Are being sued by a credit card debt? If so, what do you do?
1. Do Not Ignore a Summons & Complaint
If a lawsuit has been filed against you for a debt, you need to respond. This is a serious matter. If you do nothing, you run the risk of receiving wage garnishment, lien, or property seizure. In California, you must respond within thirty days of receiving the summons and complaint. But, the response time will vary based on the state in which you live.
So, if you were served, act quickly. If you do not show up for the court proceeding, the judge will likely rule against you. The judge can then order you to pay the full amount owed.
2. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report
You will want to make sure that there are no mistakes on your credit report. You will want to make sure that no accounts were opened in your name or unauthorized purchases were made without your knowledge.
3. Find out the Statute of Limitations
All civil lawsuits need to be filed within a set timeframe that varies from state-to-state. Most fall within a four to six year range. And, the time starts on the date of your last payment. The lawsuit should be dismissed when a Complaint is issued after the statute of limitations has ended.
4. Try to Negotiate
Once you know the statute of limitations on the debt to validate the debt, you may be able to negotiate a settlement. So, your best bet is to find out the statute of limitations and exactly how much is owed. You can then figure out what you can afford to pay and call to negotiate a payment plan. You may even be able to get a letter of deletion.
5. Call a Lawyer
The legal process can be complicated. For this reason, we recommend that you speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney. This can be intimidating, but you should know that most lawyers offer free consultations. Be sure to speak with someone that knows the law and can help you understand your best options. Your lawyer will also be able to determine if the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has been violated.
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