What happens if a person does not answer a lawsuit?
If the 21 days (served by personal service) or the 28 days (served by mail) passes without an answer to a collection lawsuit, a debt collector will quickly move to have the Court declare you in Default. The collector will then move for a default judgment against you. A default judgment is an Order from the court that says you owe the Plaintiff the full amount of the debt in the lawsuit. It is technically an end to the case. So, even if you don't owe the debt or the complaint was served improperly, you automatically are liable for the whole amount plus the debt collector's fees and costs. You could also face garnishments of your bank accounts, paycheck, and state taxes.
Can I Still Argue My Case After a Default is Entered Against Me?
With a Default Judgment entered, the case is technically over, and you are not allowed to appear in front of the court again to argue your defense. So, to get your case back online and be able to end any garnishments or liens, you must immediately file a Motion to Set Aside the Judgment. Under the Michigan rules, the sooner you file the Motion to Set Aside, the greater your chances of getting the judgment thrown out and ending any execution on the judgment. After the judgment is set aside, you are then allowed to argue your case in court.
When Should I file a Motion to Set Aside a Default?
A judge will always want to give the parties their day in court. The sooner you file the Motion to Set Aside, the better as time is always of the essence with a default and you don't want your paycheck or state taxes garnished. The earlier the Motion to Set Aside the Default is filed, the easier it is to show the judge you did not sit on your rights. That is where I can help you. I have great success in setting aside Default Judgments in Michigan Courts. Here are two recent examples:
2021: Cavalry SPV I v Client in the 55th District Court in Mason, Ingham County. Cavalry sued our client in District Court and obtained a Default judgment for over $10,000 while she was in the hospital. Cavalry was represented by Weber & Olcese. Once we got involved, Cavalry and Weber did the right thing by eliminating the Judgment and wiped out the debt. With the case dismissed and the $10,000 debt eliminated, it will come off the client's credit report and her FICO scores will rise. Very happy Client. DEBT ELIMINATED
2021: Midland Credit Management, Inc (MCM) v Client in the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills, Oakland County. MCM and Mary Jane Elliott, P.C. law firm sued our client in District Court and got a Default Judgment against her for more than $10,0000 while she was out of state for three months. We got involved and threatened a Motion to Set Aside. MCM and Mary Jane Elliott, P.C. agreed to set aside the judgment and dismiss the case. With the debt and lawsuit eliminated, client's credit FICO scores will go way up too. Very happy Client. DEBT ELIMINATED
What Should I Do if I am in Default?
Whether you are properly served and fail to answer, or the debt collector pulled a fast one on you to have you Defaulted, you should contact my office immediately. In both cases above, the debt collector got the default against our clients while they were out of town. The debt collector told the Court that the clients failed to answer after being properly served (they were not). My clients only learned about the cases against them when they faced garnishments and liens. The sooner you file the Motion to Set Aside, the better as time is always of the essence with a default and you don't want your paycheck or state taxes garnished. Call or email us today.