Imagine walking to the mailbox to collect your mail, and there’s a fat envelope with debt lawsuit papers inside. You’re shocked, scared, and overwhelmed — now what? If you’ve been sued for a debt, you probably have many questions, and at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer, we have answers about how to stop a debt collection lawsuit. We represent people just like you who are facing constant notices and even sued by creditors or threatened with legal consequences if they cannot meet their financial obligations.
Calls from a debt collector can be intimidating. You might be getting daily phone calls or even phone calls at work. This is done on purpose. Some debt collectors may harass the wrong person, sue the wrong person, or sue for the incorrect amount of the debt. If you don’t seek professional legal help to stop debt collection lawsuits, you could pay much more than you actually owe.
You have rights, and our legal team is here to help protect them. Contact us today at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati) to discuss your options to stop debt collection lawsuits.
Common Reasons a Lawsuit Is Filed Against You
Being pursued by debt collectors is upsetting and stressful. Many of our clients may be dealing with financial obligations from one of these common situations:
- Vehicle repossession
- Foreclosure on a home
- Wage garnishment
- Bank levies or attachments
- Credit card debt
Perhaps you hit a financial pothole, which is something that has been all too common for many families over the past few years. Or, maybe you suffered an accident and weren’t able to work, causing you to fall behind on your bills. We know you probably had good intentions of fulfilling your financial obligations but may now find yourself stuck with a suit. You may even be wondering, will bankruptcy stop lawsuits?
Is this debt really yours?
Read the lawsuit carefully to determine who the initial creditor was and what the initial amount of the debt was. Sometimes, creditors sell unpaid debts to large debt collector “clearinghouses” for a portion of the amount owed. These debt collection companies then pursue the borrowers and often tack on huge fees and interest rates. So the party listed on the lawsuit may not actually be the institution you initially borrowed from.
If you still don’t recognize the debt, and you know that you never purchased that house or car, took out that credit card, or have court-ordered payments for child support, then act fast and consult with the debt lawsuit attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer can help review the lawsuit filed against you and discuss the options available to negotiate with the creditor.
Know Your Options After Being Sued for a Debt
The best step you can take after a debt collector has sued you is to respond. This prevents a default judgment against you, as you’ve acknowledged the suit. However, be careful when responding. You may inadvertently give up other legal defenses by doing so. Instead, turn over communications with the debt collector to your debt collection lawyer.
You may also be wondering, will bankruptcy stop lawsuits? Well, in Ohio, filing bankruptcy will stop most debt lawsuits and the creditors will no longer be able to harass you.
Understanding Your Rights in a Debt Suit
Common questions we hear about debt lawsuits include:
How long do I have to respond to a lawsuit?
As per Ohio law, you must respond to every point in the complaint within 28 days of being served the lawsuit. However, the language can be confusing, so it’s best to find qualified legal representation to ensure that you fully comply with the response requirements and don’t accidentally have a default judgment against you.
What should I do if I’m faced with a debt lawsuit in Ohio?
No matter what you think about the validity of the debt, there are five things that you should never do after you’ve been served with a debt lawsuit:
Don’t ignore it. The debt collector may be hoping for a default judgment against you so they can pursue you for every penny of the listed amount.
Don’t admit you owe the debt. If it’s been resold, the amount may not even be correct. If you are asked if you owe the debt and say yes, the court may order you to pay the balance. However, you can fight the debt lawsuit in court if you say no.
Don’t send someone who is not an attorney to court on your behalf. There are legal penalties for unauthorized practice of law.
Don’t assume that an internet search is the same as qualified legal advice. There could be incorrect or outdated advice online, and following it could harm your case.
Don’t be afraid to hire a lawyer! An attorney who focuses on debt collection protection will know how to stop a debt collection lawsuit. Qualified attorneys can give you several options about the case and help protect your credit and finances.
Need a Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Lawyer? Why Choose Us
You only have 28 days to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in Ohio, so it’s important to reach out to an attorney immediately. They can help you answer in time to prevent a default judgment. That’s the first step in knowing how to stop a debt collection lawsuit. A default judgment in a debt collection lawsuit can have a serious negative impact on your credit rating. It could affect your financial plans for the future, like buying a car or a home, or, in some cases, even getting a job!
The sooner you hire a qualified Ohio debt collections lawyer to take your case, like those at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer, the better. Contact us today at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati) if you’ve been served with a debt collection suit.