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Win Your Debt Lawsuit Q&A (April 5, 2023)

George Simons | May 22, 2023

George Simons
Co-Founder of SoloSuit
George Simons, JD/MBA

George Simons is the co-founder and CEO of SoloSuit. He has helped Americans protect over $1 billion from predatory debt lawsuits. George graduated from BYU Law school in 2020 with a JD-MBA. In his spare time, George likes to cook, because he likes to eat.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, file a Motion to Compel Arbitration, or settle the debt before going to court. Join our live webinars to ask your own questions about how to resolve a debt lawsuit.

The following is a transcript for one of our webinars. In it, SoloSuit's founder George Simons responds to live questions from consumers.

Disclaimer: this post is not legal advice. George is not a lawyer.

Transcript begins here

I'm one of the founders of Solo Suit. Thanks for joining us today on our webinar. I'm going to go over some of the basics on how to resolve a debt lawsuit. Okay? So I'm going to go ahead and get going.

Looks like we have lots of people you're viewing. Also, our friend Hannah is on the chat. So at any point in time, if you have a question, just go ahead and put the question into the YouTube chat. Hannah will respond to it.

All right, I'm going to jump in here. All right. How to resolve a debt lawsuit. Lots of people get sued every year in the US. It's around 10 million people, actually, believe it or not. So if you've been sued recently, you're not alone. But the good news is that with SoloSuit, people have about a 70% win rate. Without Solo Suit, people win less than 10% of the time. So your chances of winning the lawsuit increase dramatically by using Solo Suit to respond to the lawsuit.

Little overview on the system that you might be experiencing right now. Debt sharks, as you're finding out, exploit people through this legal system. So let's say you've been sued for $1,000 debt. You have to respond to the lawsuit. And so you try to find an attorney to help you out. But then you find out the attorney costs like $3,000 and you don't have money for that. So then you try to do it yourself. Or you find out that doing it on your own entirely is really difficult. You need the mailing address for the court. You need to find out the filing fee. You need a printer, print the document and you have to use snail mail to mail it into the court. Or you have to drive during business hours down to the courthouse. And then oftentimes people without SoloSuit, they find out that now their 21 day deadline to respond has already passed and their $1,000 debt practically overnight has ballooned into $3,600 judgment. So that's bad news. But with SoloSuit, we make it easy to resolve your debt lawsuit.

So I'm going to go over how to answer the lawsuit, then how to use motion to compel arbitration and ultimately how to get the debt settled.

All right, so first, answer the lawsuit. So we got three steps to respond to a debt lawsuit. First, you respond to each claim in the complaint and summons. Second, you assert your affirmative defenses. And then third, you file an answer before the deadline. All right. SoloSuit makes that real easy. You can just get your complaint and summons, go on to our website, start an Answer document.

So I click respond to a debt lawsuit, and we'll walk you through the process. We'll ask you some questions, we give you answers. We'll generate your document for you. We'll help you most importantly, assert your relevant affirmative defenses. That you only have one chance to assert a lot of free forms, a lot of court forms don't help you do the affirmative defenses. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to assert your affirmative defenses. You have to do it in the Answer. And then once you've generated your Answer, you can use us to file your Answer easily online. We can just get it filed for you with your court. And an important thing about the Answer is that it puts you in a good position to settle your lawsuit.

Once you've filed an Answer, you might want to do a motion to compel arbitration. So the important thing here, if you have a credit card debt, which a lot of our customers do, most of our customers do have a credit card debt, you want to check out the agreement and find out if there's an arbitration clause. You can use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's database of credit card agreements. You can look it up, find out if there's an arbitration clause in there. If there is, you can use a motion to compel arbitration to trigger the arbitration clause against the debt collector, making it harder for the collector to collect the debt from you, making it more expensive for them.

Oftentimes what happens is you file a Motion to Compel Arbitration. The judge agrees, pushes the case into arbitration, which is a different way to resolve a lawsuit outside of court. But the collector has to pay for it. They don't want to pay for it, so they just stop collecting on the debt. And then if you want to, this puts you in a better position to, again, settle. That's what a lot of people are looking for, right? A lot of people are looking to settle the debt.

All right, so about settling the debt, debts on average, this is some good news. Debts on average settle for only 45%. That's a big win. And since a lot of people come to us wanting to settle, we made a tool specifically to help people settle. It's called SoloSettle. Pretty catchy. I think. So you can just go over to that on our website. Once you file an Answer, a lot of people make an offer to settle. One of our happy customers, Dan, said, “I hope I never get sued again, but if I do, I would use SoloSettle again in a heartbeat.” Thanks, Dan. Appreciate it.

All right, so we're seeing that solo suit makes winning easy, right? So let's say you're sued for $1,000 debt. $1,000 debt. Instead of going through that whole exploitation process, you can just use SoloSuit to respond and then get the lawsuit settled in the end, people love us. Press writes stories about us. That's great. Most importantly, people love us. Our customers love us. They leave us great Google reviews. And that's how you resolve your debt with SoloSuit.

