Five Options when you’re sued by LVNV

LVNV is a debt buyer who files many lawsuits in Alabama.

For over a decade LVNV has been suing consumers in Alabama, claiming to own old defaulted debt.  The hope of LVNV is that you will simply pay it (even if it doesn’t prove it owns the debt) or you will allow it to get a default judgment by doing nothing.

So let’s get started helping you figure out what you need to do.

Congratulations for taking action!

Many people do nothing when they’re sued. You’re taking action! You went online. You found this article and video. Maybe you were referred to this video by someone. In any case, we are glad you are taking action and taking action makes you feel empowered so keep on doing that!

Make sure you respond so you won’t get a default judgment.

The number one thing to remember is to respond, because you don’t want a default judgment. You must answer the lawsuit or LVNV will get that default judgment against you.

You definitely do not want a default judgement.

A default judgement is when they can garnish your wages and bank accounts, and put liens on your home. In some cases, they may even take your property through what’s called a “sheriff’s sale”.

The secret to avoiding a default judgment is to respond to your lawsuit.

You have 14 days in Small Claims and District court, and 30 days in Circuit court (in Alabama) from the date you were served.

If you are wondering when or if you have been served, you can call the court, or even call us at 205-879-2447 (ask for Carolyn) and we will be happy to look it up for you and tell you if that information is available.

OK, now let’s get into your options now that you have that background or foundational information.

5 options:

One: Bankruptcy is extreme and rarely needed.

Bankruptcy is a very extreme option and rarely the appropriate option due to the short term and more importantly the long term costs. However, you may be the exception to this.

Generally, we encourage people to look at bankruptcy, especially if they honestly say, “I see no way out, and when I look ahead one year, two years, three years, I just see things getting worse.”  Many times people think this is their situation but after we talk, they realize there is more hope for them than they originally thought.

In that case, bankruptcy may be an option. Most of the time, bankruptcy would be a last resort as almost always better options are available.

The next two options we will discuss are do it yourself options.

Two: Fight the lawsuit on your own.

You don’t have to hire a lawyer as you can fight this on your own.

The advantage is that you don’t have to pay an attorney.

The downside is you will be going alone to court.

In Small Claims and District court, this can be an option.  Maybe not the best option but it is certainly doable, especially if you don’t have the money to hire the lawyer you feel like you need to hire.  Worst thing is hiring a lawyer who doesn’t inspire confidence in you and that you don’t feel comfortable with — in that case better to do it on your own.

Three: Settle the lawsuit on your own.

For some people, this is a good option but most of the time there are better options than paying LVNV.

If you decide to settle this on your own, you need to make sure you understand what’s going on with credit reporting and taxes.  Usually LVNV will keep the credit reporting and will hit you with taxes in January when you get a 1099 for debt forgiveness.

You also have to make sure your case gets settled so you won’t be sued again, and make sure that LVNV won’t get a judgement against you.

Now let’s talk about your options that include hiring a lawyer.

Four: Hire a lawyer to fight the case.

The downside of this is that you have to pay a lawyer to represent you, and you have to look at how much that would cost.  You want to know exactly what this is.

Some lawyers do an hourly rate, some do it at a monthly rate, and others do a flat rate.

My firm does this on a flat rate so you know exactly the cost and normally we will give you the option for us to return the fee to you if we are not successful in settling your case or winning your case at trial.  We can certainly discuss the details of this so you know exactly how this works.

Five: Hire a lawyer to settle the case.

Again, you have to evaluate and think about how this compares to settling on your own.

What’s the cost?

What are the benefits for me?

Normally we give LVNV an option — settle it where they delete credit reporting, don’t issue a 1099, and you pay nothing.  You simply agree not to sue LVNV in federal court.  Or we go to trial.

My firm doesn’t pay LVNV any money to settle a case..

“Which is the best option for me?”

Honestly, I don’t know. I know LVNV sued you, but for how much?  What court are you in?  What is your financial situation?  There are lots of variables that come into play when you’re sued.  This is key — your situation is unique.  It doesn’t matter what your neighbor did or you cousin in Montana did — what matters is what is best for you, not for anyone else.

Feel free to contact us

We will be happy to talk you through your options and help you figure out which is best for you.

The good news is, you’re going to do something about this lawsuit, and we will be glad to walk you through your different options.

If you need a bankruptcy lawyer, we will be happy to help you find one

If we walk you through your options and we agree with, “Hey, your best option would be to file for bankruptcy.”

We will be glad to help you find one. You may already have one, but if not, we will give you some recommendations as we know some very good bankruptcy lawyers who will shoot straight with you.

If you handle this on your own, we will share some resources with you

Many people fight their lawsuits on their own, and win their case, and then they come to us and we sue LVNV in Federal Court for money damages which is definitely an option.  It depends on what happened in trial but you may can sue LVNV.

So we give you some resources to help you win your case on your own.

If you hire us, we will tell you our flat fee so you know exactly what our fee is– no surprises

We’ll tell you exactly how much it will be, whether we settle it the day after you hire us or, or a year after you hire us.

That way there will be no unexpected costs.

Our position with any of these debt buyers, including LVNV, is we either go to trial, or they drop the case with no money from you and get it off your credit reporting. In turn, you won’t sue them. Everyone walks away.

We find this works best — its very clear to you and to LVNV what the situation is and either the case settles or it goes to trial.

You can contact us at:

Phone: 1-205-879-2447

Or you can fill out a form to get in touch with us.

Hope you have a great day and I look forward to speaking with you.

-John G. Watts

PS — here is a series of articles and videos on what happens if you want to hire us to defend you in your LVNV case.


  1. […] basic idea is that if a debt collector such as LVNV or Midland Funding is talking to you and you are the one that they say owes the debt, then you are […]

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