If you have been sued by a creditor, you have a limited amount of time to assert your defenses and protect yourself and your property in the collection litigation. The creditor must file a petition with the court to start the case and then it must serve you with the summons and petition to move forward. Once it does, your time to address the lawsuit is relatively short – so you have to be prepared to act fast.
What to Expect in Collection Litigation
There will be:
- deadlines to file an answer or other responsive pleading,
- deadlines to file counter- or cross-claims,
- deadlines to file and respond to dispositive motions,
- deadlines to engage in discovery, and
- hearing dates and eventually a trial setting requiring your attendance if the case is not resolved one way or another before then.
If this all sounds daunting, it doesn’t have to be – with the right help.
Options for Resolving Collection Litigation
Unless you’re involved in a small claims action where the rules of evidence and civil procedure don’t apply, it’s very difficult to defend yourself in collection litigation without the help of an experienced attorney.
If you’re facing a collection lawsuit, I can help. The three main methods to resolve a collection lawsuit are:
- litigate the action to reach the judge’s final ruling;
- negotiate a settlement agreement to resolve the lawsuit without the judge’s intervention; or
- file for bankruptcy relief, ideally before the entry of the judge’s ruling.
A properly filed bankruptcy case will result in an automatic stay that will prohibit the plaintiff from beginning or continuing a collection lawsuit against you under most circumstances. So if bankruptcy is right for you and we can file the case before or soon after a collection lawsuit is filed against you, we can avoid having to deal with it all together, which eliminates risk and saves you money.
Choosing the right attorney is critical to the success of your case. Take the next step towards your fresh start and call me, Attorney Nancy Martin, today at (314)721-2525 or contact me online to schedule your free initial consultation. I offer appointments at the office during regular business hours.
Nancy Martin is a St. Louis, Missouri attorney and consumer bankruptcy lawyer who helps people file for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy relief. To find out more about bankruptcy and other debt relief alternatives, contact us online or by phone at (314) 721-2525. The office is located at 150 North Meramec Avenue, Suite 400, St. Louis, Missouri 63105.
We help people in St. Louis, St. Charles, Chesterfield, Ballwin, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Ladue Manchester, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Wildwood, Bridgeton, Fenton, Eureka, Ellisville, Des Peres, Clarkson Valley, O’Fallon, St. Peters, Clayton, Olivette, Warrenton, Florissant, Hazelwood, and Frontenac. This includes the municipalities within St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, Warren County and Lincoln County.