Is There a Default Judgment Against Everybody....?
I had written previously that up to 85% of credit card lawsuits end in a default judgment. A default judgment is entered when a consumer is never properly served with a copy of a Summons and Complaint initiating a lawsuit, or, if served, fails to respond. It seems that I was wrong....If you believe the Wall Street Journal, that is.
The Journal reports that, according to collection industry estimates, 94% of collection lawsuits end in a default judgment because the defendant fails to respond to the summons and complaint.
Aside from the shocker that I need to find new work, because this leaves only 6% of the cases for me to win at trial or settle, the Industry is admitting that 94% of the people just.......cave in.
Talk about easy money.
As far as I can tell, there are a number of reasons - all bad - why defendants don't respond when they are sued over a credit card.
Here they are:
1. They play ostrich....Problem? What problem?
2. They can't afford an attorney; They think they can't afford an attorney; They can't afford the attorney they know; They attorney they know tells them: Don't worry, it will preobably just go away; They don't know an attorney; They don't want to know an attorney.
6. They don't know they have to file a formal pleading with the court. A letter to opposing counsel won't do; and/or
7. They are never served with a summons and complaint in the first place; that is - the first time they learn they've lost a lawsuit is when their wages are garnished or their bank account is levied (See my post on Sewer Service)
So what is the moral of this story?
94% is a big enough number. Don't add to it. If you are served, act!