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Judgment Defense

Getting a court notice that a creditor obtained a judgment against you can be very scary and cause anxiety. Will they garnish my wages or bank account? Can they take my car? I can’t pay this. What do I do?

At Fields Law, we understand your concerns and can provide answers to your questions. Most of the time people imagine that the circumstances are worse than they really are. We can give you the peace of mind knowing exactly what might happen. Then we can work on a plan of action to address the judgment and deal with it once and for all.

If you have received a judgment notice, call our debt settlement attorneys today. We can help you understand your options with a free, no-obligation case review.

I’ve been served for a debt, what do I do?

Having a large debt hang over your head can be very stressful, but when that debt turns into a lawsuit, things can get scary. If you find yourself in a situation where you have been served for an outstanding debt, here’s what you need to know:

  1. First, you must determine if the summons is for Conciliation court (small claims court) or district court.
  2. Conciliation Court:
    According to Minnesota 491A.01, Subd. 3, consumer credit transaction lawsuits under $4,000.00 can be heard in conciliation court. Typically, in conciliation court, you will be served through the mail and will include a hearing date (these hearing dates can be anywhere from two weeks out to many months out).

    Additionally, the conciliation court mails the summons, not the Plaintiff, and they are only required to serve you at your last known address. If you are no longer living in Minnesota, you can still be served and be required to appear in the county in which the Plaintiff resides. If you are served through the mail, the court issued summons will have exhaustive instructions on how to handle it, but if you are still unsure, call the court, or safer yet, contact an attorney.

    District Court:
    All consumer credit transaction lawsuits over $4,000.00 must go through the county district court in which you are a resident, or were a resident at the time the debt was incurred. An important thing to note is that a case being served through district court does not need to be filed before its service.

    This means you will not see a court file number on the complaint. Minnesota Rule of Civil Procedure 5.04 requires a complaint be filed within one year of service. If a complaint is not timely filed within one year of service, the Plaintiff must dismiss their case with prejudice.

  3. You have 20 days to respond to a personal summons.
  4. Once you have been served with a summons & complaint, you have 20 days to respond to the Plaintiff’s attorney. Even if you believe something is incorrect or it is not your debt, you need to respond. Although it is possible to contact the Plaintiff by phone, our general rule of thumb is to do everything in writing and save all copies. You can answer a complaint by responding to each allegation, finding a template to answer online, or the safest option of all, contact an attorney.

  5. Debt can only be collected for 6 years.
  6. Consumer credit has a statute of limitations of six years in Minnesota. The date that starts this 6-year timer is either the date of last payment or the default date (the date your payment became due). If you believe a debt is past the statute of limitations, try to gather any documentation that may show this and contact an attorney.

  7. DO NOT IGNORE IT.
  8. It shouldn’t have to be said, but ignoring any type of lawsuit can lead to the situation getting worse. In consumer credit cases, when you fail to respond to a summons within the 20-day time limit, the party suing you can request a default judgment, which if granted, allows them to enter a judgment against you for the full amount of the debt owed, attorneys fees, and court costs. Avoiding lawsuits can turn small debts into a nightmare.

  9. There are defenses to debt, you can protect yourself.
  10. In our professional opinion, we see so many individuals who believe that nothing can be done about a debt lawsuit, but this is simply not true. If you are being sued by a debt collector, you have rights under the law that protect you from abusive collection practices. Additionally, these debts can be settled for a low amount by a skilled attorney, or you may qualify for an exemption from collection attempts.

If you are being harassed or sued by a debt collector, you can protect yourself and we can help. Contact a Minnesota Consumer Law attorney at Fields Law Firm for a free consultation and see how we can assist you in your consumer debt matter today.

SETTLEMENTS AND RECOVERIES IN ALL CASES DEPEND ON SPECIFIC FACTUAL AND LEGAL CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH ARE UNIQUE TO EACH CLIENT’S CASE. PAST CASE RESULTS ARE NOT A GUARANTEE OR PREDICTION OF SIMILAR RESULTS IN FUTURE CASES WHICH THE FIELDS LAW FIRM AND ITS LAWYERS MAY UNDERTAKE.

