I been served with a lawsuit and answered it within the time limit. What do I do next?
Do I need a lawyer? I cannot afford to pay any type of payment.
Family Law Attorney
You are now in the discovery period. Use it wisely.
Admiralty / Maritime Attorney
I am going to assume since you answered the lawsuit that the amount being sought is greater than $5000.00 and you are either in county or circuit court and not in summary claims court. I am also going to bet that the company bringing the suit purchased the debt from the credit card company and did not attach to the complaint the original contract, the assignment or the account itself, as required by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. I would suggest you seek this documentation via Request for Production. You might want to go to the Viera Courthouse library to review the Rules of Civil Procedure and examples on how to prepare this Request. If the company does not have this documentation, it is likely it cannot win the suit if you object to any other documents, affidavits or testimony as being “hearsay” at trial.
You should know that the court will, before trial, order you into mediation so there will be an opportunity to settle the case for an amount much less than the amount being sued for, and the company who has sued you may be willing to settle for a nominal amount if it knows that it is unlikely to collect any Judgment against you, especially if it knows it cannot win the case because it does not have the documentation to prove the debt.
I practice in Brevard and occasionally handle these type of lawsuits on a pro-bono (without charge) basis. There are other firms that do so also in Brevard, so you might want to call around. Note also that if your contract with the credit card company allows for attorney fees for collection actions, than the company bringing the suit will have to pay your attorney fees if you win the case. Take a look at the complaint against you and see if it specifically asked for attorney fees, or if there is any breakdown on how it has determined the amount it says you owe. Probably not, but it might. Good luck to you.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
This is the period for discovery. It is an important phase.
You might find my Legal Guide helpful "How to Choose A Lawyer For You"
You might find my Legal Guide helpful " What Do I Tell My Lawyer"
No one can know what the record is in the case because online we cannot see your documents. You need a lawyer. Check with a lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details.
Good luck to you.
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