“I got served papers, assumed they were a scam, ignored them and now I have a judgment against me.”

“I got served papers, assumed they were a scam, ignored them and now I have a judgment against me.”

"I got served papers, assumed they were a scam, ignored them and now I have a judgment against me."There is so much information (mis-information) on the internet about scam debt collectors and collection lawsuits.

Don’t misunderstand — there are a LOT of bogus debt collectors who pretend to file suits or issue arrest warrants, etc.

This is normally in the context of a pay day loan, cash advance loan, or online loan but we do see it in other contexts occasionally.

“Should I assume papers are a scam?”


It doesn’t matter what some relative tells you or your buddy at the coffee shop or beauty shop tells you.  There is no way to know if lawsuit papers are true or false by asking your friends or by just assuming.

“What should I do if I get papers or a notice I’ve supposedly been sued?”

Any lawsuit papers will show the court where you have been sued.

Call the court — ask for the “clerk of the court” — and ask them to tell you if there really is a lawsuit filed against you by this company that is listed the “Plaintiff.”  The Plaintiff is the company suing you and you are listed as the “Defendant.”

“What if the court has no record of me being sued?”

If you are confident you have verified with the court where you were supposedly sued that you have, in fact, NOT been sued, then contact the company who sent you the papers and ask them what is going on.

If there is a lawyer listed, contact the lawyer to find out if you have been sued.

However, if it is a scam, then you can rest easy knowing you protected yourself and did not make one of the two common mistakes:

  1. Assume the lawsuit is bogus so ignore it and get a judgment
  2. Pay on a bogus lawsuit that has actually not even been filed

“What if it is a legitimate lawsuit?”

Then respond to the lawsuit within the time limit.  You can read about your five (5) options you have when sued (which includes a 24 minute video) so you will discover what is the best option for you.

You’ll be happy you did not ignore the lawsuit.

“What should I do next?”

If you have just been sued, then follow the steps above.

If you have already been sued and a judgment exists against you, get with a lawyer immediately to find out if it is too late to fix this.  Hopefully there is still time to set aside the judgment and have your day in court.

You can read about moving to set aside default judgments here.  Very strict time limits to do this if you were served.

Generally you have 14 days from the date of the default judgment if in small claims or district court.  Normally 30 days in circuit court.  But get with a lawyer immediately to find out your specific deadlines and options.

Call us at 205-879-2447 and tell the receptionist you have a question about being sued.  Someone in my office will help you with this normally the same day and we can also set up a call with me (or a meeting) so we can discuss it in detail.  Or you can contact us through this website by filling out our contact form.

Best wishes!

John Watts

PS — if it is a real suit by a debt collector, take a look at our article/video on the five secrets debt buyers don’t want you to know about when they sue you.

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