Most people cringe at the sight of a summons and complaint delivered by a sheriff or a process server. Please do not kill the messenger, you are being sued by someone and these folks are just doing their job and that is why they need to find you. Most process servers will try to serve you either early or late in the day because that is when you are most likely to be home. If they cannot find you at home, they will try any other place, including your last job as reported by your credit report.
But, what do you do when you receive the summons and the complaint? Firstly, you need to know what a summons is. It is the document, which gives the process server your personal information necessary to provide you personally, or another authorized person a copy of the complaint. The complaint is the document that formally tells you what you are being sued for! When you receive these legal documents do not ignore them and make an immediate appointment with your attorney to discuss your legal rights.
Specifically, when you get a summons and complaint the clock is ticking. You must answer the complaint, to the creditor and to the court, within a specific time frame or else you will forfeit or waive your legal rights. Although an explanation of all mentioned above is included in the complaint, most people do not understand lawyer speak and legalese. What does this mean for you? Run to a bankruptcy lawyer and get a free legal consultation to decide what is best for you. Why? Because IF YOU FAIL TO TIMELY ANSWER A COMPLAINT, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR RIGHTS. Most complaints must be answered within 20 days, some within 30 days. Make sure you read! YOU MUST ANSWER THE COMPLAINT BEFORE THE TIME IS UP! Make sure when you make the initial contact with the attorney you tell them that you must see them immediately and do not forget to take all legal documents to the law office so that your attorney can best serve you.
Once you receive the documents, the process server returns back to the courthouse and files a notice with the court telling them you were properly served with the complaint according to the law for those legal proceedings. This notice to the court tells the world that the lawsuit can go forward because you have notification of its existence. Meeting with a debt attorney who will explain your legal rights and give you options and alternatives to resolve the matter is the best and only practice which will preserve your legal rights. Your attorney will study the documents, decipher the complicated lingo and advise you of all options. Perhaps they served the wrong person; perhaps you already paid that debt. The attorney can best help you navigate to a solution. You have legal rights and remedies for the creditor’s mistakes in suing you. You may be able to claim bankruptcy if you qualify and it is the best alternative for you and your family. Don’t waste any time. If you receive a legal document contact, our office for a no-nonsense review of the documents and information regarding your legal alternatives to resolve the matter.