What do I do if a creditor sues me?


Do not assume that it will just go away.  The attorney for the creditor is hoping you will ignore their lawsuit so they can get an easy judgment.

You want to do everything you can to avoid getting a judgment.

Do not just call the attorney and ask for a payment plan.  They may agree to a payment plan but then still go ahead and take a judgment as well.  The attorney for the creditor is not on your side. 

You need to:

  1. Respond to the judgment in writing.
  2. Submit the answer to the court clerk.
  3. Submit the response to the attorneys for the creditor.

If you only submit an answer to the attorneys, the court will not know that you filed an answer and will grant a judgment.  Make two copies of your letter, and mail one to the attorneys and one to the court clerk.

In your letter of response to the judgment, you will need to include a defense.

For example, if you were the victim of identity theft, then you would not be obligated to repay the debt.  It is not a defense to claim you cannot afford to pay back the creditor.  It is not a defense that you plan to file bankruptcy.

You must actually file the bankruptcy to stop the lawsuit.

It takes some time to get everything ready to file bankruptcy, but you shouldn’t wait to respond to the judgment.  You can submit an answer denying you owe the amount of the judgment and asking for the court to require the creditor to prove the amount you owe.  By submitting this answer, the creditor will now need to provide documentation and witnesses to show you owe them.

Sometimes just submitting this answer will stop the lawsuit because it is expensive to prove the matter in court.

Bankruptcy will stop all collection actions, including a lawsuit, but as noted above, you can’t file bankruptcy in NY City overnight.  If you get sued, call our team of Syracuse attorneys for a consultation so we can stop the creditors.

Call to schedule your appointment today.

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