What Can You Do if You Are Served with a Lawsuit?
Being served with a debt collection lawsuit is both scary and frustrating. Whether it’s a sheriff’s deputy or a hired process server, the feeling of dread and anxiety can be overwhelming.
After creditors have attempted to collect the debt owed to them many will file a lawsuit if this debt remains unpaid for several months. Once you are served with the lawsuit you typically have 30 days to file a response to the lawsuit. If you don’t do this then the creditor will obtain a default judgment against you.
Thousands of collection lawsuits are filed in Georgia every month. Although the pandemic temporarily stopped the process. Now that things are getting back to normal (somewhat), the courts are rescheduling debt collection hearings.
If you’ve been sued by a debt collector, chances are that you won’t even recognize the name of the collection company suing you. The reason for this is that the original debt has been sold to a debt collection company.
The debt collection industry is big — estimated to be a $12 billion industry in fact, and growing. There are literally thousands of debt collectors in the form of collection companies, law firms, and yes, even debt buyers.
Debt collection companies like NCO Financial, Portfolio Recovery, Midland Funding, LLC, LVNV Funding, PRA Receivables, and Cach, LLC sue thousands of people in the hope that consumers will not legally respond to their lawsuits. If no one responds to the lawsuit (in Georgia within 30 days of being served), these creditors will get a judgment by default and can start garnishing your wages and bank accounts shortly after.
You have a few options when you are served with a lawsuit:
- Do nothing and have a judgment entered against you.
- File a response to the lawsuit and contact the creditor and work out a repayment plan.
- File bankruptcy to stop the lawsuit and discharge the debt