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Win Your Debt Lawsuit Q&A section begins here

So without any further ado, most people come onto this webinar to ask us questions. So I'm just going to be here hanging out, looking to answer some questions. So if you haven't yet, put your question down there into the chat.

Viewer Question: I have a friend that is scheduled to fly out of the country on Sunday. Can he fly out of the country if he has a bench warrant for his arrest?

George: Well, that is very exciting, Katie. Let's see, it looks like a bench warrant for arrest. We don't deal with that kind of thing. And I'm not an attorney, so I can't give you legal advice here. None of this should be considered to be legal advice. I'm not your attorney. That said, seems like it could be a bad idea flying out of the country when there's a warrant for your arrest. Usually if there's a warrant for your arrest, you want to resolve whatever issue that is. If it's just like a parking ticket, you want to pay the parking ticket. But oftentimes it might be a good idea to surrender yourself to be arrested and then resolve the matter, whatever that is.

Viewer Question: I'm at the point where the attorney responded to my answer. What do I do next?

George: All right, if the attorney responded to your answer, what most people are going to want to do is make an offer to settle using SoloSettle. All right, so go over, then SoloSettle, or just click on the button, settle a debt and then make an offer to settle. If they did respond. Depends on what they responded with to determine what you want to do next. Right? So if the attorney responded with discovery documents, it might be a request for interrogatories, request for Admissions, something like that. Then you'll want to respond appropriately. You can look up information on our blog. We unfortunately don't have other documents to help you out with that step of the lawsuit. Most people are kind of moving towards settlement, but if you want to respond, then you'll do a response to a Request for Admissions. It's kind of like doing an answer document, just kind of doing it again. The plaintiff will ask for information from you. You kind of try to give as little information as you can or give information that shows that you don't owe the debt and you file the documents in court. In most states, once you file an Answer, then it'll kind of just go to a hearing, and then you'll have to show up at the courthouse. If you're in Florida, we have a service where you can pay to have an attorney show up for you in court, which is pretty sweet. If you want that to come to your state, just go ahead and send us an email, let us know.

Viewer Question: I answered my summons, but I've not heard back yet. What do you advise to do next?

George: All right, so if you answered, if you haven't heard back, common situation. Oftentimes it takes more than a month to respond for the collector to get back to someone. Most lawsuits take like, four to six months to actually resolve that's, on average. So the range is quite a bit longer. But, yeah. What you want to do next? Most people want to make a settlement offer, so you can use SoloSettle to make an offer to settle. Even if they don't respond, they might take a super long time. Some states allow them. They might take a super long time until they think that you've moved or something to file their response. So usually settlement is going to be, like, the cleanest way to wrap up a lawsuit. Again, it sounds like you said you have no idea what's happening. Unfortunately, pretty common situation. We have a blog post, which is like, search case status. Maybe Hannah can put that in the chat where you can search the case status of your case in your state in the blog post, we've linked to all the different case portals across the US. And you can find your state or your county, and then type in your case number and hopefully find the docket on your case and get some answers from there.

Viewer Question: They put in motion for summary judgment, and the judge set that for tomorrow. I did a motion against and to request oral arguments, but I haven't seen anything. What comes next?

George: That sounds like you're making good moves there. Good job. Yeah. So if someone, if the plaintiff, filed a motion for summary judgment against you, generally how motions work is one party files a motion, the other party files a counter motion or a motion opposed to the motion. Some title along those lines. And the motion opposed? A motion just asks a judge to do something a counter motion just asks a judge to do something else for the other party. Oftentimes you might want to file a memo or memorandum with that motion explaining your argument to the judge why they should rule in favor of your motion. Sounds like you requested an oral hearing, so that's great. So just show up to the hearing tomorrow, make your case for not granting a summary judgment. Basically, the case should be that in your answer document, you denied everything. You disagree with the entire contents of the complaint. You want to go to a full hearing. You don't owe the debt, the collector can't prove that you owe the debt, et cetera.

Viewer Question: Does making payments on a credit card in the past constitute acknowledgment of a debt?

George: Interesting. Yes. Let's see. Does making payments on a credit card in the past constitute acknowledgment of a debt? Hard to say. It depends on a lot of facts and nuances of the situation and state law, et cetera. Generally speaking, like a common situation, if someone had a credit card debt, let's say that someone had a credit card with Chase Bank, they stopped paying the credit card for some reason. Chase bank sells the debt to a debt buyer. The debt buyer tries to collect on the debt and then sues the person for the debt. Usually where these lawsuits fall through, the debt buyer doesn't have proper documentation showing that either they owe the debt, they own the debt, or that they can collect on the debt from the consumer, or that the consumer is the person that actually owes the debt. And so somewhere in poking a hole into that argument somewhere is usually what people want to do.

Viewer Question: Does making payments on a credit card in the past constitute acknowledgement of debt?

