If You’ve Been Sued or Garnished,

We Can Help.


A creditor must prove that it has “standing” to sue you.  That means they must prove that they own the debt.

Statute of Limitations

The debt being sued on has to be within the Statute of Limitations.  Usually, it’s six years in Minnesota.  In Wisconsin, it’s generally three years.  There are lots of exceptions to these general rules.

Illegal Fees

It’s illegal to add collection fees to a lawsuit unless they are specifically provided for in the contract or allowed by law.  Even then, the Court has to review and approve the amount after judgment.

You’ve Been Sued.  Now What?

It can feel terrifying when you’ve been sued.  Relax.  We can handle this together.  Even if you owe a debt, there are lots of things you can do to defend yourself from a lawsuit over it.  That’s where we come in.  We take over all communications with the creditor’s attorney, leaving you to get back to your life.  We draft and serve all of the papers necessary to make sure you’re in the best legal position you can be.  We leave no stone unturned in hunting for options for you to avoid them getting a judgment against you.  No law firm can guarantee results, and we don’t, but we will fight for you to get the best possible outcome in your circumstances.

Whether you simply want to get a good settlement, with terms for repayment you can live with–or fight the lawsuit and avoid paying any part of a disputed debt–we can help.  Just like you, we think people ought to pay their just and owing debts.  Even so, if someone uses the Court system to enforce payment of those debts, they must prove that you owe those debts and that they have a right to collect them.  Oftentimes debts are bought and sold many times over, like a rusty used car.  By the time the case gets to Court, the creditor may not be able to prove a good chain of title for that debt.  Without a good defense, you could wind up paying that debt twice.

What kind of clients do you work with?
Our clients are good folks, just like you, who may be struggling to pay their consumer debts.  Bankruptcy doesn’t make sense for them, but they still feel the sting of collection harassment and have been sued.
How do you get paid your fees?
On debt defense cases, we generally take a fee up-front $500 fee to analyze your case and advise you of your options.  We want to make things right for you and with more than 25 years of combined federal litigation experience, you can be assured we’ll do our very best legal work for you.  If you’re interested in hiring us, click here to get started.
How long will my case take?
Every case is different.  Some settle quickly, some last for a longer.  Generally speaking, one year from filing-to-finish is a good estimate for how long a debt collection case takes in the State Court.  It depends on what more evidence is needed in your case and whether or not we need more evidence against the creditor.
What can I do to make my case successful?
Get all of your papers that have been served on you to our office as soon as possible.  Keep them clean and neat, and avoid writing on them.  Make a not of the date and time you were served.  Don’t call the creditor’s attorney.  They can’t give you legal advice and you may inadvertently make admissions we want to avoid.

Immediately document every communication you have with any debt collector, whether by letter, by phone or by message. Make detailed notes of any conversations you have with a debt collector during the conversation. Keep this log next to your phone.  SAVE every single voice mail, answering machine, collection letter, and paper message. Don’t throw anything away, including the envelopes that the collection letters come in or anything included with the collection letter.  Here’s a handy Collection Communications Log that will help.

Some Important Considerations If You’ve Been Sued

If you have been sued, the first thing to do is not panic.  Time is of the essence, though, so call us right away.  The sooner we know about your lawsuit the more likely we are to be able to help you.  The law limits the amount of time you have to file a written answer to defend yourself in a lawsuit (typically within 20 days after you have been served with the lawsuit).
WARNING:  There’s no such thing as a “fake” lawsuit.  In Minnesota, lawsuits are started by simply typing up a Complaint and then sending a process server to your home or work and handing it to you or a family member.  That’s all it takes to sue someone in Minnesota.  Don’t ever assume that a lawsuit isn’t real.  Most lawsuits are never filed with the Courts, so it’s no surprise when the clerk’s office tells you they have no record of your lawsuit.  It’s still a real lawsuit, and there’s still a real chance that you will lose it by default if you don’t serve the creditor’s lawyer with a written Answer within the time allowed by law. That’s where our law firm can help.
There are lots of good defenses that your lawyers can assert for you against a consumer debt lawsuit: Statute of limitations, disputed amount, wrong venue, wrong party to sue, and so on.  We’re experts at clearing the evidentiary weeds and getting to the truth.  Just because you owe a debt and have been sued, you still have lots of defense options.  The creditor has to prove its case in Court.  When our law firm’s on the other side of the courtroom, that means they don’t just steamroller you with a blizzard of paper and empty arguments.  When it’s right, we fight.

Here’s a link to some of the many debt collectors we can help you with.

Hire Us To Defend Your Case Or Help With A Garnishment

If you have received lawsuit papers or are being sued or garnished by a debt collection law firm, we may be able to help. Unfortunately, we do not work for free on these matters but we may offer brief free phone consultations on them. We get a very large volume of individuals who would like assistance on these types of cases but we are only able to offer that assistance on an hourly fee basis. Many of our prospective clients who have been sued or garnished simply don’t have claims that fall under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or under other federal consumer protection statutes. Since we can’t make the other side pay your legal fees in these instances, you’ll have to pay us upfront for any work we do on these types of matters.

There is a $500.00 retainer fee for a one hour initial legal consultation on any lawsuit defense or garnishment action. After you have paid the fee online, you’ll come to our office with all of the lawsuit or garnishment papers you have received and any other materials you would like us to review in the matter. We’ll review those documents and advise you on the best course of action in your case. If it makes sense for us to further represent you, we’ll execute a new retainer agreement, you will pay any additional retainer fees we specify, and then we will proceed on an hourly basis to assist you in your legal matter.

