Basic Steps in a Collection Lawsuit

on January 20, 2014 by John Tenaglia

Most people view litigation as a very complex process. In some cases this is true. However, most collection lawsuits involve three simple steps. Thus, if your business is owed money, you should contact a knowledgeable lawyer at Slater, Tenaglia, Fritz & Hunt, P.A. to pursue your collection rights.

Although every lawsuit is unique, below are three general steps involved in a collection suit:

  • Complaint or petition. Your lawyer will draft a pleading called a complaint or petition which sets forth the claim for the money owed. It will be filed with the court and a process server will deliver it to the defendant or person who owes the money.
  • Answer or response. The defendant has 20 days to file an answer after being served with the complaint. Failure to file a response results in you obtaining a default judgment. Once you have a judgment against the defendant, your lawyer can begin with collection efforts.
  • Trial. If the defendant files an answer, the pretrial process begins. This may include discovery, disclosures, arbitration or mediation, filing motions and other activities to prepare for trial. At trial, the court will listen to the arguments and evidence presented by both sides and render a judgment in favor of one of the parties.

In many collection lawsuits, it is clear that the debtor owes the money to the creditor. In these cases, judgment is obtained fairly quickly or the parties are able to otherwise resolve the dispute.

An experienced lawyer at Slater, Tenaglia, Fritz & Hunt, P.A. can review your individual collection matters and help determine if a collection lawsuit would be beneficial for your business. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

For a free initial consultation with skilled corporate litigation lawyers, contact Slater, Tenaglia, Fritz & Hunt, P.A. We have been providing outstanding legal services for more than 35 years. We are conveniently located in New York and New Jersey. To schedule your appointment, please call us at (201) 820-6001 or (212) 692-0200. We can also be found on the Internet, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube. We also have a network of local counsel throughout the United States.