When you are handed credit card lawsuit papers, there will be a summons that states how many days you have to respond. In California, you usually have 30 days to file a response, otherwise the party who sued you will automatically win and obtain a judgment for the full amount demanded. If the lawsuit was served upon another member of your household and not handed to you directly, then you have an additional 10 days to respond. To respond, you need to hire an attorney to prepare an answer or other response and you have to pay a substantial Court filing fee. If you do not timely file a response, the party who sued you will obtain a judgment against you personally and then proceed to levy on your bank account or garnish your wages.
How To Respond to a Credit Card Lawsuit in San Diego
To respond to a credit card lawsuit in San Diego, you can file an “answer” to the lawsuit, or you can file a variety of motions, provided you have legal grounds to do so. For example, if you were not properly served, you could file a motion challenging the service. If the lawsuit is not properly pleaded (it lacks the proper legal information that must appear in the lawsuit to make it a viable lawsuit), then you can file a “demurrer” (in state court) or a “motion to dismiss” (in Federal court), requesting that the lawsuit be dismissed.
Answer or Other Response
When you file an answer or response, you’ll need to have a defense. Otherwise, you could get sanctioned from filing an answer or response in bad faith just to delay the case. You will also have to pay a substantial fee, called a first appearance fee. If you want to have a prayer of winning the lawsuit, you will also want to hire an experienced lawyer who specializes in defending the type of lawsuit that you are faced with. That means lots of money paid in lawyer fees.
Don’t Do Anything
If you ignore the credit card lawsuit and don’t do anything, then your time to respond will expire and the lender or debt collector who sued you will automatically win the lawsuit by what is called a “default judgment.” A default judgment carries the same weight as an ordinary judgment obtained after trial. Once the party obtains a default judgment against you, then can proceed to collect the judgment, including doing a bank levy or a wage garnishment of your wages that you receive from employment.
Settlement of Lawsuit
You can try to enter into a settlement with your creditor or its debt collector. Most creditors will entertain a settlement where you pay a discounted amount in a lump sum, or pay the entire amount in payments. The problem is that once a creditor has hired an attorney to sue you, the attorney will typically push to have the entire amount be paid in full (as opposed to a discounted settlement) since the lawyer wants to bring back a successful result for his or her client. That is, the lawyer wants to show his or her client that the lawyer was able to obtain a judgment for the full amount demanded. In addition, the attorney who filed the lawsuit will typically encourage his or her client to also require payment of the attorney’s fee, in order to justify the lawyer’s fee that was charged for filing the credit card lawsuit.
File Bankruptcy on the Lawsuit
Perhaps the most powerful and most cost-effective option you have for responding to a credit card lawsuit is to file bankruptcy on the lawsuit. Your bankruptcy lawyer will first have to make sure that you can qualify for bankruptcy, and that bankruptcy is the right San Diego debt relief solution for your overall financial situation. When you file bankruptcy, any collection lawsuits that were filed against you will disappear, assuming that there are no allegations of fraud or other wrongdoing in connection with the incurring of the debt. Bankruptcy can put an immediate end to a credit card lawsuit, and help you get out of debt San Diego and get a fresh financial start.
Talk to an Attorney
If you have been served with (delivered) a credit card lawsuit and summons, contact an attorney right away and discuss your options for how you can respond to a lawsuit and respond to a summons for credit card debt. Time is of the essence. You must act fast to protect your rights.