What to Do When Debt Collectors Are Trying To Serve Legal Papers
Like most of us, you've probably done your very best to avoid falling behind on debt and being forced to pay your creditor or a third-party debt collector late debts. However, it can be a challenge to keep up with debts, especially with the challenges in the American economy these days. If you're the victim of a debt collector that is trying to because you haven't paid a debt, you're not alone.
If you want to avoid a legal suit with a debt collection agency, you may need further help. It can be difficult and costly to try to fight a suit in court if you're not used to the legalities and complicated rules you'll find there. Getting help from a service like DoNotPay will go a long way towards helping you get out of debt faster and with less stress.
Can Debt Collectors Serve You Papers for a Lawsuit?
If you don't pay a debt and don't make any efforts to resolve that debt, debt collectors may be able to pursue a civil lawsuit and . According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors can serve you papers and sue you to pay a debt as long as they bring suit in your jurisdiction. However, before bringing a suit, they must have contacted you and notified you of the debt without any unreasonable threats.
Debt collectors can serve you papers if:
- They contacted you about paying your debt.
- You refused to pay your debt.
- You didn't ask for validation or dispute the claim.
You do, however, have the right to dispute the claim before the debt collectors take it to court.
Disputing a Debt Collector's Claim
If you don't believe that you owe a debt and don't want to be served papers that could end with you embroiled in a civil lawsuit, there are a few things you can do to dispute the debt collector's claim.
|Ask for Verification||Ask the debt collector to verify that you owe what they say. Request information from them regarding the original creditor, the current creditor (if different), and who the debt collecting agency is.|
|Dispute the Debt||If you don't believe you are responsible for the debt that the collector is trying to collect, you can dispute the debt by notifying the agency online or in writing.|
|Consider a Lawyer||If you're concerned about legal trouble and aren't able to settle a dispute out of court, you should hire a lawyer to help you prove that you shouldn't be held responsible for the debt that you're disputing.|
Who Will Serve Me Papers from Debt Collectors?
There are four main ways you might be served papers by debt collectors:
- By Sheriff or process service. If the debt collector sends you papers through the court system, you'll probably receive them from the sheriff or a third-party process service directly connected with the Sheriff's office.
- By registered mail. An agency may use registered mail to serve papers. Every time the papers change hands before getting to you, the postal service will record them and provide such records to the senders.
- By publication. In some cases, you may be served by publication in media outlets, though this usually only occurs if you couldn't be found through the mail service or in person.
- By self-service. If the plaintiff debt collector wants to serve the papers themselves or through a third party, they can opt to do so.
Once you have been served, you must show up in court to deal with the debt collectors and dispute their claims.
How Do I Respond To a Debt Collection Lawsuit?
If you've been served papers to begin a debt collection lawsuit, you must answer within the amount of time set by the summons. If you don't, you may be found guilty by default judgment, which could give the debt collection agency the right to take money from your wages or bank account to pay your debt.
Upon receiving papers, you must file an answer with the court Just make sure that you don't admit to owing the debt in your answer if you want to dispute the claim in court. You should make two copies of your original answer so that you have three copies total: one to serve to the plaintiff, one to keep, and one to file with the court. Hand-deliver or mail your answer to the plaintiff and to the court.
Once you've filed your answer, you can start building a defense by:
- Asking for validation documentation.
- Checking the statute of limitations for collecting the debt (this amount of time will differ by state).
- Ask the debt collector to provide more proof that you owe this debt.
How To Get Help with Debt Collector Service Papers from DoNotPay
If you're being served papers from a debt collector and aren't sure how to properly respond, DoNotPay can help. Preparing an answer and a legal defense can be confusing in the best of times, and you don't want to have to do this alone. Instead, sign up with DoNotPay to begin the appropriate legal process today.
Here’s how it works:
- Search “debt collection” on DoNotPay.
- Answer a series of questions about the debt collectors, including when you were contacted and how you were contacted, so we can determine if they have violated any debt collection laws.
- Decide which course of action you want to take based on our guidance, such as filing a debt verification request, demanding for the collectors to stop contacting you, or reporting them to the CFPB.
And that’s it! Once you choose the course of action you want to take, DoNotPay will handle the rest. We’ll deliver your request directly to the debt collectors via first-class mail, or file your complaint automatically with the CFPB so that they’re no longer able to use unfair debt collection practices.
Why Use DoNotPay When Debt Collectors Try To Serve You Papers
You can panic or you can remain calm when debt collectors are trying to serve you papers. DoNotPay is the best choice in dealing with them because we are:
- Fast: You don’t have to spend so much time looking for lawyers online to get debt collectors off your back.
- Easy: All it takes are three steps and DoNotPay will start the ball rolling.
- Successful: You can rest assured that we are making the best case for you.
Other Ways DoNotPay Can Help
If you've run into other legal issues or need more help to save time and money, DoNotPay is here to help. We can support you by helping you:
- Cancel any unwanted service or subscription.
- Appeal for financial aid.
- Find missing money.
- Clean your credit report.
If you want help answering a debt collector or finding more ways to save money, to get started.