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What to Do if a Creditor Sues You in Ohio
Don’t Ignore a Debt-Related Lawsuit
Being sued by a creditor isn’t hopeless, but you have limited time to respond. LHA can represent you, offer advice, and help you deal with a creditor lawsuit the right way.
Call LHA: 888-726-3181
I’m Being Sued by a Creditor. Now What?
After being served with a Complaint, the most crucial step to take is to remain calm and DO NOT ignore the lawsuit. Ignoring collectors’ calls and letters may seem like a good strategy, but ignoring a lawsuit is different.
Topics we’ll cover in the following video:
- How is someone notified if they are being sued by a creditor?
- What should someone do if they are sued for debt?
- What will a lawyer do to help in a debt collection lawsuit?
- Will the person being sued have to go to court?
Deal With Debt Lawsuits Fast
Failure to respond to a lawsuit usually means the creditor (the plaintiff) will easily obtain a default judgment against you. The judgment can be used to start wage garnishment, bank account garnishment, and place liens on your property.
To avoid this, immediately contact a debtor defense attorney who can communicate with the creditor, file necessary legal documents, and meet required deadlines.
You might think that hiring an attorney is too expensive or that your debt is too small to require one. That is false. No matter what, if you are being sued, an attorney can make a big difference in how your case is handled and how much you end up owing.
Not Just Any Debt Attorney
As a founding partner with LHA, Jeremiah E. Heck is a leader in debtor defense and dedicated to protecting consumers. Even if there is a lawsuit against you, it is possible to get relief.
“Answer” the Right Way
If you are sued for a debt, Ohio law gives you 28 days to respond, and you must file an Answer in court. An Answer is a legal document addressing every issue raised in the Complaint by the plaintiff or creditor. You can also file a counterclaim if the creditor has violated any of your rights.
Challenge the Debt
If you are sued by a debt collector rather than the original creditor, you will want to challenge the debt’s validity. The debt collector must have proof that they legally own the debt and that the debt was yours in the first place.
Your attorney can try to keep any unauthenticated evidence out of court, as well as demand the creditor produce all evidence they have.
Negotiate with the Creditor
Just because a creditor sues you does not mean you have no other options to deal with the debt. Your debt settlement lawyer can call the company and attempt to negotiate a beneficial outcome for both sides.
After all, the creditor will want to avoid court because that means additional legal fees. You may be able to pay a portion of the debt or set up a payment plan instead of going to court.
Lawsuits by Debt Collectors
Being sued for a debt by a debt collector is different from an original creditor’s lawsuit. The debt collector likely bought your past-due account from the original creditor for less than you actually owe. This makes it easier to negotiate with them for a better outcome. Your attorney can try to get the amount you end up paying the debt collector reduced significantly.
Additionally, debt collectors often violate state and federal laws when collecting a debt. If they harassed you or treated you unfairly in any way, you may be eligible for actual damages, statutory damages up to $1,000, attorneys’ fees, and punitive damages through a counterclaim.
What If A Credit Card Company Sues You?
If a credit card company sues you, they act as an original creditor. These companies have large teams of lawyers and often seek as much as possible, including fees, high-interest rates, and legal fees.
However, your debtor defense attorney can still negotiate, and you have other relief options to consider.
What If a Judgment Is Made Against Me?
If a creditor sues you and they get a judgment against you, your attorney may be able to negotiate so that they don’t have to go through with garnishment or liens. This can avoid fees significant embarrassment, especially if they attempt to garnish your wages through your employer.
Another option is bankruptcy, which halts all legal actions, including garnishment.
Do I Go to Court for a Debt Lawsuit?
In most cases, your attorney can work out a better solution before a debt lawsuit goes to court. However, if you opt to challenge the debt or follow through with a counterclaim, you may have to show up in court.
Why Use a Debtor Defense Lawyer
If a creditor sues you, contact a debtor defense lawyer to avoid some of the harshest outcomes, such as garnishment and liens on your property.
There’s a right and wrong way to deal with debt lawsuits. A lawyer who is licensed in Ohio can ensure that your legal documents are correctly drafted, all deadlines are met, and your cases are properly resolved.
Learn All Your Options
Even if a creditor has already sued you, you likely still have options. Most creditors would instead reach a mutually beneficial agreement and avoid court altogether.
Protect Your Rights
Creditors and collection agencies that sue you must respect your rights. If they violate them, you may have a valid counterclaim that can compensate you.