In many cases being sued for debt is a scary experience. But what you might not be aware of is that many attorneys representing debt buyers do not have the proper documentation to sue you. Summons and complaints are often sent out to people who assume they either need to give up the money or hide, because they don’t know how to do it themselves.
The purpose of this post is to show you how you can get your name on the summons and complain form. Of course, there are other ways too; but in order for the court date to go as planned, a summons and complaint must be filled out properly — and that means having some basic understanding of what a summons and complaint are. This will allow you to do your part for getting rid of junk debt!
What are debt buyers?
The debt buyers are the people who buy up people’s debts. They collect money from them and then take it out of their paycheck. This can happen over a number of different ways.
The most common is through garnishment or wage garnishment, but there are other ways too—like by bank levy, collections agency, or through lawsuits filed against the debtor. Each has a different set of rules and requirements for success, so you will have to find out what works for you and your debtor to beat them at their own game.
Why you might be sued by a debt buyer.
If you are being sued for debt, the first thing to do is get a copy of your summons. You can also get a copy from the company that sued you, or from the attorney handling your case (if they have copies they will often send you copies). There are two things to be aware of. One is that many of these companies do not have a legal right to file complaints. The other is that most of these companies have very little experience with small claims court and if they sue you, it will likely cost them more money than if they did not file at all.
How to tell if a debt buyer has the proper documentation to sue you.
Being sued for debt is a scary experience. But what you might not be aware of is that many attorneys representing debt buyers do not have the proper documentation to sue you. Summons and complaints are often sent out to people who assume they either need to give up the money or hide, but in reality they most likely don’t have enough documentation to be able to sue.
This post addresses the issue in a bit more detail by addressing the legal requirements for suing someone in court (this post has been updated since I wrote it back in 2014). The key things are:
• Real property deed-in-lieu of suit (the court will require you to produce your deed)
• Affidavit for personal injury (you’ll need one from an actual doctor, not just one from a friend)
• Affidavit for negligence (you’ll also need a doctor’s affidavit)
The most important thing here is that you want as much documentation as possible if you want this lawsuit to stick. And even if you don’t feel like producing documents, make sure your attorney does so.
What to do if you are sued by a debt buyer.
To be clear, I’m not saying that anyone should simply ignore any junk debt buyers if you feel it is in your interest to do so. I would recommend that if you ever feel threatened by one, fight back. By doing so, you may be able to argue that the debt buyer is trying to take advantage of you for a second time and thus it is not in your best interest to allow them the opportunity (which is an argument I often use).
However, there are some important things to keep in mind when filing a lawsuit:
• Ask yourself: ‘are they trying to take advantage of me now, or are they going to try again?’
• If they are trying to take advantage of you now, they will probably try again.
• If they are going to try again, what can I do about it? And how can I defend myself? (Example: He sent me a letter stating that he was going to sue me because I was late with my rent due and he had the right under court process law.)
After making sure that your lawyer and business officer have the proper documents for legal action against debt buyers (eg. summons), it is time for preparation. But before preparing anything else, ask yourself these questions:
• Does anyone else have this debt? Does anyone else owe this money? If yes, who does? If yes then who does not? Is there an attorney for this person(s)? How are these folks connected/responsible if anything happens with this debt? Will my lawyers need to work with them on my case or will we have our own agreements on this matter? What documents do we need from other parties so we can complete our case and how will those documents get filed with relevant courts etc.?
This step helps ensure that all parties involved know exactly what needs to happen during the legal process and make sure everyone understands what their responsibilities are. This also helps ensure that all parties involved follow through on any legal action taken in response. Lastly in order for a lawsuit based on junk debt buying to succeed, the court needs all parties involved properly represented at every stage of proceedings; which means every party needs ’em! Here’s where I highly recommend having at least two attorneys representing each party as well as one outside counsel (my preference would be another attorney who specializes in consumer fraud suits) depending on your particular situation. It’s easy enough for people not familiar with litigation / consumer law laws but scary enough for
A few months ago, I published a post about how to beat junk debt buyers in court. There are several different ways to fight back:
• Do not pay the debt-buyers. Even if they have all your information and file a lawsuit against you, there is no guarantee that they will win.
• Bring your own lawyer. A good lawyer can help you get away with far less than the debt-buyers imagine.
• Create a sound legal defense with expert advice from a qualified attorney.
• Keep records of everything you do to defend yourself and your company.
• Keep up on the latest in consumer law developments so that you don’t get stuck in some obscure legal position that may cost you dearly (though it is hard work to stay current).