Hire Us In Three Easy Steps

If you’re ready to hire us for a one hour initial legal consultation on your debt defense or garnishment matter:

  1. Read the agreement below, sign your full name electronically (Example: “s/John Q. Public”) in the box below. Provide us with a good telephone number to contact you during the day, and an electronic mail address where we can exchange documents with you if necessary, by completing the box below.
  2. Click the “Print this Page” button and keep a copy of this agreement for your records.
  3. Then click the register and pay button below and complete the additional information to make your successful $500.00 payment.

After your payment has been received, we will contact you directly to arrange a time for us to meet to discuss your matter fully. If you like, we can review your matter over the telephone if you scan and email to us all the documents we need.


Written Flat Fee Agreement For Specified Legal Services

Pursuant to Rule 1.15b(1)-(3)

Attorney Contact Information:

Peter F. Barry, Attorney at Law – pbarry@lawpoint.com

Patrick J. Helwig, Attorney at Law – phelwig@lawpoint.com

Barry & Helwig, LLC – Consumer Rights Attorneys

2701 University Ave SE, Suite 209

Minneapolis, MN 55414

Office (612) 379-8800 Fax (612) 379-8800

  1. PARTIES. This Written Flat Fee Agreement For Specified Legal Services (“agreement”) is made between Barry & Helwig, LLC, Attorneys at Law referred to as “Attorney”, and the other person who has entered this agreement, as identified by providing the credit card/EFT/banking information required after clicking the payment button below, and fully paying the required fee, referred to as “Client”.
  2. NOTICES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. The client hereby acknowledges and agrees as follows:
  • The nature and scope of the services to be provided are a legal consultation with an attorney to discuss defense strategies on a pending, served, or filed lawsuit, or pre-judgment or post-judgment garnishment action against the client and involving a creditor, served or filed in Minnesota state or federal court (“Legal Consultation”).
  • The total amount of the fee is $500.00 (“Fee”).
  • The terms of payment of the Fee are that it must be paid entirely up-front by the client and before any legal services are rendered.
  • The Fee will not be held in a trust account until earned.
  • The client has the right to terminate the client-lawyer relationship.
  • The client will be entitled to a refund of all or a portion of the Fee if the agreed-upon Legal Consultation is not provided.
  • This Fee constitutes complete payment for the Legal Consultation and shall be paid in advance of the lawyer providing the Legal Consultation.
  • The Fee shall be considered to be the lawyer’s property upon payment of the Fee, subject to refund as described as follows: If the lawyer-client relationship is terminated before the Fee is fully earned by the completion of the Legal Consultation described herein, the lawyer shall refund to the client the unearned portion of the Fee.
  • The Legal Consultation must take place within 60 days of the “effective date” of this agreement.
  1. ATTORNEY DUTIES. Attorney will use his best efforts within the Legal Consultation to respond to Client’s legal questions and to assist Client in determining the best course of action in their legal matter. This may include making referrals, reviewing documents, providing guidance, or otherwise assisting client, as the Attorney deems appropriate. Client understands that every legal matter is unique and therefore Attorney cannot promise or guarantee any particular result for the Client. Attorney cannot and will not make any promises about the results in Client’s legal matter.
  2. CLIENT DUTIES. Client agrees to be truthful and cooperative with Attorney. Client shall provide attorney with Client’s current address, telephone numbers, and email address. Client shall make payment required by this agreement and represents that they are authorized to use the credit/debit/bank and or other financial information required below to pay the Fee.
  3. EFFECTIVE DATE. The effective date of this agreement will be the date when the Client executes it and has made full payment to Attorney.
  4. TERMINATION. Client has not retained Attorney beyond a maximum (1) hour of professional Legal Consultation time, whether in-person, via telephone, or via email. The Attorney shall be automatically terminated at the conclusion of the Legal Consultation, or 60 days after the effective date, whichever occurs first.
  5. RECEIPT. Client acknowledges receipt of this agreement and has been advised to print this page and retain it for future reference.

By electronically signing this agreement with my name below (Example: “s/Jane Q. Public”) and then clicking the payment button, I am agreeing to all of the foregoing.

Your E-Signature (s/Jane Doe)
Your Email and Daytime Phone #

How can we help?


We have more than 25 years of combined federal consumer rights litigation experience.  There is no tougher place in the world to litigate than in United States Federal District Court.  You'll be glad that your lawyers have both the knowledge of the Court, and the success to back it up.


We've trained lawyers all over the country on how to sue debt collectors and robo callers.  We gather all of the best ideas from our legal seminars and bring them back to our law practice.  Because we've taught thousands of lawyers in all 50 States, our reputation is second-to-none.


We run an all digital, paperless, law office.  We can instantly access any document that has ever been created in your legal file from the secure cloud.  Quickly and efficiently.  Paper is scanned, optically-character-recognized and fully word searchable.  That makes us effective for you and tough for our opponents.


As consumer lawyers, we pride ourselves in answering our own phone calls and emails.  If we're available to talk, we will talk.  Email is always a great way for you to reach us and we make every effort to get back to you in 24 hours or less.  We don't avoid clients.  We serve them.