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I have been sued by a debt collector. The debt collector improperly served me. I got the judge to quash service.

West Palm Beach, FL |

It has now been six months and the debt collector has not retried to serve me. However, the court records still indicate a suit has been filed against me for a debt. The debt is completely bogus. Unfortunately, I tried to get a loan for a house, but the bank told me that because of the pending lawsuit, it would not give me the loan. Is there any way to get the lawsuit dismissed because the debt collector is not attempting to serve me? Is there any penalty for filling a lawsuit against someone and then not prosecuting it?

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Attorney answers 2


In Ohio there is a civil rule that requires a court to dismiss any case where service is not completed withing 1 year of the filing of the complaint. It's automatic. Florida must have a similar rule.

So, call the Clerk of Court and ask what the rule is. I bet they are helpful, Ohio also has a rule that if a case has already been dismissed one time, for any reason, then the second dismissal is a dismissal "with prejudice" and the case can never be re-filed again. Once again, Florida will have a similar rule. Good luck,

This answer is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and may not be relied upon as legal advice. A careful examination of the facts is necessary before a legal answer may be relied on. You should consult your own attorney before taking or refraining from any legal action.


Did the bank give you a written explanation of why you did not get the home loan (what is often called an "adverse action" notice)? The law requires this notice to be given. I ask because credit reports do not often report pending lawsuits. Much more frequently, they report the alleged debt which forms the basis of the lawsuit. This may seem like a hair-splitting, but the lawsuit may be irrelevant to the bank. I would anticipate that it is the debt being reported on your credit report that is affecting the bank's decision.

The good news is that if the "completely bogus" debt is on your credit report, then the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act may give you a legal remedy that includes damages and having your attorneys fees paid. I suggest you look for a consumer attorney to assist you at

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