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.
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.
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.
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.
What kind of clients do you work with?
How do you get paid your fees?
On debt defense cases, we generally take a $500 fee up-front 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 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 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 note 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 message, 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
- What To Do If You've Been Sued
- I Called The Court And They Have No Record Of This "Fake" Lawsuit
- How Will You Defend Me
- Debt Collectors
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 steamroll you with a blizzard of paper and empty arguments. When it’s right, we fight.
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:
- 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.
- Click the “Print this Page” button and keep a copy of this agreement for your records.
- 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 – email@example.com
- The Barry Law Office, Ltd – Consumer Rights Attorney
- 2828 University Ave SE, Suite 202
- Minneapolis, MN 55414-4127
- Office (612) 379-8800
- PARTIES. This Written Flat Fee Agreement For Specified Legal Services (“agreement”) is made between The Barry Law Office, Ltd, 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”.
- 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.
- This entire agreement is subject to a Mandatory Binding Arbitration provision.
- 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.
- 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.
- EFFECTIVE DATE. The effective date of this agreement will be the date when the Client executes it and has made full payment to Attorney.
- 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.
- RECEIPT. Client acknowledges receipt of this agreement and has been advised to print this page and retain it for future reference.
- CONSENT. By electronically signing below, you are hereby consenting to validly agree via your electronic signature pursuant to the United States ESIGN Act and to consent to do business with our law firm electronically.
- SEVERABILITY. The unenforceability or invalidity of any clause in this Agreement shall not have an impact on the enforceability or validity of any other clause. Any unenforceable or invalid clause shall be regarded as removed from this Agreement to the extent of its unenforceability and invalidity. Therefore, this Agreement shall be interpreted and enforced as if it did not contain the said clause to the extent of its unenforceability and invalidity.
- FILE RETENTION. After the representation concludes, we will return any original documents to you and keep only an electronic copy of your file. You may request the file at any time during, upon conclusion of, or after conclusion of, this matter. Seven years after the conclusion of this matter, the file may be destroyed without further notice to you.
- IMPORTANT NOTICE: This agreement contains provisions requiring arbitration of all disputes between us. Before you sign this agreement, you should consult with another lawyer about the advisability of making an agreement with mandatory arbitration requirements. Arbitration proceedings are ways to resolve disputes without the use of the court system. By entering into agreements that require arbitration as the way to resolve disputes, you give up (waive) your right to go to court to resolve those disputes by a judge or jury. These are important rights that should not be given up without careful consideration. You have a right to confer with another lawyer with respect to any adverse consequences that might result from agreeing to mandatory arbitration before you sign this agreement.
- BINDING ARBITRATION PROVISION.
- Any dispute, of any kind, involving you and us, shall be resolved through individual arbitration. In arbitration, there is no judge or jury, there is no trial, and there is less discovery and there is no appellate review in any court. You hereby acknowledge that arbitration is your only recourse and that you waive your right to trial by jury and to judicial appeal by signing this agreement.
- If a dispute of any kind arises from or relates to this contract or the breach thereof, and if the dispute cannot be settled through direct confidential discussions, the parties agree to endeavor first to settle the dispute by confidential mediation administered by the American Arbitration Association under its Consumer Mediation Procedures before resorting to arbitration. The parties further agree that any unresolved controversy, complaint, or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, or breach thereof, shall be settled by confidential arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its Consumer Arbitration Rules and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. The place of arbitration shall be Minneapolis, Minnesota. The arbitration shall be governed by the laws of the State of Minnesota. The arbitrators will have no authority to award punitive or other damages not measured by the prevailing party’s actual damages, except as may be required by statute. Each party shall bear its own costs and expenses in an equal share of the arbitrators’ and administrative fees of arbitration.
- This Arbitration Provision shall be broadly interpreted. “Dispute” means any claim, complaint, or controversy in any way related to us or our relationship, including but not limited to any and all: (1) claims for relief and theories of liability, whether based in contract, tort, fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, malpractice, statute, standard, rule, regulation, ordinance, complaint, allegation, or otherwise; (2) claims that arose before this or any prior Agreement; and, (3) claims that arise after the expiration or termination of this Agreement. As used in this Binding Arbitration Provision, “us” and “our” means The Barry Law Office, Ltd and any of its predecessors, successors, assigns, parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates, and each of their respective co-counsel, law firms, officers, directors, members, partners, attorneys, employees and agents, and “you” means you and any beneficiaries of our legal services.
- Initiation of Arbitration Proceeding/Selection of Arbitrator.The party initiating the arbitration proceeding may open a case with the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) by visiting its website (adr.org) or calling its toll-free number (1-800-778-7879). You may obtain the AAA Rules at that website or toll-free number. Any party may deliver any required or desired notices to the other party by mail to the last known address provided.
- Arbitration Procedures.This Arbitration Provision shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act. Arbitrations shall be administered by the AAA pursuant to its Consumer Arbitration Rules (the “AAA Rules”) as modified by the version of this Arbitration Provision that is in effect when you notify us about your Dispute. If there is a conflict between this Arbitration Provision and the rest of this Agreement, this Arbitration Provision shall govern. If there is a conflict between this Arbitration Provision and the AAA rules, this Arbitration Provision shall govern. If the AAA will not administer a proceeding under this Arbitration Provision as written, the parties shall agree on a substitute arbitration organization. If the parties cannot agree, the parties shall mutually petition a court of appropriate jurisdiction to appoint an arbitration organization that will administer a proceeding under this Arbitration Provision as written applying the AAA Consumer Arbitration Rules. A single arbitrator will resolve the Dispute.
- Arbitral Fees and Costs. You may hire an attorney to represent you in arbitration. You are solely responsible for your attorneys’ fees and additional costs and may only recover your attorneys’ fees and costs in the arbitration to the extent that you could in court if the arbitration is decided in your favor.
- This Binding Arbitration Provision shall survive the termination of your legal service with us.
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.
I have decades of federal consumer rights litigation experience since 1996. There is no tougher place in the world to litigate than in United States Federal District Court. You'll be glad that your lawyer has both the knowledge of the Court, and the success to back it up.
I've professionally trained thousands lawyers all over the country on how to sue debt collectors. I gather all of the best ideas from my legal seminars and bring them back to my law practice. Because I've taught thousands of lawyers in all 50 States, my reputation is second-to-none.
I run an all digital, paperless, law office. I can instantly access any document that has ever been created in your legal file from a secure cloud. Quickly and efficiently. Paper is scanned, optically-character-recognized and fully word-searchable. That makes me effective for you and tough for our opponents.
As a consumer lawyer, I pride myself in answering my own phone and email. If I'm available to talk, we will talk. Email is always a great way for you to reach me and I make every effort to get back to you in 24 hours or less. I don't avoid clients. I serve them.