When you are sued for a past-due credit card or loan account, don’t panic. There are simple steps for you to take that will make the process understandable and possibly result in a more favorable outcome.
Assuming the lawsuit was filed against the correct person, in the correct jurisdiction, and the lawsuit followed the technical rules, the next step is for you to decide. Ignore it and let the Plaintiff win by default. Or, file an “Answer” and participate in the lawsuit.
A high percentage of people just ignore the lawsuit. The likelihood is that they would lose anyway, but for people who engage in the process, the chances of a better resolution increase.
Debt-collection lawyers win over 99% of their cases because the lawsuit is easy to prove. In the rare instance that the Plaintiff loses, it is usually because a defense attorney highlights a technical defect in a document the Plaintiff is using for evidence.
So if the odds are that most defendants lose their lawsuit, why even go through the time and effort to participate? Because you can usually settle the case with terms you can actually live with.
Generally Two Ways To Settle
The option most advantageous to a defendant is for the Plaintiff to agree to accept a lump-sum payment at least a couple of weeks before the scheduled trial while also agreeing to forgive the remainder of the balance. Most of the time, this lump sum could be 75% or more of the total balance, sometimes less. If you can afford to pay that and the Plaintiff agrees to forgive the rest, the Plaintiff will dismiss the lawsuit.
If you cannot afford a lump sum payment to obtain a discount, you will generally be required to pay the full balance. But, the Plaintiff will agree to accept a reasonable monthly payment until the balance is paid in full. You will need to inform the judge that you agree that you owe the entire amount so the judge can close the case. There will be a judgment against you, but the Plaintiff will not use the judgment to go to your bank accounts as long as you make the monthly payments as agreed. Once the balance is paid in full, the judgment gets released.
A Consultation Can Help You DIY
Call the Handler Law Firm today for a consultation. Vince Handler has personally been involved in over 12,000 lawsuits and can provide you with easy-to-understand steps. Paying our $100 consultation fee usually results in defendants easily handling their lawsuit all by themselves and achieving a result they can live with.