You Have Been Sued on a Debt….What to Do?


If you receive any legal papers from a sheriff or any document that has words such as “Summons” or “Complaint”, do NOT place the documents to the side or throw them away!  This is the WORST thing you can do. Even if the debt/account covered in the lawsuit is time-barred by the statute of limitations, you must respond to the lawsuit to raise the statute of limitations defense and any other defenses available to you.  There are time frames within which you must respond and failure to act could do serious harm to your rights and potential claims…yes, that’s right….your potential claims….

In some cases, you may have valuable counterclaims which could result in reducing or cancelling the debt and possibly even money damages to you and the recovery of attorneys’ fees. Your failure to respond to the lawsuit serves as an admission of the facts in the lawsuit and could lead to the entry of a default judgment against you. In North Carolina, a judgment is valid for 10 years and can have a negative effect on your credit rating and your future financial standing.

An experienced lawyer can…

  • determine if the debt collector has the proof and documentation required under North Carolina law
  • determine if the debt collector is contractually entitled to recover interest and attorney’s fees and, if so, at what rate
  • fight for you if you are being wrongfully pursued regarding a debt
  • help you determine if you have valid defenses and valuable counterclaims to the lawsuit
  • negotiate a reduction or, in certain circumstances, foregiveness of the debt

If you have been sued on a consumer debt, contact Attorney John O’Neal IMMEDIATELY to discuss your case.

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