- File and answer the complaint. You do this by admitting or denying each of the numbered paragraphs in the complaint. You must do this in writing and file your answer with the court within 21 days of when you’re served with the complaint. You must also send a copy to the Plaintiff’s attorney.
- Try to determine whether you are being sued by a creditor or a company that has purchased that debt from someone else. It makes a huge difference! A debt buyer purchased the debt for a far less sum than a creditor has invested in it. A debt buyer will typically take a far lesser sum of money to settle the case.
- Seriously consider hiring a lawyer to represent you for the following reasons:
- Collection Attorneys smell blood in the water when someone represents himself. You are not nearly as experienced in handling litigation matters as the attorney. This affects your position in the case and your overall ability to settle this case.
- Collection Attorneys are far more likely to settle your case with your attorney than with you. Collection Attorneys know that they usually cannot push around a fellow attorney nearly as much as they can a consumer.
- You are likely to waive valuable rights that you have in defense of the case. Frequently, consumers do not know when or how to assert affirmative defenses, ask for discovery or how to take action against the Plaintiff’s attorney if he fails to produce the discovery responses that you need to defend against the action. All of these things tip the scales far in favor of the Plaintiff and against you.
- Judges frequently do not favor people representing themselves because it makes their lives more difficult.