Lawsuit Defense Lawyers

Have you been sued by a creditor or debt collector? While it may seem intimidating at first, our lawsuit defense lawyers have just the experience needed to help guide you through this process.

If you are sued in state or federal court, you must respond by filing an answer to the lawsuit. Failure to do so will result in what is called a default judgment against you. A default judgment is entered if someone is sued and does not answer the complaint. If an answer is not timely filed according to state and federal court rules, then that will mean a person loses automatically under the lawsuit. Once a person loses a lawsuit, either by default judgment for failing to answer or by fighting it and losing, then a judgment will enter against that person.

With a judgment, a creditor is entitled to do several things in order to collect on its judgment debt. The creditor can garnish wages by taking up to 25% of the take home pay of an individual’s paycheck. The creditor can also garnish any bank accounts. Additionally, the creditor can attempt the seizure of both personal and real property. Finally, a creditor can record a judgment lien against the person in the county where he or she lives which will encumber the real estate that he or she owns for a long period of time. Additionally, this judgment lien will accrue interest at the rate of interest according to the lawsuit or at judgment rate of interest pursuant to state law.

Do You Have a Debt in Collection? You’re Not Alone

Recent studies show an alarming number of Americans have debts that have been turned over to collection agencies. CNN Money recently reported on a study conducted by the Urban Institute finding that one in three adults (roughly 77 million people) in the United States have a debt that has been turned over to a collection agency. The study looked at non-mortgage debt to include car loans, medical bills, credit cards and even child support payments.

The amounts of these debts covered a range of $25.00 up to $125,000 with an average of about $5200.00. The article on CNN Money goes on to point out that the problem literally touches all areas of the country with Nevada showing the highest percentage of residents, about 47%, with debts in collection and the highest average amount of debt in collection at $7198.00. At the other end of the spectrum, North Dakota showed the lowest percentage of residents with debt in collections at around 19%.

The Huffington Post further reported on this study, noting that this study shows 35% of Americans have debt that has been reported or turned over to a collection agency. This article goes on to discuss the collection industry reporting that about 140,000 people are employed by collection agencies and they recover about $50 billion every year. Many types of debt can end up in collection to include credit card bills, medical bills, delinquent gym memberships or cell phone and utility bills and even mortgages, student loans and automobile loans.

The study also found that the majority of residents with debt in collections reside in the Southern and Western States. Al.com posted an article breaking this down even further reporting that 4 in 10 or 40% of Alabamians have a debt in collection. A spokesperson for the Urban Institute said that stagnant incomes that are not keeping up with today’s inflation are a key factor to these delinquent debts.

If you are struggling with debt, whether or not you have reached the stage of harassing debt collections, our attorneys are available to help you. Please contact the Bond and Botes office nearest you to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your current debt situation. We will help guide you through this process along every step of the way.

What to Do If You’re Being Sued

Our advice to anyone who is sued is to immediately obtain competent counsel and make sure an answer is timely filed to the complaint. Since the person being sued is the Defendant, it is up to the Plaintiff (the one bringing the lawsuit) to prove its case. As a result, it is our position that people have an absolute right to deny the allegations and demand that strict proof be provided by the creditor in order to be successful in its claim in court.

With regard to someone being sued by a creditor, a debt collector, or a debt buyer, that entity must prove its case. Individuals have an absolute right to demand proof and can also raise a series of affirmative defenses in trying to defend the case. Examples of affirmative defenses and counterclaims may fall under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the debt has been paid, the person does not owe the debt, that the debt itself is beyond the statute of limitations, that the debt collector or debt buyer does not have the right to bring the case, etc.

You should seek help immediately upon receiving the suit. Do not wait. If you would like to contact one of our attorneys to discuss your situation, we offer a free consultation visit. We would be happy to explore all of your defenses and options with you with regard to the lawsuit.

Related Posts:

How Does Bankruptcy Protect Me From Creditors?

Defenses to a Preferential Transfer Suit

Are You Being Sued or Harassed By a Debt Buyer?

Debt Buyer Lawsuits

What Can You Do If a Debt Collector or Creditor is Taking Money From Your Bank Account

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The lawyers at the Bond & Botes affiliated offices serve clients at offices in Anniston, Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, Opelika, Decatur, Huntsville, Florence, Haleyville and Gadsden, Alabama; Vicksburg, Hattiesburg and Jackson, Mississippi. Read our disclaimer here. You can view our Privacy Policy here.

Alabama Offices

Birmingham

2107 5th Avenue North
Age-Herald Building
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Phone: (205) 802-2200


Shelby County Location
15 Southlake Lane, Ste 140
Birmingham, AL 35244
Phone: (205) 802-2200


Florence Location
121 S. Court Street
Florence, AL 35630
Phone: (256) 760-1010


Huntsville Location
225 Pratt Avenue NE
Huntsville, AL 35801
Phone: (256) 539-9899


Montgomery Location
311 Catoma Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (334) 264-3363


Decatur Location
605 Bank Street
Decatur, AL 35601
Phone: (256) 355-2447


Haleyville Location
914 19th St.
Haleyville, AL 35565
Phone: (205) 486-3580


Gadsden Location
430-B Chestnut Street
Gadsden, AL 35901
Phone: (256) 485-0195


Opelika Location
216 South 8th Street
Opelika 36801
Phone: (334) 887-7666


Anniston Location
1302 Noble St #2C
Anniston, AL 36201
Phone: (256) 344-3559


Cullman Location
200 Second Avenue SW
Cullman, AL 35055
Phone: (256) 739-9866


Mississippi Offices

Jackson Location
120 Southpointe Dr., A
Byram, MS 39272
Phone: (601) 353-5000


Hattiesburg Location
607 Corinne St, Ste B8
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
Phone: (601) 353-5000


Vicksburg Location
1212 Farmer Street
Vicksburg, MS 39180
Phone: (601) 353-5000

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