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Being sued for debt

Florida residents who have debt may be interested in knowing that they can be sued by their creditors. People should also know what they should do when a lawsuit has been filed against them.

Individuals may first be notified that they are being sued when they receive a legal complaint and a summons. The complaint will detail the creditor's claim for unpaid debt, and the summons is a notification that the individual should appear in court on a specific date if he or she wants to offer a defense against the claim. A non-response could result in a default judgment against the individual.

Answering the complaint is usually required if someone wants to work out a settlement. If a person opts to go to court without legal representation, he or she should gain an understanding of the court procedures and make sure to collect any necessary forms.

Individuals who have been sued because of their debt may mount a defense with the assistance of an attorney. One defense could be that the lawsuit is invalid. Creditors must file claims within the applicable statute of limitations. There are also provisions included in many consumer contracts that detail how disputes are to be settled through arbitration.

Debt collectors who sue individuals are required to document the ownership of the debt, a requirement that is not applicable to the original creditor. An individual may request written verification of his or her debt. If the debt collector cannot provide this information, it is not allowed to collect from the individual.

An attorney who practices bankruptcy law may evaluate clients' financial situations and advise them of the best methods for resolving their debt. This may include filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to manage overwhelming debt.

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