When you owe someone money, and you have not paid them in months, they might hire a debt collector to collect the payments. Nobody likes getting calls from the debt collector. But, things can start getting bad the moment you receive a lawsuit letter. If the creditor has sued you, you must consult legal help from Zero Debt Law Firm immediately.
You need to take certain steps once you have been sued for non-repayment of debt. One wrong move, and you could find yourself in jail. Hiring an attorney is important because you may not know your rights. It is important to understand what you are up against and how you should proceed.
Steps to take when sued by a debt collector
Challenge the lawsuit.
If you believe that the lawsuit is wrong, you can legally challenge it. For example, there is a statute of limitation on how long creditors have until they can file a lawsuit for debts. If they exceed the deadline, they lose the right to sue you.
Additionally, there are several instances where debt collectors file a claim for payments that are not even yours or ones that are already done. If you disagree with any or all of the information in the lawsuit, you can contest it.
Force the debt collector to prove its case against you.
When a debt collector sues you, there are certain things that they must prove. They include:
- The collector has a right to sue you.
- You owe a specific amount of money.
- You are responsible for the debt.
Proving these elements on your own might seem impossible. This is where an attorney comes in. They can gather the necessary evidence with unique resources and years of experience.
If you are going to challenge the lawsuit, make sure you have all the necessary documentation. For example, when a debt collector contacts you about a debt, they are required to validate the debt within five days.
They are also required to verify the debt within 30 days if you pay it off. If you have the documentation proving that you no longer owe the debt, you must share them with the court. You can also document other evidence that proves that the debt collector violated your rights.
Hire an attorney.
If you want to file a lawsuit or contest one, hiring an attorney is a good idea. While you are allowed to represent yourself, the right attorney will increase the odds of winning and protect the rights that you may be unaware of.