Whether it's your automobile, credit cards, personal loans, or medical bills; when you are sued in New Jersey over a delinquent debt the situation is serious and time is of the essence.
When you have been served with a lawsuit it's time for you to consider seeking out qualified legal advice on how best to handle your case. Many, if not most, of these cases go un-defended in New Jersey and the plaintiff (the party suing you) prevails by default.
DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUITS IN NEW JERSEY, GENERALLY
These types of lawsuits are filed directly by the creditor (the company or bank that gave you the loan, product, or service) or an assignee (a company that bought the debt from the creditor) in the course of collection of delinquent accounts. The lawsuits are almost always brought in a state court, generally where you reside at the time the lawsuit is filed although there are exceptions to this.
The court in which the case is filed will depend on the amount in controversy exclusive of interest, costs and attorney's fees. (NOTE that interest as mentioned here is not the interest which would have capitalized on a credit account prior to charge-off. Its interest that continues to accrue on top of the charge off or final balance due on the account.)
In New Jersey, there are three trial-level divisions within the Superior Court to help spread the caseload and administrative duties, accordingly. Civil cases in which the amount in controversy is more than $20,000 are heard in the Civil Law Division of Superior Court. Cases in which the amount in controversy is between $5,000 and $20,000 are heard in the Special Civil Part of the Law Division. Those in which the amount in controversy is less than $5,000 also are heard in the Special Civil Part and are known as Small Claims cases.
It is important to pay close attention to your case when you have been sued by a creditor. If you ignore it, there is a chance that it will come back to haunt you months or years later when you least expect it. A judgment in New Jersey is good for twenty years from the date of issue and it can be renewed for one additional twenty-year period. There is no requirement that a judgment creditor keep in touch with you or give you any advance notice of continued collection efforts throughout those total forty years.
Unfortunately, many of these lawsuits go unanswered (or the defendant fails to appear, if it's a small claims case) and the court enters a default as a matter of course. At this point, the creditor simply needs to submit affidavits to the court and a final judgment can be entered without the need for any further notice or hearings.
Once the debt is reduced to a judgment, New Jersey law provides the creditor with a variety of unpleasant collection methods such as property liens, wage and bank garnishments, and property levy.
WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP YOU IF YOU ARE SUED BY A CREDITOR IN NEW JERSEY
There are a number of different strategies available to you when dealing with these types of lawsuits. These strategies are dependent on a number of factors including the type of debt, the party suing you (called the plaintiff) what documents are available, collection efforts, and a multitude of other specifics of your particular case and situation.
We offer a free consultation to review your lawsuit and provide you with options based on our years defending these types of cases. Depending on the type of case you have, we may be able to represent you at no upfront cost to you.
At the Lueddeke Law Firm , we pride ourselves on working closely with our clients to provide practical solutions to their consumer debt problems.