Know Your Options If You Are Sued by a Creditor

Being sued by creditor is not something that should be ignored. There are ways to stop the case from going in front of a judge and keeping an even bigger black mark off of a debtor's credit record. It is not necessarily the end of the world if a creditor sues.

Using a Home as a Source of Funds

This relies on certain factors, such as equity and ability to repay the loan. If the debtor is in good enough shape financially to handle a HELOC, it makes sense to use the home as a source of funds. Make sure that there's enough equity in the home to cover the amount owed. However, an advantage of using a home equity line of credit is that the interest rates will most likely be lower than the original.

Negotiate Directly with the Creditor

Don't assume that the creditor won't talk to you. It's in their interest to get paid. Work to settle the debt for less than what is owed or arrange a payment plan that is within means. Settlements are easier to obtain when payments are late as the creditor may become concerned that the debtor will file for bankruptcy soon. Bankruptcy law wants to see no payments to creditors made within 90 days of filing. Being 90 days late on payments sends up a flag to the creditor because of that fact.

Do not Ignore a Summons

The thought may occur that there is no money to pay the debt, so why bother going to court. That is absolutely the worst thing a debtor can do to themselves. Not showing up in court allows the creditor to obtain a judgment and garnish wages or a bank account. Presumably a debtor wants to keep as much money as they possibly can. Start doing so by responding to the lawsuit.

Filing for Bankruptcy

The ultimate way to stop a lawsuit by a creditor is to file for bankruptcy. It's the absolute last solution a debtor should consider, but it shouldn't be ignored. There does come a point where all bills are way behind and there is no turning back from that fact.

Talk to a Lawyer

An experienced debt attorney knows the options that are available to an individual debtor. Do not try to go at it alone when being sued by creditor. Find an attorney that will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome, whether it be a debt settlement or bankruptcy.

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