How long do I have to answer my collection lawsuit in Alabama?

“How long do I have to answer my collection lawsuit in Alabama?”

How long do I have to answer my collection lawsuit in Alabama?Knowing how long you have to answer a collection lawsuit in Alabama is critical as so many people (somewhere between 75 and 90% of people) do not respond to the lawsuit, and so they lose automatically.

You start from the date that you were served with the collection lawsuit.

We have previously talked about how do I know if I’ve been served or how do I know when I was served.

Small Claims and District Court gives you 14 days

Once you have the date that you were served, if you were sued in Small Claims or in District Court, you have 14 days to respond.  So if you do nothing, then after 14 days they can get a default judgement against you.

Circuit Court gives you 30 days

Circuit Court is longer, you have 30 days to respond, again if you go beyond that 30 days, then they can get a default judgement.

This is why I encourage you to take action on the lawsuit or a default judgement will almost certainly happen.

The problem with the default judgement is, it says you owe the money, when in fact maybe you don’t.

I’ve been a Consumer Protection lawyer for years and years defending hundreds and hundreds of people sued by debt collectors, and I know that it will be very unusual for you to owe the money to a debt collector who is suing you in Alabama.

If you do nothing, they get their judgement, they can garnish 25% of your wages, they can wipe out your bank accounts, and sell your property including your home.

Lots of bad stuff, so you definitely want to take action.

Keep in mind you have 5 options when you’ve been sued by a debt collector.

Look at the video/article on your five options so you can understand your five options and then you pick the best one for you.

Your five options are:

  1. File bankruptcy (rarely needed)
  2. Fight the lawsuit on your own (especially if in small claims or district court)
  3. Settle the lawsuit on your own
  4. Hire a lawyer to fight the lawsuit
  5. Hire a lawyer to settle the lawsuit

I’m more than happy to help you go through that process of thinking through which option is best.

A lot of times the answer is you can fight this on your own, or you can hire me, either way is going to be a good choice.

Obviously that depends; who sued you, how much did they sue you for, where did they sue you, but I’ll help you go through those options.

Feel free to contact us

If you have general questions, comments, I’m always happy to have you put those below this article.

If you have more specific questions, just pick up the phone and call us, 205-879-2447, or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Appreciate you reading this, and look forward to talking to you soon.

Have a great day.

-John G. Watts

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