Why Answering A Debt Buyer Lawsuit With “I Don’t Have A Job” Or “I Don’t Have Any Money” Is Not Effective

Why Answering A Debt Buyer Lawsuit With “I Don’t Have A Job” Or “I Don’t Have Any Money” Is Not Effective

debt buyer lawsuitIf you have recently been served with a debt buyer lawsuit, you will be thinking about how to “answer” the lawsuit.

Unfortunately, as more and more Alabama consumers come to see us about being sued by debt buyers, we are seeing more answers that have been filed by our clients.

One type of answer is becoming more popular and we wrote this article to explain why it is not a good idea to put on your answer that you either:

  • Don’t have a job.
  • You don’t have any money.
  • Or, you can only draw disability income.

In your answer you need to tell the court what your position is.

In other words, do you admit you owe the debt?

(Given that we don’t see debt buyer prove in court that they own the debt we don’t know why you would do this.)

Do you deny owing the debt?

What are your defenses?

We can’t tell you how to answer the complaint, but we can tell you that saying to the court that you don’t have money or a job is not a proper answer.

It leaves it up to the court to decide if you are really admitting you owe the debt, which can lead to a judgment against you.

Or if you are denying that you owe the debt.

Remember this – a court’s role is to give a fair trial to everyone.

What happens with the judgment is not a concern to the judge.

Whether the defendant can pay the plaintiff is not of any concern to the judicial system.  Just because you can’t pay doesn’t impact who wins or loses.

One common type of order issued by judges — if they don’t simply enter judgment against you — is to say:

The Defendant’s answer or other pleading filed with the court suggests financial difficulty.

However, the Court is not allowed to consider Defendant’s present ability to pay the amount claimed by the Plaintiff.

Rather, the Court must determine whether Defendant has a legal obligation regarding the Plaintiff’s claim.

We understand that many people feel that if the court or collection lawyer (such as Zarzaur & SchwartzNathan & Nathan, etc) knew the dire financial situation you are in they will make the lawsuit go away.

That doesn’t happen in our experience.

It’s not that the court or the collection lawyers are unkind.

Their role as a judge just doesn’t allow them to take your financial condition into account as they rule.

And the collection lawyer representing the debt buyer has to represent his or her client.  They’ve already spent the money suing you (court costs, etc) and they can’t get that back so they might as well go forward with the lawsuit.

Your financial condition isn’t relevant to whether you get a judgment against you.

If you want to settle your case, that is fine.

Make sure you get your agreement concerning the payment terms, tax issues, credit reporting issues, etc. in writing.

If you want to fight the case that is fine also.

Just make sure you file your answer in time and properly defend yourself in court.

But don’t put “I don’t have a job” or “I don’t have any money” in your answer.

In our experience, telling them this does nothing, except for causing the court to enter a judgment against because they think you’re lying.

Contact Us.

If you have questions, you can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447.  Even if you have no money to pay us, you may be able to fight the case on your own and that can be very helpful to you.

We will be glad to help you look at your options,or any concerns you have.

Or, you can contact us through our website.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day.

-John G. Watts

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