How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36182
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
19958803
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been sued for 'services rendered and not paid'. I am

Customer Question

I have been sued for 'services rendered and not paid'.
I am away from the state where the 'clock is ticking' and I understand that I have 21 days from March 14th to respond. I won't be back in the state where this was filed until the first of April, late, which is a Friday so I want to respond and work out a payment schedule as I am willing to pay what is due. But I don't know how to proceed. I had thought I had hired someone and we spoke on the phone and he asked me to email him the documents which I did and then he went silent. I feel that somehow now others seem to know of this suite, which was filed in a court far away from where I live...I feel like that attorney was 'fishing' and wasn't sincerely ***** ***** help me. But I realize that that is not the real issue here. Time is of the essence.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

.

I have read your comments but I am not quite sure what your specific legal question is that I can help with?

.

Have you contacted the creditor or their attorney to speak with them directly about a settlement?

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
of course.
His answer was, you have 21 days from March 14th and I want payment in full. I want to respond "officially". Otherwise, a judgment will be filed against me and it will appear as though I didn't care to even respond.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I want to respond to the complaint itself, to the court itself. And I don't know how to do that.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, then you will need to file an Answer to the complaint.

.

This is a link to the Michigan court Answer form: MI Answer Form

.

You complete it and then file it with the clerk of the court and mail a copy to the plaintiff. You can contact the clerk of the court to get an address and should be able to mail the Answer in to the court..

.

However, if you respond to the complaint by filing an Answer, the case will then go to a trial and if you don't have any legal defense and the contract makes you responsible for legal costs and attorney fees, then the amount you owe will go up substantially.

.

So if you don't have a legal defense to their claim (i.e. you paid it, it isn't you, the statute of limitations is up, etc.) then it will actually save you money if you let them get a default judgment as they won't have a day's worth of attorney fees at $250-350 an hour to add on to the eventual judgment.

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Won't a default judgment become a credit red mark forever and a day?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't want to dispute the amount, though it is higher than the original bill. I just cannot pay the whole amount right now as it is thousands.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

For 7 years yes. But if they are demanding full payment then they aren't going to dismiss the case unless you have paid them in full. They know if they get a judgment, they can garnish your wages and levy on bank accounts to collect.

.

So if you fight it and lose the costs are going to go up along with any eventual judgment..

.

You could contact them and tell them that if you can't settle this with a payment plan, you will have to file bankruptcy to discharge this and some other debts. They will know that they get nothing if you actually filed BK, so that will give you some leverage in negotiating a settlement.

.

So the best sequence of events would be you either let them get a default judgment and then settle with them after threatening to file BK, or you file the Answer and then settle before any actual trial.

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If it is paid in full, does the suit "go away"?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

If it was paid before they got a judgment then yes, the underlying cause of the lawsuit would no longer exist. But if they got a judgment, that stays on your credit report for 7 years.

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Related Legal Questions