What Should I Do if I’m Served a Debt Collection Summons in LA?

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If you’re in debt, it can be overwhelming to manage all of your due dates and payments. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for one debt to be lost among the rest. However, failure to pay can result in the amount being sent to collections and eventually resulting in a lawsuit. As such, when you receive a debt collection summons, understanding what you must do is critical. The following blog explores what this means and the steps you must take after getting this notice. Additionally, you’ll learn why it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced Los Angeles, California debt defense lawyer to explore your legal options if you are facing a lawsuit.

What Is a Debt Collection Summons?

When you receive a summons in the mail, it serves as an official notice that someone is taking legal action against you. In addition to informing you who is suing you, this paper will include details about the steps you must take and deadlines once you are served.

It’s important to understand that when you receive a debt collection summons, you will also receive a complaint. This provides information regarding the lawsuit, such as who the parties involved are, why the suit was filed, and what monetary damages the plaintiff is seeking.

How Do I Respond?

When you receive notice that you are being sued, in California, you will have 30 days to respond. This includes holidays and weekends. Failure to respond means the judge can grant the plaintiff a default judgment. Essentially, because you never disputed the claims in the suit, the plaintiff will automatically “win” and receive the damages they sought in the summons and complaint. If you still do not respond and make the necessary payments to the plaintiff, the court can take further action against you. This includes wage garnishment, bank levies, and property liens.

As such, ensuring you respond to the summons is critical. Generally, you must go through and confirm or deny each claim against you. Failure to respond to a specific claim will be taken as confirmation.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Responding to a lawsuit can be a complex and painstaking legal process, and making an error can cost in the long term. As such, it is in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Not only can they help you draft a response, but they can also help determine if there are any potential defenses. For example, the debt may be past the statute of limitations, meaning the collector can no longer legally pursue a lawsuit against you.

Regardless of whether or not you think you have a valid legal defense, working with an attorney during these times is critical. At Los Angeles Legal Solutions, we understand how complex these matters can be. That’s why our team is dedicated to fighting for the best outcome for you. Connect with us today to discuss your circumstances further.

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