What is a collection lawsuit filed in Alabama?

What is a collection lawsuit filed in Alabama?

What is a collection lawsuit filed in Alabama?You either have been sued or threatened to be sued by a debt collector.  So what does it mean when we talk about a “collection lawsuit” in Alabama?

A company will claim to buy an old debt — this is a debt collector or debt buyer.  (They are called a “debt buyer” as they claim to have bought your old debt).

The debt buyer (Asset Acceptance, Cavalry, LVNV, Midland, Portfolio, etc) will sue you in one of three courts

  • Small Claims
  • District Court
  • Circuit Court

The lawsuit is the “complaint” — it lists who is suing you (the “plaintiff”) and for how much money.

It should give you details on debt but often it doesn’t tell you very much if anything.

You will also be told how long you have to respond

  • Small Claims is 14 days
  • District Court is 14 days
  • Circuit Court is 30 days

These dates are from when the lawsuit was served on you.

Critically important that you answer the lawsuit in time or you will have a “default judgment” against you.

A default judgment is where you don’t answer the suit so you have “defaulted” and lose automatically.  Doesn’t matter that a year later you can show you really don’t owe the debt.  If you lose in a default judgment, then a court is saying you do owe the debt.

So make sure you respond or have your lawyer respond.

If you have questions about your options when sued in Alabama (you have as many as five options), please feel free to get in touch with us by calling us at 205-879-2447 or contacting us through our website contact form.

John G. Watts
Watts & Herring, LLC
Birmingham and Madison Offices in Alabama
We represent consumers in all parts of Alabama

PS — Your five options are:

  1. Take the drastic/extreme solution of filing bankruptcy.
  2. Respond or answer the lawsuit on your own
  3. Pay money to the debt collector and you handle this on your own
  4. Hire a lawyer to fight the lawsuit for you with the goal of winning the case
  5. Settle with the collector but you have your lawyer do this for you

I’ll be happy to walk you through these options.

Give us a call at 1-205-879-2447, or fill out a contact form, and we can set up a phone call right away for you.

You may also want to read our series where we answer over 150 questions about debt collection lawsuits in Alabama — here is part one (intro to lawsuits) and part two (being served).

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

-John G. Watts

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