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Can a law firm sue me and collect a debt if I was never served?

Santa Clarita, CA |

I had a credit card that I defaulted on. I received a letter that states that I was served with a lawsuit and that I failed to respond. That's not true. I was never served. Now they are looking to enter a default judgment against me. What should I do?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

don't let them get the default. Answer their complaint. What is your goal? Assuming you owe the debt, what is the end game? Settle, reduce monthly payments? Or perhaps you do NOT owe the debt. If you are just buying time or the debt stated is not correct, you will have to file an answer. If they get the judgment you will move to immediately vacate and answer. Hire an attorney. But consider the costs of answering and fighting and paying attorney fees versus settling the debt. On the other hand, if you do not owe the money, fight it. Best of luck.

Sandra Maria Nutt

Sandra Maria Nutt

Posted

If you can't afford an attorney, there are self-help desks in the courthouse and they can assist you. There is also this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0989924300/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your answer, Sandra. So, they can get a judgment without serving me properly? They never served me. I owe the debt ($6,200) and a payment plan is the only thing I can do.

Sandra Maria Nutt

Sandra Maria Nutt

Posted

Yes, if you don't act and prove up failure to serve. They'll serve you when you dispute it though. You can reach out or have an attorney reach out for settlement.

Asker

Posted

How much would you charge me to settle on my behalf?

Sandra Maria Nutt

Sandra Maria Nutt

Posted

I'm sorry I cannot discuss that on an open discussion board. If you would like to speak wto me, please call my office. Thanks - I'm not there now but I'll be around tomorrow afternoon with no appts until 3:30-ish. Thank you!

Asker

Posted

Can't you private message me? Do you think you can settle for less than I owe?

Posted

First, you should get a copy of the original papers ASAP by either going to the courthouse and getting a copy of the papers in the file (bring that letter you received with you) or you could call up the law office that sent you the letter and ask them to send you a copy, but that is not a reliable method. Second, you should either retain an attorney to defend or settle the lawsuit, if you know that you owe the debt and that the amount listed is correct.

Posted

You should probably consult a local attorney. One issue here is who is suing you - the original creditor or a debt purchase company. If it isn't the original creditor, a consumer attorney can defend you to make sure the debt is legitimate and potentially get you a workable settlement.
Call the court house ASAP and find out how to block the default while you research local attorneys.

While I am the Student Loan Lawyer, the information I provide is not legal advice nor is there an attorney client relationship created. If you would like more information about me or my firm, please visit my website - www.TheStudentLoanLawyer.com.

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