Sued for Debt in Texas? Get Debt Lawsuit Defense for Your Case
Debt lawsuits can arise from various situations – whether it’s credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, or other financial obligations. Whether you recognize the debt or think it may be a mistake or scam, it is critical that you do not ignore the lawsuit! You may have more legal options available to you than you think to resolve the lawsuit. Do not hesitate to discuss your options with a Texas debt defense attorney from our firm.
At Warren & Migliaccio, our Texas debt defense lawyers have significant experience and success defending individuals in debt lawsuits. Call us at (888) 548-9078 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your consultation.
Types of Debt Lawsuits We Defend in Texas
Our debt defense lawyers in Texas defend individuals facing lawsuits for all types of consumer debt-related matters, including, but not limited to:
- Credit card lawsuits
- Debt collection lawsuits
- Bank loan defense
- Personal loan defense
- Retail loan defense
- Auto loan defense
- Creditor harassment
We have significant experience and success going up against any of the following:
- Credit card companies
- Debt collectors
- Law firms
No matter your situation, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with a Texas debt defense attorney from our firm. During a consultation, we can answer your legal questions, discuss your legal options, and determine how we can help you with your case.
What to Do When Sued for Debt Collection in Texas
Have you recently been sued for credit card debt, a personal loan, or another type of debt in Texas? Our debt defense lawyers in Texas recommend taking the following steps as soon as possible:
Step 1: Consult With a Texas Debt Defense Lawyer
Have you been served with a debt collection lawsuit from a creditor or debt collector? We recommend consulting with an experienced Texas debt defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you in many ways, just during a consultation. For example, we can:
- Answer your legal questions
- Review the claims against you
- Discuss your financial situation
- Help you understand your rights under Texas law
- Discuss your best legal options based on your situation
- Offer guidance about the next steps you should take
- Break down how we can help you with your case
Step 2: Respond to the Lawsuit
The court may automatically grant the creditor or debt collector a judgment against you if you do not acknowledge the lawsuit or appear in court. This automatic win is called a default judgment and can happen even if you do not owe the money. It is critical not to ignore the lawsuit. In order to protect yourself from a default judgment, you must file a formal response to the lawsuit with the court. Your response is called an Answer.
In Texas, the amount of time you have to respond depends on the court handling your case. Generally, you have 14 days to respond if your case is handled by a justice of the peace court or small claims court. If a county district court oversees your case, you generally have 20 days from being served. Missing the deadline can result in losing the case.
Your response should address each allegation the creditor or debt collector made in the complaint. You can also include affirmative defenses, which are defenses that you can back up with evidence.
You must ensure that your Answer is filed correctly with the court and that you serve a copy to the creditor or its attorney. We recommend working with an experienced Texas debt attorney from our firm to handle this process for you. We can ensure your lawsuit response protects your best interests, does not miss critical deadlines, and complies with the court’s procedural requirements.
Step 3: Explore Your Legal Options
After you have avoided a default judgment, you can start considering your legal options. We can analyze the claims against you to identify weaknesses we can use to support your case. Based on what we find and your financial circumstances, we can help you determine your best legal options.
Generally, there are a few ways to resolve a debt collection lawsuit. These options include:
- Challenging the lawsuit
- Negotiating a settlement
- Seeking alternative debt resolution
Our Texas debt defense attorneys discuss these options in depth below.
What Are My Legal Options if Being Sued for Debt Collection in Texas?
When you get served with a credit card or debt collection lawsuit in Texas, you generally have a few legal options. These options include:
Option 1: Do Nothing
We DO NOT recommend ignoring the lawsuit. Ignoring it does not make it go away. In fact, it often results in the most severe financial consequences. Choosing not to respond to a debt lawsuit in Texas can lead to a default judgment against you.
A default judgment means the court may automatically side with the creditor or debt collector because you did not acknowledge the lawsuit or appear in court. Even if you do not recognize the debt or do not owe the debt, you can still suffer from a default judgment.
