As a St. Louis bankruptcy lawyer, I speak with a lot of people who are in financial distress. A lot of these individuals contact me after they are served with a summons. Lawsuits are filed by creditors every day in an attempt to obtain a judgment against a debtor.
When you are served with a summons, it will list dates by which you must respond and appear if you do not wish for the creditor to obtain a default judgment. A default judgment occurs when there has been no answer filed in response to the creditor’s complaint. In order to defend the suit, you will need to file an answer, respond to discovery requests, and appear at all court hearings. Unfortunately, if you actually owe the money, chances are the creditor will obtain a judgment against you despite all of this effort on your part. Once a creditor obtains a judgment, they are able to garnish your wages and levy your bank account. The judgment will also be reported to the credit bureaus, and will remain on your record for at least seven years.
If you are facing a suit for delinquent debt, you should consider whether filing a bankruptcy could be beneficial. Being sued over past due debt is usually a warning sign that you are in financial distress. Filing bankruptcy gives you automatic protection from creditors. The bankruptcy filing can stop lawsuits, wage garnishments, foreclosures and repossessions. Once the bankruptcy is discharged, you will no longer owe the debt, and the creditor cannot try to collect from you.
If you are being sued, you should contact a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer to discuss your situation. Most experienced St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations. A bankruptcy filing can stop your lawsuit before it turns into a judgment.