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"Served" by a Debt Collector and What You Should Do About It

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What it Means to be "Served" by a Debt Collector…and What You Should Do About It

If you owe money and fail to pay it back in a designated time period, you will likely get "served." Getting served means that a debt collector gives you a statement informing you of upcoming legal action over your failure to pay the amount owed. This legal document states the complaints filed against you, as well as what the loan agency plans to do about them.

You must respond to the claim. If you do, hope is not lost. If you don't…well, let's not even think about that option. To stay out of jail and to avoid any potential misunderstandings, follow these steps when you get served by a debt collector:

  1. Read the paperwork and answer the summons. Decide if you want the summons to be filed as a lawsuit or served as discovery (pre-trial phase).
  2. Hire a consumer rights lawyer or a lawyer familiar with insolvency law. If you are worried about lawyer fees, look for law firms that offer unbundled services. This means you only pay for the help you need.
  3. Make sure the court has a recording of your attendance so that you are officially recognized as appearing when summoned.
  4. Record all interactions with the debt collector, especially if you feel like you are being harassed.
  5. Decide with your lawyer how you would like to be represented.
  6. Obtain information about debt collection laws.
  7. Secure the sum needed for repayment, if possible (and recommended by your lawyer). Consult an insolvency practitioner, such as a trustee in bankruptcy, if you are unable to make the repayments.
  8. If possible, continue to pay your other bills to reclaim your credit score.

There can be a successful outcome if you get served. Contact the debt relief professionals at Abakhan & Associates Inc. before you fall into an inescapable predicament. We provide solutions, so contact us immediately.

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