With a default judgment, the creditor or debt collector has a legal right to collect the debt it claims you owe. It may be able to freeze and garnish your bank accounts, seize your property, or place liens against your property to recover the money from you.
Option 2: Challenge the Lawsuit
You can acknowledge and challenge the lawsuit by filing a legal response with the court called an Answer. Even if you plan on settling or pursuing alternative debt resolution, you should file an Answer. It is the only way to protect yourself against a default judgment.
Your Answer should address each allegation in the lawsuit. It should also include your defenses to the lawsuit.
We recommend working with an experienced debt attorney in Texas to help you draft and file this response to ensure you do not make mistakes or miss critical deadlines. For example, your Answer must be filed with the correct court by its deadline, generally 14 or 20 days, depending on the court handling your case.
Challenging the lawsuit can lead to dismissal, a more favorable settlement, or even winning the case in court, depending on the circumstances of your case.
- How to Get a Debt Collection Lawsuit Dismissed in Texas
- How to Win a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Texas
Option 3: Negotiate a Settlement
Before or after a lawsuit is filed, you may be able to negotiate a settlement. Negotiating a settlement may be in your best interest if the creditor or debt collector can prove you owe the debt and that it has a right to collect it.
In many cases, a creditor or debt collector is open to negotiations. Settling outside of court saves both sides money, time, and uncertainty of a court outcome. Even so, we do not recommend settling until you have discussed your situation with a debt defense lawyer in Texas.
An attorney can ensure that a settlement is in your best interest. More so, an experienced attorney can negotiate on your behalf, often obtaining a settlement for much less than the total amount of debt claimed.
Option 4: Explore Alternative Debt Resolution
Our Texas debt defense attorneys work with many individuals in stressful financial situations where the debt is too much to handle. If this feels like your situation, consider exploring alternative debt resolution options, such as bankruptcy.
Depending on your financial situation, bankruptcy may be a viable option and offer you a fresh financial start. We can help you determine your best options based on your situation during a consultation.
What Are Common Defense Strategies in a Texas Debt Lawsuit?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may have defense strategies that you can use to challenge the lawsuit. In some cases, challenging the lawsuit can lead to a dismissal, a more favorable settlement, or winning the case in court. Some of the common defense strategies include, but are not limited to:
- Creditor or debt collector’s right to sue. Does the debt collector have the right to collect? Often, debts are sold and resold, and the debt collector might not have the necessary documentation to prove it owns the debt.
- Statute of limitations. Creditors and debt collectors only have a certain amount of time to file lawsuits over debts. This time limit is called a statute of limitations, and it is four years in Texas. If the debt is time-barred, the case can be dismissed.
- Debt amount. Errors in the amount claimed are not uncommon. We review the details of the debt, including principal, interest, fees, and payments made, to challenge any inaccuracies.
- Identity. Do you own the claimed debt? If you do not recognize the debt, it may be a case of mistaken identity or identity theft. In these cases, we work to provide evidence to get the case against you dismissed.
When you work with our debt defense attorney in Texas, we will investigate the claims against you and look for weaknesses in the creditor or debt collector’s case.
What if I Already Have a Judgment Against Me?
If a court has issued a judgment against you, it has granted the creditor or debt collector a legal right to collect the debt. However, depending on the circumstances of the case, you may still have legal options. For example, you may be able to file a motion to vacate the judgment, appeal the decision, negotiate a settlement, or explore options for discharging your debt. We encourage you to consult with an experienced debt lawyer in Texas from our firm. We can help you determine the best legal options for your unique situation.
Contact Our Texas Debt Defense Lawyers for a Consultation
We understand that facing a lawsuit for credit card debt or other debt can be a challenging and stressful experience. However, you do not have to navigate it alone. At Warren & Migliaccio, we are here to provide you with the legal support you need to put a debt collection lawsuit behind you.
Do not wait to schedule a consultation with us to discuss the case against you. Based on your unique situation, we can help you understand your best options for resolving the lawsuit and next steps. Call us today at (888) 584-9614 or submit our online contact form to schedule your consultation with an experienced debt defense attorney.