statute of justice

When you’re in debt, keeping track of your obligations to ensure your creditors are paid on time can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a debt to fall through the cracks, and you may find yourself at the center of a lawsuit as a result. When you receive a debt collection summons, taking the correct steps is critical to ensure you navigate this process to best protect yourself. The following blog explores what you should do during these matters and how a San Diego consumer lawyer can help you through these challenging times.

What Is a Debt Collection Summons?

When you receive a summons, this is an official notice there is a lawsuit against you. Essentially, this informs you of the information surrounding your case, such as when and where you must appear to respond. In addition to the summons, you will receive a complaint. This explains the circumstances surrounding the lawsuit, like who is suing you, why you are being sued, and the monetary damages the plaintiff is seeking.

How Should I Respond?

If you receive a debt collection summons, it’s imperative to understand that you should not ignore this. If you fail to respond, the plaintiff will likely be awarded a default judgment. This occurs when the defendant of a case does not respond, so the courts will award the plaintiff everything they asked for in the petition. As such, you may be subject to wage garnishment, property liens, or bank levies.

In California, you have 30 days to respond to the summons. However, drafting a response can be incredibly complex, as you must respond to each accusation against you by admitting, denying, or claiming a lack of knowledge. Unfortunately, you may find that trying to create this response on your own can have incredibly negative consequences. Failure to respond to an accusation in your response will be perceived as an admission. Additionally, you may be able to utilize affirmative defenses in your responses, which negate your liability.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

As you can see, there are several considerations you must make if you’ve been served a summons in relation to a debt. Unfortunately, making errors can result in you being held liable for a debt you may not owe, and failing to respond can result in levies and liens. As such, you should connect with an experienced consumer attorney as soon as you are served a summons.

At Barthel Legal, we understand how complex these matters can be, which is why our team is dedicated to fighting for you. We will do everything possible to assist you through these matters so you can receive the best possible outcome for your unique circumstances. When you’re sued for debt, connect with Barthel Legal to learn how we can fight for you.