The following is general for information only and is not legal advice.
A Summons & Complaint is a legal document submitted by a plaintiff and issued by a court notifying a defendant a lawsuit has been filed against them. A debt collection lawsuit is a civil mater, not a criminal mater. Although, getting served with a lawsuit can be upsetting, if handled properly, a debt collection law suit can be managed and resolved.
Just because a lawsuit has been filed does not mean the law firm won’t work with you. If you have funds available, it’s usually best to try to resolve the debt as soon as possible. If you can reach a settlement, depending on the terms, the lawsuit is typically resolved. However, the law suit may be outstanding until the final payment of the agreement is paid. A debt collection law suit is all about money. Money talks! The majority of debt collection law suits are settled for less than the law suit claim. However, settlements are often at a higher percentage than a non-legal account.
A civil summons provides a defendant the right and opportunity to file a response. While a Summons & Complaint is an invitation to defend against the lawsuit, it is not a requirement to appear. Filing an appearance to defend a debt collection law suit is your choice. If you do file a response or appear in court, Judgment will likely be entered unless you have a valid legal defense or are able to come to a settlement agreement at the court hearing. However, be aware than an agreement generally require funds to pay within a short time. If you chose not to respond to a Summons & Complaint, a Default Judgment may be entered. To learn about Default Judgments read: “I’ve received a Default Judgment”.
It’s best to seek the advice of an Attorney licensed in your state to assist you with a Summons & Complaint. There are many options available for legal assistance. Consider visiting the court house where the court documents originated from. The Clerk of Court or other court house staff may be able to provide you with the forms you need to answer. They may also provide helpful instructions. Most forms are provided for free, although some courts require a filing fee. Some court houses may offer their forms online. Other options are Legal Aid, as well as Local, State and Volunteer Bar Associations. Other options to consider are Online Legal Advice Services and Online Legal Form websites. These websites offer forms you can download and print, ready to sign and mail.
To have an attorney review your case, consider contacting an Attorney Referral Service. A qualified licensed Attorney can provide valuable legal advice regarding your legal rights under your state laws. UGotiate has access to a network of Attorneys that specializes in debt collection law suits. To learn more call 1-800-215-2706. When calling, mention you are a UGotiate subscriber to receive special pricing options from the Attorney.