New Jersey Credit Card Debt Lawyer
After you have missed several credit card payments, you may receive notice from the credit card company indicating that you have defaulted on the debt. In New Jersey, the next step in the process may involve the creditor or collections agency filing a lawsuit against you to recover the debt.
If you have received a summons and complaint from a creditor, a New Jersey credit card debt lawyer can help explain your legal rights. It is important to contact a capable attorney as soon as you have received notice that you are being sued so that the lawyer can also draft an answer to the complaint in order to preserve those rights.
A Lawyer’s Role in the Lawsuit Process
In order to avoid default judgment in favor of the creditor, the debtor must file an answer to the summons and complaint within 35 days of receipt. Additionally, in order to preserve any defenses that the debtor may be entitled to assert to the credit card debt lawsuit, the lawyer could present them in the answer.
The New Jersey credit card debt lawyer could work with the debtor in order to ascertain whether any defenses to the lawsuit may be valid and help the debtor understand the implications of admitting or denying any of the claims set forth in the complaint. The lawyer could also:
- Draft a series of interrogatories in order to gain proof of the validity of the claim,
- Obtain evidence that the debt purchaser did, in fact, purchase the debtor’s actual debt,
- Help the debtor answer any information subpoenas that the creditor may use to obtain information regarding the debtor’s assets and financial accounts,
- Provide guidance with respect to the types of documents and evidence that the debtor will be required to present in order to defend against the lawsuit.
The credit card debt lawyer can answer the debtor’s questions about any wage garnishments or bank levies that the credit card company may have executed. The lawyer can also help the debtor evaluate whether filing for bankruptcy could be advantageous, such as in a situation where the debtor has many debts that he or she is unable to satisfy.
Potential for Settlement
In some cases, a New Jersey credit card debt lawyer may recommend that the debtor seek to settle the debt in order to repay less than the amount actually owed. This may be advisable in cases where the debtor has no valid defense to the lawsuit and filing for bankruptcy is not otherwise called for.
The lawyer could understand that most creditors do not actually want to spend the time and money going through the court process and would likely settle for a lump sum payment of a portion of the debt. In other circumstances, the lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement that calls for partial repayments to be made on a monthly basis over time.
How a New Jersey Credit Card Attorney Can Assist You
Because your initial response to a summons and complaint is due within 35 days of receipt, it is critical that you contact an experienced New Jersey credit card debt lawyer as soon as you have been served. Providing an effective and complete answer to the complaint in a timely manner is the first step in protecting your rights in any credit card debt lawsuit.