What do you think of when you hear the word “lawsuit?” Maybe a couple of boring guys in suits, or a scary and impending judge banging his gavel across a desk. Maybe you see famous attorneys like Perry Mason or Jack McCoy. Or maybe it sends a shiver down your spine. Because more so than the imagery that lawsuit bring up, the feelings are more important. And while it’s fun and games on t.v., a real lawsuits can be scary and can stop you dead in your tracks. But while it may seem like the end of the world, think of it as nothing more than the next step in a long journey to financial freedom. It may seem like a dark spot, but know that it’s always darkest before the storm. Here are a few tips to help chart your course and make sure that you weather the worst of your financial journey.
Tip #1: It’s Procedural Not Personal
When served with paperwork, it’s hard not to take it personal, especially when it comes to creditors like credit cards. After all, how many out there are defaulting on credit cards and the companies got to go after you? While it may seem like you’re being singled out, rest assured that you’re not alone. In 2013, over 600,000 civil cases were filed in Cook County alone! And because it is such a common problem, there’s of course, common steps and procedures that need to be taken. The attorney for the creditor is simply moving you through a dance. The first step is service, the next step is judgment and the final “dip” will be garnishments. But before the big finish, going to court is the next step. For civil matters like debt, a defendant can go at it alone. The court is not obligated to find you an attorney. Of course, an attorney’s experience and skills may prove valuable. An attorney may go in your place so that you don’t even need to miss a beat. More importantly, an attorney would be your protector in this situation. No doubt if you’ve been served, the creditor hired an attorney. Having an attorney on your side may even up the negotiating leverage and get you a better deal in process.
Tip #2: Don’t Protest, be Polite
Each step of the way, you will be met with an figure of authority: A Sheriff’s officer will serve you paperwork; an attorney for the creditor will discuss negotiation; a judge will make a final ruling. Don’t make any step along the way harder than it has to be. For instance, don’t refuse to answer the door if the sheriff comes by. Don’t argue with the judge about the facts. Again, take when it gets tough, take a look at Tip #1 again: It’s procedural NOT personal. In turn, don’t take offense, just gather as much information and be sure to keep all of it organized for your own records.
Tip #3: Prioritize and don’t Procrastinate
While it’s not the end of the world, lawsuits are still serious business and everything is on a very specific timetable. Thus, while it’s human nature to ignore difficult matters, ignoring a lawsuit does not make it go away. In fact, the problem gets worse and worse as time goes on. Solutions to these problems take time too, so if you consult with a professional the day before a garnishment, it might be too late to see some collateral damage. That means money out of your paycheck!
If you hear “LAWSUIT!” Call the Shimotake Law Firm at (312) 620-6499 TODAY
What do you immediately think of when you hear the word “lawsuits?” Feel free to TWEET IT or hit us up with your comments on FACEBOOK with your thoughts or call us at (312) 620-6499 to talk to an attorney today. And if you see a lawsuit coming down the near future, don’t delay, text HELP to (312) 620-6499