You, like most California residents and individuals across the country, likely have some form of debt. While your outstanding balances may have once been easily managed, you may have found yourself struggling to keep up with payments due to unexpected life events or other issues. Now, your debt has become so overwhelming that you feel uncertain whether you will ever have the ability to pay it back.
While you certainly remain aware of your financial situation and want to take action to address it, you may not take steps in time to avoid a lawsuit from a creditor. Though creditors cannot threaten to put you in jail for outstanding debt, they can take legal action against you by suing you for owed funds. If a creditor has brought a claim against you, you may wonder how to handle the situation.
Learning of a complaint
The idea that a creditor could sue you may have come as a shock to you. When you received the complaint and summons, you may not have known what it meant. Generally, a legal complaint informs you of the details regarding the debt you owe, such as its nature and amount. This document works to ensure that everyone involved understands why the lawsuit has been filed.
The summons you received should inform you of a date on which you should appear in court to address the claims against you. Not attending your court date could prove detrimental, as the case will still move forward whether you appear or not, and without your presence, the judge may rule against you by default.
Answering a complaint
Rather than simply ignoring these documents because you do not understand them, you may want to make sure you address them correctly. If you wish to move forward with the case and work toward an outcome that you believe could benefit you more than the default judgment, you will need to answer the complaint. Just as in any legal case, you have the right to defend against claims made against you.
Defending against a complaint
Defending against a complaint does not only mean that you can fight against paying any of the outstanding balance, though it certainly is an option, but you could also use your defense to work toward a settlement with the creditor rather than paying the balance in full. In order to find the right path for addressing any creditor lawsuits filed against you, you may wish to consult with an attorney.
You may also want to remember that bankruptcy remains an option that could help you deal with the overwhelming debt that you may face.