Want to know how to get a Debt Lawsuit dismissed? We got you!
Getting sued for unpaid debt is a frightening experience. The prospect of being taken to court and the possibility of having a judgment entered against you can be overwhelming.
But if you know your rights and take some simple steps, you may be able to get the lawsuit dismissed.
In this article, we will discuss how to get a debt lawsuit dismissed. Read on to learn more.
- You shouldn’t ignore the summons and complaint from court for your own good.
- You have the right to raise a defense against the lawsuit.
- You can also file a motion to dismiss.
- Getting a debt lawsuit dismissed is not always easy, but it is possible.
What Is The Meaning Of Motion To Dismiss?
When one side of the lawsuit files a petition in the court to ask the judge to dismiss the case filed against him without reviewing the legal argument is called a motion to dismiss.
When you take this step, you are alleging that the claim made by the opposite party does not have any validity.
A very important thing to note here is before filing a motion; you need to respond to the lawsuit with an answer.
If you do not respond back to the debt collector, then you might end up receiving a default judgment from the court & then you will lose the chance to file a motion to dismiss.
Who Files a Motion To Dismiss?
Because in this case, we are talking about a debt collection agency; the creditor files the case, and the person who owes the debt files the motion to dismiss.
Normally, a debtor takes this step only when a significant amount of payments are missed from your side.
This is due to the fact that the money and time that goes into filing a lawsuit is a lot.
The plaintiff or the debt collector agency might also file a motion to dismiss if they want to get the case dismissed voluntarily.
But why would they do this? If the defendant agrees to settle the debt or send an answer to their complaint, they might decide not to pursue the case further.
What Are The Reasons To File a Motion To Dismiss?
Here are a few common reasons why one may file a motion to dismiss:
- The lawsuit was not served to you legally.
- The plaintiff named the wrong party in the lawsuit.
- The lawsuit filed has erroneous claims.
- The location of the filed lawsuit is wrong.
- The court doesn’t have jurisdiction over the material of the case.
How To Get A Debt Lawsuit Dismissed?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can get a debt lawsuit dismissed:
Step 1: Answer The Complaint
The first step in getting a debt lawsuit dismissed is to answer the complaint.
This may seem obvious, but many people ignore the summons and complaints altogether, thinking that if they do not respond, the case will simply go away. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
If you are served with a summons and complaint, you must take action. The best course of action is to file a written response with the court.
This is called an “answer.” By filing an answer, you are telling the court that you dispute the debt and intend to fight the case.
How to Answer a Debt Collection Lawsuit?
Step 2: Raise Defenses In Your Answer
In your answer, you can raise defenses against the lawsuit. These defenses may be based on the statute of limitations or on the fact that you do not owe the debt.
For example, if the debt is more than four years old, you can raise the statute of limitations as a defense.
This defense will bar the creditor from suing you and will result in the dismissal of the case.
If you do not owe the debt, you can also raise this as a defense. You will need to provide evidence to support your claim that you do not owe the debt.
This could be in the form of canceled checks or correspondence from the creditor indicating that the debt has been paid.
Step 3: Ask for an alternative repayment method
If you do owe the debt, then the above step will not apply to you. So what should you do in such a case? So before a lawsuit is filed against you, you will be served with a notice.
Reach out to your creditor and request them to accept payments in an alternative mode. Some examples are:
- Request for a settlement: More often than not, your creditors expect you to pay only some portion of the debt that you owe. A lawsuit can cost them a lot of time and money, which will make them lose more money. As such, most of them will agree to a settlement.
- Break down the payments: You can explain your hardship situation to your creditor and request a break in payment until you get out of the hardship.
Step 4: File A Motion To Dismiss
If you have raised defenses in your answer, you can also file a motion to dismiss. This is a formal request to the court to dismiss the case.
The court will consider your defenses and decide whether or not to dismiss the case.
A motion to dismiss is a powerful tool and can often result in the case being dismissed outright.
Step 5: Go To Court
If you have filed an answer and raised defenses, you will need to go to court for a hearing. This is called a “status conference” or a “pretrial conference.”
At this hearing, the judge will consider your defenses and decide whether or not to dismiss the case.
If the judge decides that your defenses are valid, the case will be dismissed. If the judge decides that your defenses are not valid, the case will proceed to trial.
At trial, a jury will decide whether or not you owe the debt. If you are found liable, a judgment will be entered against you.
If you are successful in getting the case dismissed, you will not have to worry about a judgment being entered against you.
Should You File A Motion To Dismiss Or Answer Back?
Mistakes To Avoid When Being Sued By a debt Collector
Here are a few mistakes that you should avoid when a debt collector is suing you:
- Don’t get scared: If you get a call from a debt collector asking you to pay immediately, do not get scared and pay right away. For all you know, you might be talking to scammers and risk losing your money. Always verify the caller, take your time to verify their identity, and only then act.
- Don’t share your bank account details: Never share your bank account number with the debt collectors, as this could mean you are allowing them to take out the fund from your account legally.
- Ignoring debt collection lawsuit: This is the worst mistake that you can make when being sued. Ignoring a debt collection lawsuit can lead to penalties, freezing funds, garnishment, etc.
- Don’t plead: To draw information out from you; the debt collector may ask you a lot of questions. Don’t start apologizing or explaining yourself too much, as you might spill some information that might be used in court against you later. Stay calm, only answer from point to point, and do not ramble with stress.
The Bottom Line
Getting a debt lawsuit dismissed is not always easy, but it is possible. If you take the time to understand your rights and take action, you may be able to get the case dismissed.
As always, prevention is the best medicine. If you are having trouble making your payments, contact your creditor and try to work out a payment plan, you can also use a debt relief company to help you with the same. This will help avoid a lawsuit in the first place.
People Also Ask For
Is it possible to get sued by a debt collector?
Yes, a debt collector can sue you. They might take this step when you are at least 180 days or more delinquent on your account.
Can I ignore the debt collection lawsuit filed against me?
No, you should not make the mistake of ignoring the lawsuit filed against you and should appear in court.
Ignoring the lawsuit can lead to a default judgment, wage garnishment, hefty penalties, etc.
Does a debt become uncollectible after a certain time period?
No, in most states, the debt never disappears or becomes uncollectible until you pay it.
Also, not repaying your debt can damage your credit score and may stay on your report for up to seven years.
Amit Gupta is the founder of National Planning Cycles, a company that helps startups, individuals, and small businesses with their financial planning. He has a vast amount of experience in the finance sector, having managed Google Play accounts for some of the world’s most successful unicorns. Amit is an expert in his field, and he uses his knowledge to help others achieve their individual goals.