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Why ignoring a summons over a debt is always a bad idea

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2022 | Debt Collection |

Nobody likes getting served legal papers, especially if the documents reveal that the recipient is being sued. For example, the service may reveal a court summons and complaint filed by a company claiming that you owe them a lot of money, and they are suing you to collect.

Lawsuits can be costly, time-consuming and stressful. It can be tempting to throw away the papers and hope the creditor drops the matter. But ignoring a problem like a collections lawsuit won’t make it disappear. It can only make things worse.

What can happen if you don’t do something about the lawsuit

Let’s say you decide not to do anything after getting served the summons and complaint. The credit card company, hospital or other creditor that filed the lawsuit would then go to court on the assigned date, but you would not show up. In that case, the judge could decide to issue a default judgment. The creditor would win the case and you would not have the chance to defend yourself. Now you have a potentially large judgment that you must pay.

Taking action can make the matter much easier

Instead, confronting the problem head-on gives you a chance at a much better outcome. For example, you could show that the creditor made a mistake and the debt is not yours, or that you already paid it off. Or you could argue that the creditor violated your rights as a consumer.

Even if you can’t get the case dismissed, you can likely get the amount you have to pay reduced to a reasonable amount. Creditors usually don’t want to take a chance on a trial verdict and are willing to negotiate. You and your attorney could work out a plan where the creditor forgives a portion of the debt or agrees to an affordable payment plan. This way, you also save the expense and hassle of a trial. New York attorney Bradley D. Schnur provides consumers with unparalleled debt collection defense representation throughout Nassau, Suffolk, Queens and Westchester counties.