How should I proceed in disputing a debt? 8 Answers as of March 28, 2011

If I send a certified letter to a collector asking them to verify a debt (which I don't have record of and is not on my credit report), and they file a case against me in court before responding to my letter, what should I do?

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Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
You should respond to the lawsuit with an Answer to the court and do so without haste to preserve your rights to deny or challenge the debt.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 3/28/2011
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
If you are sued in Court, you should file an answer to the lawsuit or file bankruptcy (if the amount of this debt and the other debts that you have make bankruptcy an appropriate option). If you do not defend the lawsuit, the credit card company will almost certainly be able to obtain a judgment against you for the full amount of any money that you owe, including interest, fees, and costs. Attorney's fees may also be added. Once the credit card company has a judgment against you, it may take immediate collection action including, but not limited to, putting a lien on your home, levying on your bank account, and garnisheeing your wages. You do not necessarily need an attorney to prepare and file an answer for you, but you do need to have your answer in the proper format. In addition to whatever fee the attorney charges to represent you, there is also the cost of the court filing fee to file an answer. The current court filing fee for a first appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court is between $370.00 and $395.00/ defendant depending on the amount of the claim of the Plaintiff.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/24/2011
The Law Office of John T. MacDonald Jr., PLLC
The Law Office of John T. MacDonald Jr., PLLC | John MacDonald Jr.
It is best to consult an attorney immediately. However, you will definitely want to show up for the court date. If you don't have an attorney with you at court ask the court for a continuance to seek counsel.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/24/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
See a lawyer who has an understanding of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Act quickly before a default judgement is entered against you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/24/2011
Ferguson & Ferguson
Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
Simply file and answer. They will have to provide proof either before or at court showing you owe the debt. If they file suit, call the attorney and they will provide the information.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 3/24/2011
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    Did you dispute the debt within the 30 day validation period following their initial dunning letter? If so, the creditor must cease collection until it verifies the debt.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/23/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    Never ignore a Court case. If you have a lawsuit pending against you assert your defenses and if you are unsure how to proceed speak to an attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/23/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    You may have a Fair Debt Collections Act Violation if they are attempting to collect on a debt in dispute before verifying it. It would be wise to defend the lawsuit so that a judgment is not rendered against you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2011
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