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    Life has restart button

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What To Do if You Are Being Sued by a Debt Collector

As an Orlando bankruptcy attorney, I meet people every day who come in with a lawsuit for a debt that was not paid. I don’t judge my clients or why it wasn’t paid. My focus is on what are we going to do now to resolve it.

So who is suing? Everyone. American Express. Discover Bank. Bank of America. Capital One lawsuits are very common. Then you have lawsuits from Portfolio Recovery, Midland Funding, CACH LLC, LVNV Funding, Cavalry SPV, and the list goes on and on. These are debt purchasers. As a debt lawsuit attorney, I represent clients in all of these lawsuits and have done so for over ten years.

Being served and what to do

So the day comes and you get served with a lawsuit. It is not pleasant because a process server or even a police officer doing some moonlighting will knock on your door. If someone over the age of 15 years old answers the door and says you live there, the process server will hand it to the person and thus; the law firm has properly effectuated service. If you have not been served and instead, you get a lawsuit in the mail, that is not proper service and you can ignore it. If you get a business card from a process server or a certified letter receipt waiting for you at the post office, you can ignore it. You may not want to ignore it if you want to resolve the matter quickly. My suggestion is this is when you should call me to discuss the pros and cons of whether you should get attorney representation for the lawsuit or consider filing bankruptcy. Often times, being sued for a debt is a sign of other things to come. Sometimes it makes more sense to wipe out all your debts while keeping your cars and house.

If you decide to fight the lawsuit, and the lawsuit is over $5,000, you will have a 20-day deadline to file a response to the lawsuit. Writing a letter saying you couldn’t pay because you lost a job or someone became ill is NOT a proper response and actually will serve as admitting the debt and making the job a lot easier for the law firm suing you. I recommend you hire a lawyer to handle this matter. We typically work with these debt collectors daily and can try to obtain the best possible outcome for you.

Going to court and what to expect

If the lawsuit is less than $5,000, you will have a scheduled pretrial conference that you will have to attend. We can appear for you and often charge less than you think for these small claims lawsuits. If you decide to attend, depending on what county you are in, will meet with a mediator and someone from the law firm suing you. Usually, they appear either over the phone or they have a lawyer that is “covering” for them in person. Can you imagine this debt collection law firm has put you through so much stress and they don’t even show up to the hearing and instead hire some other person to show up? Real nice!

At that point, you will enter into negotiations on whether you can pay, how much you can pay, and when you can pay every month for the debt. You do not have to agree. If you do not agree, depending on what county, you may be sent to the judge or most likely, a trial date will be set in front of a judge – not a jury. If you enter into a settlement agreement, I strongly suggest you demand not to pay any interest on the monthly payment. They will have you sign the stipulated settlement agreement and you will be on your way.

Call our office today to discuss your options through bankruptcy

In any outcome of this unpleasant ordeal, my recommendation is to call our law firm at 407-777-7777 and set up a free consultation with me to talk about what your next step should be. If you decide to file bankruptcy, we can wipe out the debt you agreed to pay and tear up the settlement agreement you signed. I have personally filed bankruptcy and can relate to my clients and really understand what they are going through. Because Life Has a Restart Button.

Law Offices of Walter F. Benenati: Bankruptcy Attorney

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Orlando, Florida 32803

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