George Simons | October 19, 2022
Summary: If you're being sued for a debt, filing a demurrer is can help you communicate to the court that the other side's case is invalid. Here is SoloSuit's guide on demurrers, how you can use them to your advantage, and other tips on dealing with debt collection lawsuits.
Demurred is the past tense of the word demur. In the legal context, to demur is when one party asks the court to dismiss a case due to insufficient evidence. This doesn't necessarily mean that the allegations brought by the plaintiff are not true. Instead, it means that even though these allegations are true, they lack enough evidence to establish a valid cause of action.
The term demurred is often used in debt collection lawsuits, particularly by the defendant, also known as the person being sued. However, before we discuss how this term fits in a debt collection lawsuit, let's first analyze the circumstances that could lead to demur a claim.
When you owe a creditor a debt, they might contact you to remind you of the outstanding balance. Most debt arrangements have a ‘grace period' that allows the borrower to pay the debt if they can't make a payment on the agreed date. For example, if your creditor requires you to make monthly payments every last day of the month, they may offer a grace period of five days. Technically, it means you have up to the fifth day of the next month to pay what you owe as per the loan agreement.
If you don't make a payment by the agreed date, the creditor will contact you to try and find a solution. They'll send you emails, letters, or even call you to remind you of the skipped payment. However, if they fail to get a hold of you after some time, usually around 150 days, the creditors could decide to sell off the debt to a debt collection company.
So why do creditors sell the debt account to collections? It's mostly because creditors don't have the time, skills, and resources to recover what you owe them. While they might have the money to loan you, they may not have mechanisms to pursue the loan if you default.
But on the other hand, debt collection agencies are usually well-equipped with everything they need to pursue a debt account. For this reason, they buy debt from creditors at a fraction of the original price and then follow up with the borrower to recover the debt in full or partially.
Since it's business like any other, your debt might switch hands between different agencies several times before anyone contacts you. And when they finally contact you to inform you about the debt, they'll most likely want to work things out with you.
When a debt collector or creditor contacts you to recover the debt, you shouldn't be quick to negotiate a repayment plan. Instead, it's always good to remember that the law protects you against certain debt collection practices. Negotiating a repayment plan means you acknowledge that you owe the debt.
Suppose the debt collector files a lawsuit against you to recover the debt. In that case, the most important thing is to request them to prove that you owe the debt. Although this step is often underlooked, it is a game-changer.
When you ask the other party to prove that you owe the debt, they are legally obliged to do so. Most attorneys recommend filing this request because it allows you to verify the debt and buys you time to plan the best way forward.
You can request a debt verification by sending a Debt Validation Letter to the collector.
Watch this video to learn more about debt validation:
When the other party presents you with evidence that you owe the debt in question, you may be surprised to find out that they're mistaken. Here's why:
The plaintiff's bookkeeping is erroneous.
Let's assume that the statute of limitations on the debt account has expired. This means that the debt collector or creditor cannot legally pursue the debt. Although you're not disputing that you owe the debt, you've observed that the other party lacks any legal basis to sue.
In that case, you'll file an objection to the lawsuit. This objection is known as a demurrer.
When you file a demurrer, you're basically informing the court that the case is not worth their attention because there is lack of evidence or the pleadings are erroneous. Therefore, the best option is to have it thrown out of court. If the judge grants the demurrer, the other party will not have any legal reason to pursue the debt you allegedly owe.
Millions of cases end up in courts every year. These cases create backlogs in the corridors of justice. To ensure that the court only attends to valid cases, a demurrer helps save the court's time and money.
It's also important to note that sometimes, the court might deny a demurrer by granting the plaintiff more time to provide more evidence. However, in some situations, it is unnecessary to deny a demurrer. For instance, if the statute of limitations has already expired, it won't matter whether the plaintiff has enough evidence to sue the defendant.
Responding to a debt collection lawsuit can effectively change the course of the case to your advantage. As mentioned earlier, not every lawsuit filed by a creditor or debt collector is valid. You may never know your legal options if you ignore such lawsuits. Instead, dismissing the lawsuit without following the proper legal channels signifies that you're responsible for the debt. The first step to winning your debt collection lawsuit is to file a written Answer to the case.
To avoid paying what you don't owe or losing your wages via a garnishment order, SoloSuit can help you draft and file your Answer with the court and plaintiff's attorney in three easy steps.
Learn more about these three steps in this video:
SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.
>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate
>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips
How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts
How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?
How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?
What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?
Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?
If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?
Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?
Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?
Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?
What is a default judgment?— What do I do?
Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?
What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?
What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?
What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency
What is a Stipulated Judgment?
What is the Deadline for a Defendants Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?
Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?
Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?
Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?
Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?
Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?
Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide
Am I Responsible for My Spouses Medical Debt?
Should I Marry Someone With Debt?
Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?
How Does Debt Assignment Work?
What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?
How Does Debt Assignment Work?
Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?
How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?
Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?
What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?
Does Student Debt Die With You?
Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?
How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?
How Long Does a Judgment Last?
Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?
Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?
Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?
The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?
Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?
What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?
Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.
How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide
How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney
How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know
How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)
Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector
Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency
Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.
Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit
New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt
Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors
The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah
West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt
What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained
Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector
Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt
Youre Drowning in Debt — Heres How to Swim
Help! Im Being Sued by My Debt Collector
How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment
How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont
North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt
ClearPoint Debt Management Review
Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt
Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say
CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review
How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter
How to Appear in Court by Phone
How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands
Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon
Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next
How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement
Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Heres What to Do
How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection
Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt
Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection
How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa
How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court
Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review
Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?
Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?
How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?
How Long Does a Judgement Last?
How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?
How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court