Once you are sued, your priority should be writing your Answer to the court addressing each point in the Complaint. If you don’t do this, you will automatically lose the case by default. A Default judgment is a binding judgment in favor of a plaintiff when the defendant has not responded to a summons or has failed to appear before a court of law. Pennsylvania had a staggering 43,486 default judgments in 2014.
Answer the Complaint
Your time to answer the complaint is limited, usually 20-30 days from the day you are served. If you are being sued for a debt that you can’t afford to pay or settle, one of the first things you should do is get a free consultation with consumer law attorney right away.
Consumer law attorneys who represent debtors against debt collection lawsuits often find that the collection agencies do not have the documentation to back up the case against the debtor. In an article in the New York Times, for example, one judge said that “roughly 90 percent of the credit card lawsuits are flawed and can’t prove the person owes the debt.” That means you have a good chance of having one of these lawsuits dismissed – but only if you challenge it!
Two simple words that can win just about any debt collection lawsuit. Pennsylvania law clearly states that a Plaintiff in a credit card lawsuit must attach a cardholder agreement and statement of account, as well as evidence of the assignment to bring an action in a credit card case.
In Atlantic Credit and Finance, Inc. v. Giuliana, 829 A.2d 340 (Pa. Super. 2003), the Court found that the Plaintiff in a debt collection lawsuit failed to provide adequate documentation proving that the Defendant owed the debt. The Court dismissed the lawsuit based upon the fact that the Plaintiff failed to produce a cardholder agreement, statement of account or even evidence of the assignment that proved that the Plaintiff was permitted to file the cause of action in the first instance.
In any lawsuit, a Plaintiff must produce documentation that supports it’s allegations outlined in the Complaint. The Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure require that a party attach a copy of the writing that supports that allegations outlined in the Complaint. Rule 1019(i) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.
This simple rule can destroy virtually any debt collection lawsuit.
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania cited Atlantic Credit and Finance, Inc. v. Giuliana, 829 A.2d 340 (Pa. Super. 2003) in a recent decision – U.S. Bank Na v. Jaquez (Pa. Super. Ct., 2015) holding that a Plaintiff’s failure to attach evidence of an assignment pursuant to Rule 1019(i) is fatal.