey all discovery requests unless protected by privilege or another procedural rule. A debt collection defense attorney is crucial at the trial stage.
- Disposition of the case before trial
If a defendant has no defense and is the true obligor of the alleged unpaid debt, a creditor may file a motion for summary judgment alleging that there is no genuine issue of material fact disputed in the case. A qualified debt collection defense attorney may attempt to have the case dismissed because of a lack of evidence. Most cases never make it to trial as both parties typically find it to their mutual advantage to reach some settlement before it progresses this far.
The experienced Fort Lauderdale debt 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 954-523-HELP (4357).