My mother in law purchased a business from my father. She had my husband to run the business. She took out a business loan as the 100% guarantor and 100% owner. We were not aware of this loan debt. We did not sign any paperwork at all. Now we have been served with a civil suit, in which the collection agency that purchased this from the original creditor hasn't shown any proof as to the validity that we owe anything. And this was done according to my mother in law, almost 6 years ago. What are our options?
Once you have been served with a summons and complaint the clock is running for your response. I would consult with a litigator immediately to discuss what your best options are moving forward. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation.
Bottom line is that this forum is likely not going to be able to provide you with enough information to respond to the paperwork you have been served. You need to sit down with someone who can spend 30 minutes or an hour going over it with you and educating you on the best way to proceed.
Legal disclaimer: I am licensed to practice law in the state of Washington and the answer provided above is for general information purposes only and should not be relied on as specific legal advice. This answer does not form an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with an attorney of your choice to fully advise you about your legal rights and obligations.
I agree with counsel. You need to locate a civil litigator in the jurisdiction where the case has been filed to represent you in that court.
It is quite possible that the wrong party has been served and you may be able to get dismissed. we cannot know from the short narrative provided of course and knowing does us no good either as your clock it ticking at this point.
You can use Avvo to search for a lawyer by going to the "find a lawyer" tab up top as well and most of us here offer a free phone consult.
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I agree with the other counsel. This case illustrates the importance of having competent legal representation on the front end when buying the business regardless of whether it is purchased from a family member. There are relatively easy ways to avoid these kinds of problems prior to the purchase.
These comments do not constitute legal advice. They are general comments on the circumstances presented, and may not be applicable to your situation. For legal advice on which you may rely consult your own lawyer.