The process of suing for debt typically begins with the creditor sending a demand letter to the debtor asking for payment. The creditor may file a complaint in court if payment is not received. The debtor will be served with the complaint and will have an opportunity to respond. If the debtor does not respond, the creditor may obtain a default judgment. If the debtor does respond, the case will proceed to trial, where a judge will determine whether the debtor owes the money. You should contact a Cook County debt defense lawyer if you think you are getting sued for debt.
How can I defend myself if I have been sued for debt?
There are a few ways to defend yourself from getting sued for debt collection, including:
Show that the debt is not yours.
If the debt is not actually yours, you can show the court that you are not responsible for it. This can be done by providing documentation that shows you are not the one who incurred the debt, such as credit card statements or loan documents in someone else’s name.
Show that the debt has already been paid.
If you have already paid off the debt, you can show the court documentation that proves this, such as a canceled check or a letter from the creditor stating that the debt has been paid in full.
Show that the statute of limitations has expired.
If the statute of limitations has expired on the debt, you can use this as a defense against being sued. The statute of limitations is the amount of time a creditor has to sue you for a debt, which varies from state to state. Once the statute of limitations has expired, the creditor can no longer sue you for the debt.
Raise the defense of hardship
If you cannot pay the debt because of financial hardship, you can raise this as a defense against being sued. Hardship can include things like job loss, medical bills, or divorce. You will need to provide documentation to support your hardship claims, such as pay stubs, medical bills, or divorce papers.
If you are sued for a debt, the first thing that will happen is that you will be served with a summons and complaint. This will notify you of the lawsuit and give you a chance to respond. The court may enter a default judgment against you if you do not respond, including wage garnishment or bank levy.