If you are facing a lawsuit over a debt, you might want to seek the assistance of a debt defense attorney. Why? Well, perhaps you don’t feel you owe the money. You feel the amount is in dispute. Maybe the other party did not fulfill their obligations to you. You believe the creditor used unlawful harassment tactics to try to bully you into paying. There are many laws that protect consumers from rogue creditors and less-than-ethical contract collection companies.
Even if you do owe the creditor the money, often when a lawyer gets involved they can negotiate a more favorable settlement deal, as the creditor now is faced with getting nothing if they sue you. In fact, if the creditor loses the case, they are also out the fees they paid to their attorney.
When Doesn’t It Make Sense to Hire a Lawyer
to Defend Against a Creditor Lawsuit?
If you have no money in the bank and no assets, the creditor might get a judgment, but they will never be able to collect on it. If you are in this situation, you are basically ‘judgment proof’ and it wouldn’t make sense hiring a lawyer to defend you to protect your money or assets. If you fail to show up to court, your creditor might get a default judgment but will have no way to ever collect on the debt.
If the debt you are being sued for is relatively small, the attorney fees to defend against the lawsuit may be more than the actual amount owed. It might be easier and less expensive to just pay the creditor.
If your creditor is taking you to small claims court and you have proof you don’t owe the creditor money, you might determine it’s best to represent yourself. If you are unsure of this, maybe it is time you discussed the case with a debt defense lawyer. Again, consider the amount in dispute and the cost of attorney fees. Many debt defense attorneys will give you 30-minutes to discuss your case without charge. Generally, a 5 to 10 minute phone call is enough to make that decision.
If you know you legitimately owe the debt, you might just try to work something out with the creditor saving both of you time and money. If a creditor does get a judgment against you, you could end up paying much more, as they might be awarded their attorney and court fees by the judge.
Counterclaims Against Your Creditor
You might have a legitimate counterclaim against the creditor. If you do, once you get your lawyer involved the creditor’s attorney might advise them to settle and avoid costly litigation. In fact, if you believe you don’t owe the money because they reneged on their agreement or failed to deliver the promised services, you might be able to counter sue for damages. If you have such a dispute and are being threatened by a lawsuit from a creditor, you’ll definitely be well-served by getting a good debt defense lawyer. If the amount of money is sufficient to warrant the attorney fees to defend you then it’s a good idea to contact a debt lawyer sooner than later.
What if You Do Nothing and Your Creditor Gets a Default Judgement Against You?
Many folks who owe money avoid their creditors and their creditors go to court and get default judgments. The problem here is that the creditor will generally tack on attorney fees, interest, and court costs. The amount owed can skyrocket. As soon as the court enters that judgment the interest will begin to accrue until the money is paid in full. Your creditor will be able to garnish wages, put liens on real property, and find ways to legally collect on the debt.
What if I Have Bills I Owe But Can’t Pay and I Am About to Be Sued by Many Creditors?
If this is the case it might be smart to talk to a bankruptcy attorney who can explain how bankruptcy works. If you are worried about defending several creditor lawsuits, especially unsecured debt such as credit card debt, you should talk to an attorney specializing in bankruptcies. You might be in for more than you can handle. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can lay out all the options for you. In the long run, you might be better off to discharge all this debt with a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing.
Despite the negative connotations that go along with the word ‘bankruptcy’, in many cases, it is the best option. It solves all your problems at once. It can help you get back to a strong financial foundation quicker than letting the debt overwhelm you and completely destroying your credit. Of course, all this is general information. You see, everyone’s financial situation is different. This is why it pays to talk with a debt defense lawyer or bankruptcy attorney before you start piling up default judgments against you for unpaid debt.