How to respond to a lawsuit when you have been sued
Ignoring lawsuits and notices of a judgment will not make these problems go away. You need to to respond to the lawsuit when you have been sued. When you realize that you are being sued a common reaction is one of fear and helplessness but there are steps that can be taken to handle these problems quickly and effectively. If a lawsuit is filed and you do not answer the suit or appear at the scheduled date then a default judgment will be entered and the creditor can take several different steps to collect on the judgment issued.
When the phone keeps ringing and each trip to the mailbox causes anxiety you may feel trapped in an endless cycle of despair. Ignoring the phone and throwing away unopened demand letters will not stop the problem, instead this will make a bad situation even worse. Instead it is important that action is taken as soon as creditors start calling or sending demand letters. Any delay could result in a bank account seizure, wage garnishment, or even a lien against your home or other personal property.
Good People Experience Financial Difficulties
Good people have bad things happen and experiencing financial difficulties does not mean you are a deadbeat or a terrible human being. Often financial problems start when events occur that you cannot control. You may have a serious illness, be laid off, or lose your job through no fault of your own. This can lead to an inability to pay credit cards, medical bills, and other debts.
Respond to lawsuit
The response to lawsuit is a written document called an answer. A call to the court, or the attorney who is suing you does not count. When you respond to lawsuit, it has to be in writing, filed with the court, and then you will mail a copy to the attorney who sued you.
You know that you owe the creditors and most people feel backed into a corner. It is not that you do not want to pay these bills and stop the collection harassment but if you do not have the funds available you cannot pay. To make matters worse the creditors will file a lawsuit to collect the money owed and you do not have a defense because you do owe the money but cannot pay right now due to limited financial resources. A judgment will be issued by the court and this will only compound the financial problems. So, you need to respond to the lawsuit to keep the creditor from winning by default.
When A Judgment Is Issued
Once a judgment is issued by the court what happens to you? The creditor can take this judgment and place liens on any real property that is owned by you in the county where the suit was filed and the judgment recorded. This can include a lien against your home, and in some cases can result in the loss of the home.
The judgment also allows the creditor to get an order for wage garnishment against your paycheck. Your employer will have no choice but to deduct a specific percentage of your check and send this money to the court or creditor. State tax refunds can also be garnished as well. When wage garnishment occurs you find that you still have all of the expenses but less income to meet these bills. The garnishment will take a big chunk of your earnings and you may find that other debts cannot be paid because of this.
Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy Can Help In Most Cases
If you are facing financial problems and cannot pay your debts, if you are being sued by creditors, or if you have one or more judgments entered against you then a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney should be scheduled as soon as possible. Filing for bankruptcy protection can stop all collection activities immediately, and this includes all judgment collections and garnishments. With some debt types these garnishments will start again once the bankruptcy judge reviews the case because these types of debt cannot be discharged. This usually includes child support, alimony, certain taxes owed, and limited other debt types.
Delaying a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can result in a wage garnishment or bank account seizure, and once money is seized by creditors it can be very difficult to get back even through bankruptcy court. Judgments are debt obligations, and in most cases bankruptcy will discharge these obligations and provide a fresh financial start.
The experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Richard West Law can provide a free debt consolidation consultation to help you find the right answer for your unique debt problems and circumstances.