Are you being sued by a creditor, like a credit card company? You must figure out what you’re going to do quickly. In the State of Ohio, you have 28 days to respond to a lawsuit. The response must be in writing, and it must be served upon opposing counsel as well as filed with the court.
To make sure that you have responded properly and have preserved your defenses, it’s always recommended that you consult with an attorney if you’re being sued. There are many potential defenses to collections or debt-related lawsuits, but each case is unique and is best examined by an experienced consumer protection attorney. A lawyer will also be able to help you determine the proper course of action.
Another benefit of retaining an attorney if you’re being sued is that he or she can try to keep certain, unauthenticated evidence out of court, as well as demand that the creditor provide all evidence they have.
You might think that hiring an attorney is too expensive or that your debt in question is too small to require one. This 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. Depending on the situation, an attorney may be able to get your case resolved by reducing the amount of money you owe. Though counterclaims aren’t common in most debtor defense lawsuits, there may be a possibility.
Most consumer protection lawyers are also priced affordably because of the very nature of the work. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, our attorneys are fair in pricing, diligent in protecting your rights, and willing to work out payment plans to make sure that you get the representation you need.
The most important thing is DO NOT ignore the lawsuit. Ignoring collectors’ calls or letters may seem like a good strategy, but ignoring a lawsuit is quite different. If you don’t respond to the lawsuit, the creditor (who is considered the plaintiff in a lawsuit against you) will then obtain a default judgment against you. This judgment is a tool that allows the creditor to begin garnishment actions. Typically this entails garnishing 25 percent of your non-exempt wages and garnishing non-exempt cash in your bank accounts. A judgment also allows a creditor to put a judgment lien on any of your personal property and conduct a debtor’s exam to find out if you have any personal property that could be garnished.
There are many defenses that, if successful, will help you avoid a default judgment or wage garnishment. However, the only way to find out if there is a defense applicable to your situation is to call an experienced Ohio consumer protection attorney who can assess your situation.