Typically, if you received the court summons & other paperwork, that is all the notice the lawyer's office is required to provide to you about the lawsuit. I am not aware of any law that requires an attorney to send you a final demand notice that they intend to file suit, although many lawyers do such things.
If you & your spouse own property jointly, then this debt, when it becomes a judgment, could affect your spouse because property held jointly, such as a joint bank account, could be taken even though 100% of the ownership was funded by your husband.
You may wish to investigate what property might be vulnerable to claims of this creditor, and I am providing a link to a list of property that is exempt for all of the US states so that you have an idea of what is protected in your state.
Hope this perspective helps!
If this is your debt and not your husbands they can only come after you. However, if you co-own an asset with your husband they could seek an attachment of that asset. If you qualify you could eliminate the debt in bankruptcy. The alternatives to bankruptcy include debt settlement. Do not pay them anything if you have plans to file bankruptcy because you woudl be throwing good money out with the bad.
The content of this message does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to be relied upon by anyone. It is highly recommended that the reader seek the opinion of a qualified attorney in his or her area for consultation and assistance. There are applicable statute of limitations and other considerations that only a qualified attorney can provide guidance on after being fully informed as to all of the circumstance of your particular case.
As my colleagues have already said, no final demand needs to be provided, although most attorneys give this courtesy to Debtors. Under Massachusetts law, there is no provision for the Creditor to come after your spouses individual assets. However, if the Creditor does obtain a judgment against you and you and your husband have a joint bank account, tax returns, equity in real property etc., then part of those joint assets may be subject a valid request to attach or garnish. However, most judgments are considered unsecured debts, and are discharable in a bankruptcy. Additionally, if your spouse or any other third party for that matter has some funds available, you may be able to simply workout the debt with the creditor. The biggest thing to remember is not to ignore the problem as it will only get worse. In Massachusetts Judgments do incur interest at a rate of 12% per year, so it is best to deal with this problem head on.
Our Massachusetts office does handle these types of matters frequently and if you need more detailed information, I would be happy to set up a time to speak to you.
There is a really good consumer attorney named Deborah Roher in Fall River who can probably help you, or at least refer you on to a legal aid organization.