How To Defend A Credit Card Lawsuit In Maryland
Are you being sued for a credit card in Maryland? Maryland bankruptcy attorney James Logan explains the process and some common defenses to credit card lawsuits. Protect yourself and your property,
Have you been sued by a credit card company for an unpaid balance on a credit card? This article will explain the process and let you know what options you may have.
You probably know that you are behind on your credit cards. You may be getting harassing phone calls or collection letters. But many times the first clue that the credit card company has filed a lawsuit is when you start to get letters from people offering you help. This is because the lawsuit becomes public knowledge before you receive a copy of it. If you go to Maryland Case Search you can look up cases filed anywhere in Maryland. So the world may know about the lawsuit before you do.
The collection lawsuit process begins in Maryland with the filing of the lawsuit in either District Court or for larger debts, in Circuit Court. Once the case is filed, the Court will issue a summons for you to appear at a certain date and time for trial. The creditor must deliver the summons and a copy of all the other papers in the lawsuit to you. This is called “being served”. The case can not proceed until you have been served.
The creditor will probably attempt to serve you by private process server. This is someone hired by the creditor to deliver the papers to you and they generally only get paid if they succeed. This has caused a lot of problems in the past as some servers would simply say they had served you even though they never actually did. People would end up with judgments against them and have no idea that they had ever been sued. The Court has tried to stop this by requiring the name and address of the process server to listed in the Court record.
When you are served, the papers will include a “Notice of Intention to Defend”. If you want to contest the lawsuit, you need to fill this out and state a reason for your defense. Then you must show up on the trial date and be prepared to offer your defense. The notice must be filed within 15 days of being served. If you wait too long to reply, you can still show up on the trial date. If the creditor is not there, the Judge will usually continue the trial to a new date to allow them to appear.
If you do not file a Notice of Intention to defend or do not show up for the trial, the Judge may enter default judgment against you. If a default judgment is entered, the creditor can then try to garnish your paycheck or bank accounts to collect the money. They may also ask the court for an Oral Examination to find out where you work or what you own.