The average borrower in Illinois typically owes over $35,000, and we are talking of all kinds of here, from credit card debt to student. While you may have heard many stories where people in Chicago have lost it all because of debt collection lawsuits, this could be your nightmare if you owe money and haven’t been able to repay. Just because you are facing a debt collection lawsuit, it doesn’t mean you have to quit living a normal life. Your best bet is to get a Chicago debt collection defense lawyer on your side, who will defend your case. Your attorney can either have the case dismissed when possible or get a settlement that you can repay as per the payment plan without compromising on your future. Here’s more on what you need to know.
Know the basics
If you are aware of a debt collection lawsuit filed against you, the worst mistake you can make is to ignore it. You are expected to take legal action, or the debt collector may manage to get a default judgment, which allows them to recover their money without your say. Once the default judgment is issued, the collector may freeze your bank accounts and garnish your wages. Not to forget, a lien on your home or other properties could mean additional trouble. For the unversed, Illinois laws allow debt collectors to charge an additional 9% as interest on the judgment, which could remain in place for 27 years.
Take the first step
As far as numbers are concerned, most debt collection lawsuits don’t end up in court. In many cases, defendants don’t appear in court, which allows the debt collector to get a default judgment. A small number of such lawsuits end up in an arrangement where the defendant agrees to pay the amount as a part of the agreed payment plan. However, the defendant finds themselves in a soup as soon as they realize they cannot afford to pay the amount. Less than 3% of people engage an attorney, but those who do, often get the case dismissed or pay less than the actual debt.
Get a debt collection defense lawyer
You have to get a debt collection defense lawyer to evaluate your case, and they will see what can be done to protect your financials. Also, lawyers know when the collector or their legal team has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other laws. If that has happened, you can even sue the debt collector.