What To Do When A Lawsuit Is Filed Against You
If you receive paperwork from a court – don’t ignore it! When a lawsuit is filed and served upon the debtor the clock starts ticking on when you must act. In Ohio once a complaint is served the answering
party has twenty eight (28) days to appear and defend yourself. If the 28th day happens to fall on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday you get until the following business day to reply.
Once the lawsuit is filed and received, if you ignore the paperwork thinking the problem will go away – nothing could be farther from the truth. If you don’t respond, then the Plaintiff/Creditor will file a motion for default judgment after the 28th day. Default judgment is kind of like a forfeit victory in sports. The Plaintiff/Creditor will get a judgment for what they asked for simply because no one showed up on the other side.
After the lawsuit is filed and a judgment obtained the Plaintiff/Creditor simply has a piece of paper stating that you owe them a certain amount of money. The Plaintiff/Creditor might pursue collection of their judgment or they might not do anything. It is up to that particular creditor as to what they want to do. From this point the Plaintiff/Creditor could start garnishing wages or attach the judgment to a bank account owned by the debtor. Typically, the only ways to stop these proceedings is (1) to pay the judgment in full or (2) file for bankruptcy protection.