How do I know if I have been served with a collection lawsuit in Alabama?
“How do I know if I have been served with a collection lawsuit in Alabama?”
There are deadlines that come about, and if you haven’t been served, you don’t have a deadline.
But, if you have been served, there’s a deadline and there’s a lot of confusion about being served.
Hopefully, this article will clear up at least some of that confusion.
Basically, there are three ways of being served with a collection lawsuit.
First, is by a sheriff’s deputy.
A sheriff’s deputy comes up, typically to your house … It could be any anywhere … But, comes up to your house and hands you the papers.
Or, hands it to somebody living in your house, an adult in your house.
Then that would be good service.
Second way is a private process server can serve you the papers.
One of the main ones in Alabama is a company called “VanSlam”, but there are dozens of others that do this as well.
It could be somebody just in an unmarked car.
They come up, knock on your door, and they say, “Hey, are you John Watts?”
I say “Yes, I’m John Watts.”
They go, “Well, here’s some court papers for you.”
That would be considered service.
Or again, they could leave it, typically with an adult who lives in your house.
The third way is by certified mail.
The mailman, mail lady comes to you says, “Here’s certified mail. I need for you to sign for it.”
Then, the date you sign for it would be the date that you’re served.
Sometimes, there’s a lot of confusion.
I‘ve had clients where they come home and the lawsuit papers are scattered across the yard. The person serving it just threw it in the bushes.
We see all sorts of crazy stuff like that.
If you have any doubt about whether you’ve been served, then call the court.
Or, you can call us, 1-205-879-2447.
We can look it up on the online court system, it’s called “AlaCourt”.
We can look that up and at least see what that is saying about when you were served and whether you were served.
Once you’re served, you have a limited time to respond, so it’s very critical you know when you were served.
We’ll have another video that talks about your deadlines.
I’ll go ahead and tell you real quick. District court, small claims court, 14 days.
Circuit court is 30 days from the date that you were served.
Keep in mind you have five options when you are sued.
You need to discover those options, and we have all sorts of videos and articles on those options including this comprehensive video and transcript on your five options.
Then, take action on whichever option is best for you, because it is possible to win your collection lawsuit.
Now, bankruptcy is an option.
You can take some options where you don’t hire a lawyer.
You fight it on your own, settle it on your own, or you can hire a lawyer to fight the lawsuit or settle a lawsuit.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each one of those five options.
Definitely learn about those options, but the very first step is “Have I been served?”
If I’ve been served, “When was the date of that service?”, so that you can figure out when your answer is due.
Contact us if you have any questions or comments
If you have general questions, comments, you can put those below.
Hope you have a great day.