“A lawsuit has been filed against you.” Something no one wants to hear, but if you've just been served with a Summons in a civil lawsuit, these are the first words that you'll read when glancing over the paperwork. Learning that a lawsuit has been filed against you can often be a stressful situation, and you'll likely want this hassle taken care of as fast as possible.
Creditors will tempt you with offers to dismiss the lawsuit if you engage in a monthly payment plan with them. But don't “rush to judgment” and assume you have no other option than to get out the checkbook. Creditors count on you wanting the lawsuit to go away quickly, and offer these payment plans in an effort to get you not to fight back. In the majority of situations where a payment plan is offered, you will give up the right to raise any defenses to the litigation, and actually authorize the court to enter a judgment against you if you miss a single payment. In many cases, this judgment can get entered without any notice to you, after missing a single payment. And in the State of Florida, judgments can stay valid up to 20 years, and will accrue post-judgment interest until they're paid off. In this sense, by rushing into a payment plan with the Plaintiff, you may find yourself rushing to a judgment in the event your circumstances change later on and you find yourself unable to pay. And that is a decision that might affect your credit for years to come.
Though it may seem nice to have an opportunity to pay the debt alleged in the lawsuit over time, the reality is that in many cases, you may end up paying more than you need to. The typical monthly payment plan offered by creditors is on the full amount of the debt, and offers no discount. Some carry interest as well. This is where the true value of hiring an attorney to defend your case comes in. At Holland Law Group, we've handled thousands of cases filed by creditors on a state-wide basis, and have the experience needed to negotiate with plaintiffs for your benefit.
We handle debt defense throughout Florida and are familiar with local judges and the ever-evolving pandemic procedures in Orange, Manatee, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Miami-Dade, Duval, and all the counties in between. Our attorneys will raise legal defenses on your behalf and force creditors to prove every element of their case, preventing judgments from being entered against you without sufficient evidence. As experts in the area of debt defense, we can often get settlements in your cases with discounts that don't require you to pay the full amount of the debt, and in many cases, we are able to avoid the need for you to pay Plaintiff entirely.
Having an attorney fight for you is extremely important. Debt collection is a highly regulated industry, and it is critical to have someone on your side who knows the ins and outs of the law. Being sued can be frightening, but don't be in such a rush to settle that you make a bad deal. Before thinking of entering into a payment plan, speak with us for a no-cost consultation. Let us help you discover the options for defending your debt collection lawsuit and see how HLG can keep you judgment-free.