Once a creditor obtains a judgment against you, in most states, they don't have any obligation to provide you with debt validation or any other paperwork. While things may be different in Florida, as they often are, check the court records to see what has been filed to obtain any writ to attach your property. You may also wish to review state laws, usually posted on the state website, to see what, if any, requirements a judgment creditor is under to provide you with notice.
Hope this perspective helps!
The first thing you need to do if and when you get sued is file an Answer. The summons will tell you that you must “appear” by way of an Answer in 10, 20 or 30 days, “depending on the method of service.”
PLEASE CHECK THE LAW IN YOUR STATE AS YOU MAY ACTUALLY HAVE TO APPEAR IN COURT, AS IN VIRGINIA, IN ORDER TO AVOID A DEFAULT!
You need a lawyer, but if you cannot afford one right away, rather then do nothing and have a judgment entered against you, is to “appear” by filing something!
Many people think this means they have to go to Court and this is incorrect. 90% of all lawsuits end in Default Judgments because the defendant (person getting sued) did not file an Answer.
I recommend you go to the free form I have on my website. Print it out and fill it out as instructed. You must answer the numbered paragraphs on the Complaint by writing them into the appropriate lines in the Answer. The Answer will allow you to preserve your rights and will prohibit a default judgment (i.e. you did not show up) from being entered against you.
Mimic the paperwork you got when you got sued. Answer all the paragraphs of the Complaint by writing the numbers in lines 1, 2 or 3.
Almost 100% of attorneys will deny what is owed because they did not do the calculations and do not know what the basis for the number is…
When you file the Answer that is your “not guilty”. You have the right to make the person suing you (Plaintiff) prove their case, but you must also answer the complaint truthfully.
Make sure you fill in the name and address of the attorney suing you before you bring this paperwork to the Court. Mail it to the attorney suing you right away!
Check out the guide I have drafted on the Avvo profile. This will provide more detailed instructions. If it is helpful remember to indicate that and get the guide read!
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Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author only and the fact that he has worked as an Assistant District Attorney; State Supreme Court Clerk; Special Assistant United States Attorney (Hawaii); Assistant Cornell University Counsel or Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps should not be relied upon to assume that these statements reflect the policy of these organizations.
After judgment is entered, the creditor still must comply with the FDCPA and either provide debt validation or not contact you further. It appears they are complying since they are not contacting you. They should not be disclosing the debt to 3rd parties - employer, etc. But I would expect a wage garnishment to start at your work any day now. Sorry.
Joshua P. Friedman received his juris doctorate from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles and his bachelor of arts from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a licensed attorney specializing in collections and judgment enforcement. He has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star for the past 3 years by Los Angeles Magazine. Josh lectures regularly on issues relating to collections and judgment enforcement, including local bar associations and for National Business Institute (NBI) for continuing legal education credit. Josh currently also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the California Creditors Bar Association and Vice President of the California Association of Judgment Professionals.
Disclaimer of California Attorney
Although the above response is believed to be accurate, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice because the information provided is incomplete. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with me without a written contract.
Joshua P. Friedman