Collection of debts is a complicated matter, and debt collectors often fail to follow the proper procedures required by law to collect a debt. Debt collectors often resort to extreme measures to collect debts, including obtaining judgments against parties who are not responsible for the debts, attempting to collect debts after the statute of limitations has expired, obtaining default judgments without the consumer’s knowledge due to improper service of process, and failing to follow proper procedures required by law. Often times their failure to follow the rules can result in your case being dismissed.
If a “default judgment” is obtained against you, and you were never served with a Summons and Complaint, we can draft, serve and file a legal document called an “Order to Show Cause”, which asks a judge to vacate the original default judgment. For the judgment to be vacated, certain affirmative defenses must be alleged in your Order to Show Cause and supporting documents. Simply stating you were not served with the summons and complaint is an insufficient reason to have the original default motion vacated, and if you simply do so, your motion will be denied, and the original judgment will stand.
Once your Order to Show Cause is properly served and filed, the debt collection attorney will file opposition papers with the court, stating reasons to the judge why your request to vacate the default judgment should be denied. We will file reply papers on your behalf, solidifying your legal position and addressing the debt collection lawyer’s issues. We will then appear in court on your behalf, along with the debt collection lawyer suing you, and verbally argue your Order to Show Cause in front of the judge.
If your Order to Show Cause is granted, and default judgment is vacated, it would be as if the clock was set back to the first day the lawsuit was allegedly served. Any restraints on your bank account will be released (allowing you full access to the money in your bank account again), and any wage garnishment would cease. However, you must still defend yourself in the lawsuit, or the debt collection lawyer would just obtain another judgment.
At this time, we would obtain a copy of the summons and complaint from the debt collection lawyer, and draft a custom answer with affirmative defenses on your behalf, and serve it on the debt collection lawyer and file with the court. We would then litigate the matter to conclusion on your behalf. Debt collection lawsuits could take anywhere form 1 year to up to 6 years or more to litigate to conclusion. This could involve drafting and responding to various discovery demands, reviewing documents, filing and responding to Notices to Admit, requesting and conducting Traverse Hearings, attending arbitration hearings, attending regular court conferences, conducting depositions, preparing for trial, and conducting a trial through conclusion (cross-examining witnesses, summations, objections, requesting relief).