A complaint about non-payment of debt has been served on you by a debt collection agency. You attempted to bargain with the server but to no effect. If the amount is significant, you should at the very least seek the advice of a debt defense attorney Chicago. There may be defenses available to you that you are unaware of, or you may need assistance arguing them.

Here are four ways to defend against a debt collection lawsuit in Chicago, depending on your circumstances.

  • Respond to the Complaint within the Allotted Time Limit

When a creditor files a lawsuit against you in court, they must serve you with a summons telling you that they have filed a complaint. A default judgment will be entered against you if you fail to respond to the summons and the complaint. If you choose to disregard the complaint, the chances are high that the court will award the creditor everything they requested.

  • Call in to question the validity of the service.

Chicago has various conditions that must be followed before the serving process of a lawsuit can be completed and considered genuine. If your creditor does not comply with these conditions, you may be able to have the action dismissed in court. Your responsibility is to explain why your creditor did not serve you appropriately in your response to their complaint.

  • Object to the Plaintiff’s ability to sue.

If you file a dispute with a creditor, they must demonstrate that they are the legal owner of the debt you owe. But here’s the thing: deficits are often sold before a creditor takes legal action against you. The debt to the new owner is mostly not accompanied by the required documentation. As a result, after a debt is transferred, the new owner is often unable to present evidence of their legal right to sue. If that’s the case, you’re almost always out of trouble. 

  • Confirm that the statute of limitations has not expired.

Statutes of limitations are laws that specify how long a party has to file a lawsuit after being served with a summons. They often begin on the last day you were active on an account, such as when you made a purchase with a credit card or when you made a payment on a loan. This is an excellent reason you should consult with an attorney before making any financial commitments. The statute of limitations that was about to expire may be reinstated in your case.

It is better to bargain before a creditor files a lawsuit, but a settlement may still be achievable. Creditors will be receptive to a settlement if they believe in mutual interest. Your attorney will almost certainly be able to negotiate a better bargain than you.