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When being sued, the fear of the unknown upon receipt of the Summons and Complaint can bring on quite a scare. Will the creditor be here tomorrow to kick me out of my house? Will my employer be notified? Will my wages be garnished? How much will it cost me? Can money in my bank accounts be taken? Will a lien be placed on my home? Can this lawsuit get me fired from my job? The questions are endless. Understanding the process of a lawsuit and how lawsuits are treated in a bankruptcy will help answer these questions and alleviate these uncertainties.
When a creditor seeks to collect on a debt, the creditor may file a civil lawsuit. Since Ohio is a "general pleading state", the creditor-plaintiff when the creditor provides a general allegation of the dispute a legal proceeding will begin. The creditor-plaintiff will allege In the complaint that the defendant is in default and the creditor will request a judgment in an amount that it believes it is owed by the debtor-defendant. The creditor is obligated to serve a copy of the summons and complaint on the defendant. The summons and complaint is typically served by certified mail to the defendant at the defendant's last known address. Upon receipt of the summons and complaint by the defendant, they have 28 days to respond with an Answer. At Sheppard Law Offices we can help you to file your Answer and identifying any affirmative defenses you may have. By filing the Answer, the court will issue a schedule of events that must take place in the case, such as a Pre-Trial, Status Conference, a date that dispositive motions must be filed by (e.g. a Motion for Summary Judgment), etc. A typical civil case may go on for several months before the final judgment entry is issued by the court.
After a judgment is entered by the Court, the creditor may pursue collection efforts. The most common collection efforts are wage garnishments and bank levies. The creditor could also seek to place a lien on real property. Additionally, we can help the debtor to understand the ramifications of a judicial lien (e.g. certificate of judgment).
A pending lawsuit that has yet to reach a final judgment can be stopped in the same way that collection efforts by creditors can be stopped, through filing chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy. The filing of a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy petition commences the "automatic stay" provision of U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Therefore, immediately upon filing the bankruptcy petition no creditor can collect or seek to collect a debt against the debtor. While your bankruptcy is in process your bank account and wages cannot be garnished. Liens can not be placed on your real property. Lien holders cannot repossess your vehicle or other personal property. During the bankruptcy proceeding, all pending lawsuits are stayed. At Sheppard Law Offices, in addition to notifying the creditors attorney we file a Suggestion of Stay for each existing civil lawsuit with the Clerk of Court where the civil lawsuit had been filed. The Suggestion of Stay serves as notice to the court that a bankruptcy case has been filed by the defendant ant that the debt that was at issue in the civil lawsuit will now be handled by federal bankruptcy laws. Should a creditor garnish your wages, otherwise collect or make an attempt to collect from you while your bankruptcy case is pending, your bankruptcy attorney must be notified immediately. Federal Bankruptcy Judges take violations of the automatic stay provision very seriously and can impose sanctions upon creditors who fail to adhere to these rules.
If you are facing a lawsuit or already have a judgment against you from a lawsuit, now is the time to contact the Canton Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at Sheppard Law Offices to get help today. Your Akron-Canton, Ohio bankruptcy attorney will discuss with you your debt relief and bankruptcy options, and if filing for bankruptcy is right for your situation. Call (330) 409-2876 to speak with an Ohio Bankruptcy Attorney today.
Sheppard Law Offices
Canton, Ohio Office
Belden Village Tower, 200
Canton, Ohio 44718
Tel: (330) 409-2876
Columbus Ohio Office
2600 Tiller Lane, Suite A
Columbus, Ohio 43231
Tel: (614) 523-3106
Newark, Ohio Office
843 N. 21st Street, Suite 108
Newark, Ohio 43055
Tel: (740) 345-7138
Mt. Vernon, Ohio Office
11 West Gambier Street
Mt. Vernon, Ohio 43050
Tel: (740) 392-0404
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
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Sheppard Law Offices, LPA is conveniently located and serving chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy clients in Canton, Ohio. Our office is a short drive from throughout Stark, Tuscarawas, and Summit Counties. We regularly provide debt relief solutions to clients from Akron, Canton, North Canton, Massillon, Dover, New Philadelphia, Alliance, Navarre, Strasburg, Ballivor, Jackson Township, Canal Fulton, Barberton, Greenlawn, Medina, Wooster, Orrville, Dalton, Minerva, Ashland, Wadsworth, Carrollton, Dundee, Millersburg, Hartville, Doylestown, Green, Uniontown, Salem, Columbiana, Uniontown, and throughout Ohio.
FREE Debt Relief Consultation Call (330) 409-2876 or (877) 505-9455
Sheppard Law Offices