READ OUR CLIENT REVIEWS

John Kelley
John Kelley
21:38 16 Oct 18
I was having issues with an insurance company and I hired fields law firm. The people there are amazing and always quick to answer questions even a couple times on the weekend. I worked with Blake amazing person and very informative on my case. I would highly recommend this firm to any of my friends.read more
Michael Frazier
Michael Frazier
23:58 10 Oct 18
I had the pleasure to work with Michael and Annie on my LTD case. When my claim was denied by the insurance carrier, Michael didn't hesitate to take them on with an appeal. He worked diligently on the appeal and ultimately won this for me. Mind you, this wasn't a huge case but he treated me like it was and as if I was the only case he was representing. He kept me abreast of vital information, it was clear that he knew his stuff and wasn't afraid to take on the big insurance company. Michael was much more than I ever expected given that our relationship was entirely remote, handled by telephone and email only. Not only is he a strong lawyer, he treated me with compassion and respect. I am beyond pleased with him and the Fields Law team. Michael cares about his clients and he gets the job done for them because he knows how impactful an injury can be to both a person's well-being and their financial security. I highly recommend Michael and Fields Law whether you are local to their Minnesota offices or out of state like myself.read more
Melanie Eason
Melanie Eason
20:12 29 Aug 18
Fields Law Firm is great. Patrick Kramer, my lawyer, is fantastic. He and his legal assistant Samantha K. have handled my case for several years. They have kept me informed every step of the way. They are both easy to contact. I have both of their phone numbers and email addresses and they respond promptly to any messages I leave. Without their help I would not have been able to get the disability company to fulfill their promises. It is a relief to leave all the dealings with the disability insurance company in their hands.read more
Jeannie Kerr
Jeannie Kerr
23:37 15 Sep 18
My experience with Merrick Williams of Fields Law Firm has been truly above and beyond satisfactory. His knowledge and professionalism have guided me through a very difficult time. He and his assistant Angela were readily available to answer any questions and address my concerns. I highly recommend him as an attorney and will use his services again if necessary in the future.read more
ebon jordan
ebon jordan
19:51 27 Sep 18
Field Law Firm was great my lawyer Zach Schmoll was more than I could ask for. He always kept me in the loop and explain everything perfectly, got back to me whenever I called less than 24 hrs and was a extremely nice guy. This guy is young and knows what he is doing so please don’t let the age fool you. I had a wonderful experience with Field Law and will refer anyone with legal matters to them.read more
Edward Johnson
Edward Johnson
23:11 31 Oct 18
I highly recommend Fields law Firm if you need some no nonsense attorneys to represent you. I was treated courteously and efficiently each and every time by Mike and his associates. They settled my Long Term Disability case in a timely fashion. and was pleased with the results. Thanks again Mike and Fields Law Firm. You are the best!read more
Jeffrey
Jeffrey
19:19 09 Nov 18
Fields Law Firm is simply the very best when it comes to representing you & fighting for your rights! They are a "10 Star" Law Firm hands down! Michael Kemmmitt & Sarah Christensen were simply outstanding to work with. They took over my long term disability case after I was being denied my benefits & gave me the moral support & law experience that I needed to win my case. They were supportive throughout my case & they will fight tooth & nail to assure your rights are not being denied. It is so rare to find a law firm that treats you like YOU are the most important person to them. I HIGHLY recommend Fields Law Firm. They are truly advocates for justice.read more
Ben Chadwick
Ben Chadwick
23:20 12 Nov 18
Michael and Samantha were always giving me updates in a very timely manner. They were very good at getting back with me if I had questions, and they didn't have the answer at the time of our discussion. They were very thorough in their handling of my case, and we received a positvie ruling due to their efficiency and expertise. Thank you very much Michael and Samantha, I appreciate all that you did to help me with my case. I would definitely refer people to you, as well as use you in the future. Benjamin Chadwick.read more
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