Stopping Lawsuits and Judgment Collection

Understanding Judgment Collection and Lawsuits


Understanding Judgment Collection and Lawsuits secDebt collection lawsuits can create significant stress. When a creditor or collection agency demands payment and we are unable to make the payment, we often feel trapped and powerless. It’s common for individuals to ignore the situation, avoid the reality of being sued, and allow legal papers to pile up without taking action.

Nevertheless, doing something is the best course of action. Even if you acknowledge the debt, you don’t have to accept an impending judgment, garnishment order, or damage to your credit record. At Cherney Law Firm, we can provide advice and customized strategies to help you navigate these challenging situations.


What Is a Collection Lawsuit?


In Georgia, a collection lawsuit refers to a legal action taken by a creditor or debt collector against a debtor to recover the amount owed. When a person fails to make timely payments on a debt, such as a credit card balance, medical bill, or personal loan, the creditor may file a lawsuit to seek repayment.

However, they often prefer to explore alternative methods before pursuing legal action. A judgment creditor may attempt to repossess your assets and personal property, such as your car or home. They may also attempt to shut down your utilities.

Additionally, if you offer nominal payments, even below their minimum criteria, the judgment creditors may choose not to sue.


What Does a Debt Collector Have to Prove in Court?


What Does a Debt Collector Have to Prove in CourtTo succeed in their case against you, creditors must prove three critical facts in a debt collection lawsuit:

  • That they own the debt
  • That you are the debtor
  • That the amount owed is accurate

The court may dismiss their claim if they fail to provide the necessary evidence.

Often, debt collection companies lack the proper documentation. As a result, they are unable to prove your debt and resort to using coercive methods. By defending yourself and responding to the summons, you can often negotiate a low settlement or even have the debt written off.


Lawsuit Prevention Strategies


If a debt collector files a lawsuit against you, ignoring it is never viable. Responding promptly within the designated timeframe is crucial if you face a collection action.

Communication with the creditor is vital, as they will only proceed with litigation if they believe it’s worth their while. You may engage with your creditor on debt remedies, such as debt settlement, where you pay a reduced lump sum or arrange small payments over time.


What You Can Do If You Are Sued for Collections


What You Can Do If You Are Sued for CollectionsAre you facing a debt collection lawsuit? If so, verifying the accuracy of the collector’s claims regarding the owed amount is essential. Request supporting documents to substantiate their allegations. Debt collectors must provide this information.

To effectively handle a debt collection situation:

  • Thoroughly read and comply with the instructions provided in the summons.
  • Attend all required court appearances.
  • Ensure you possess all relevant documentation to support your defense.
  • Submit your answer to the court case to settle the debt.
  • Consider submitting settlement proposals to the debt collector. Start with a low initial offer and negotiate until you reach a mutually acceptable agreement.


Defense Strategies


Defense StrategiesStatute of Limitations

One effective strategy in debt collection cases is leveraging the statute of limitations on debt in GA. By law, statutes of limitations generally range from three to six years, although some may extend beyond that timeframe. The specific regulations that apply to your situation will usually be determined by:

  • The nature of your debt
  • State legislation
  • The applicability of state law to your particular debt

If this statute of limitations has expired, you can assert it as a defense and request the court to dismiss the case.


Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution that resolves a legal dispute outside the traditional court system. It is a process where the parties involved in a dispute agree to have a neutral third party, called an arbitrator, review the case and make a binding decision.

Arbitration can be expensive for the creditor. The collection agency may resolve the debt dispute through negotiation and compromise.

However, before pursuing this strategy, check whether your original credit agreement includes an arbitration clause.


You may consider filing a counterclaim if you believe the creditor has engaged in deceptive or illegal practices. This can help you recoup losses and turn the tide in your favor.

It is a good idea to consult with an attorney to determine the viability of your counterclaim and the potential consequences.

Declare Insolvency

Bankruptcy can be an option for individuals overwhelmed by debt. It provides an automatic stay of all debt collection proceedings. It even halts orders issued by the court concerning the same debt.

There are different types of bankruptcy, such as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, each with implications and requirements. Seeking the guidance of a bankruptcy attorney is advisable to navigate the process effectively. If you wish to file for bankruptcy, consider calling the Cherney Law Firm, LLC.


How Long Does the Process of Collecting a Judgment Take?


It is difficult to answer this question definitively. The rules of civil procedure across different counties will result in the following approximate periods:

  • Once you are served with a lawsuit, you have 30 days to respond.
  • Failure to respond can lead to a default judgment, which can be issued within a few days to several weeks, depending on the circumstances.
  • If you respond, reaching a judgment can take months or even years, depending on your resistance level.
  • If you fail to answer a lawsuit, it typically takes 95-125 days to reach a stage where execution efforts can begin.


What Happens After a Judgment Enforcement?


What Happens After a Judgment EnforcementIf a creditor successfully obtains a judgment against you, they can take further legal action to collect the debt. This includes wage garnishment, bank account levies, and property liens.

However, certain assets are exempt from collection efforts. These exemptions are provided by Georgia state laws and are designed to ensure that individuals have some level of protection for basic necessities and essential assets. Specific exemptions and their limitations can vary depending on various factors, including the type of debt and the individual’s circumstances.

Negotiating a settlement after a judgment is obtained is also possible. Creditors may be willing to accept a lump sum payment or a structured payment plan to avoid additional legal costs or challenges.


How the Cherney Law Firm, LLC Can Help


Financial difficulties can be overwhelming. Action and exploring available options can help you halt lawsuits and collection efforts. Remember, doing nothing is not the answer. At Cherney Law Firm, LLC, we can help you lawfully halt your debt lawsuit and collection efforts.

Seek professional guidance, communicate with your creditors, and understand your rights. Your Bankruptcy Attorney in Marietta, GA, is here to provide legal advice tailored to your unique circumstances.

Take control of your situation and find a good path forward. Contact us today!

Contact US

You may call us directly at 770-485-4141, or you can fill out the form and we will contact you. Feel free to ask us any questions that you might have. Make sure to indicate whether you would like an e-mail or a call back

In Marietta & Cobb County

In Woodstock & Cherokee County

In Alpharetta & Fulton County

Recent Posts