George: So just because you made payments on a credit card when the credit card was owned by the original creditor doesn't necessarily mean that the debt buyer is trying to collect on the proper debt or that it's like, actually your debt that they're trying to collect on. So that's kind of the situation, I guess. The payments don't matter that much. They do matter for restarting a statute of limitations. So every state has a statute of limitations that puts a deadline on when the collector can sue you for the debt. So let's say the statute of limitations is two years. If the last time you made a payment on the debt was three years ago on the credit card debt was three years ago, then they can't sue you because they only have a two year window to sue you. But if you made a payment on the credit card yesterday, then the statute of limitations would restart from that date in most states in most cases.

Viewer Question: Do I just take my Answer to the court?

George: Yeah, golden, you can take your Answer down to the court. You're welcome to. You can make an Answer for free on What a lot of people do is they pay us to file for them because taking it down to the court can be difficult. Right. Courts have limited hours. You might have to wait in line. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's easy. Sometimes the court's nice, sometimes it's not. So you can pay us just to file for you. We file in all courts across the US. And we've significant experience getting that done..

Viewer Question: Do I have to send my Answer to the plaintiff lawyer as well?

George: Yeah. You also need to send it to the plaintiff lawyer. You can just mail it to them. Most people are going to want to do certified mail or priority mail USPS so they can get tracking numbers and verify that it was sent.

Viewer Question: When can the defendant file for motion of discovery to see what the plaintiff has on you? Because I never opened a loan with the bank suing me.

George: Good question. So usually how a lawsuit progresses is there's the pleadings section? Pleadings include the complaint and summons and the Answer documents, along with some other things. Once the defendant has responded with an Answer, the lawsuit moves into the next stage, which is discovery. Discovery includes things like interrogatories, requests for admissions, et cetera. I think what you're calling a motion of discovery would fit into the discovery stage. And then once you're through discovery, then things move on to, like, the trial, the hearing, where you have the two parties in front of a judge. Usually no jury, but there could be a jury, and then the judge or the jury makes a decision on things. So in the discovery period, both sides kind of provide information that's requested by the other side. Usually the onus, or the burden, the responsibility is on the plaintiff. Right. It's usually the plaintiff's going to move things along, and it's usually the plaintiff that's going to start discovery with interrogatories and request for admissions. And then the defendant will usually deny most things or some things appropriately, being honest about stuff, and also request information from the plaintiff appropriately. But usually it's not started proactively by the defendant. And the Answer document, if you click the right buttons on our site, which you probably did, Answer document will request that the plaintiff provide an accounting and proper information identifying the debt before they move on.

Viewer Question: I had a debt, sued in 2019, but I never actually got served with the paperwork. But I found out through public record search, and it says it's just pending since 2019. Not sure what to do.

George: Okay, so, it sounds like you were sued in 2019 for debt, but you were never actually served, and the lawsuit hasn't moved on past the complaint and summon stage. It's a pretty common situation. We call that sewer service. Whether or not collectors do that intentionally, it's a little bit of a question mark. But oftentimes what happens if someone gets sued, the collector doesn't actually serve the person they might send the documents to your last known address, quote, unquote last known address. They might send it to your neighbor or the guy down the street or the wrong house, or they might have given it to someone above the age of 18 at your house who might have flushed it down the toilet. You never know. Never know where the lawsuit might have gone, but it's good to look at those documents online to get the docket. And what you want to do is take a look at the docket, see if there's only the complaint filed. If there is, then you should probably file an Answer document. It’s usually best to file an Answer to protect your rights, get the Answer document filed. Even if it's late, the court will usually accept it. Sometimes might have to do a motion to set aside judgment, if there is a judgment. There's no judgment in this case, it sounds like. So, I mean, for me, I'd just try to file an Answer.

Viewer Question: What is a rule to show cause?

George: Let me just refresh myself on that one. So in order to show cause, sometimes called an LSC, is a court order where the demand of a judge requiring a party to justify or explain why the court should or should not grant a motion or relief. So it's a demand from a judge requiring a party to justify why the court should do something. Okay, so basically, if it's an order to show cause not exactly familiar with a rule to show cause, but if it's an order to show cause in order. So motions are documents filed by parties in the lawsuit asking the judge to do something. Okay. Plaintiffs can file a motion just asking the judge to do something. Defendant can file a motion asking the judge to do something. An order is a document that comes from the judge telling the parties to do something. So when the case is over, oftentimes there's, like, an order for a judgment, but the judge can also file an order requiring that one party show why they should win, basically, or, like, why the motion should win, why the judge should be in their favor, something along those lines. That's the situation.

Viewer Question: I used SoloSuit to respond and the notice of judgment was received. What I do now?

George: Sorry to hear it, Tracy. Fortunately, that is a reality of our situation, right? Just with, like, lawyers, with SoloSuit, sometimes people lose their lawsuits, right? We don't guarantee outcomes. Sometimes people lose. It’s just a real thing. Notice of judgment. Sounds like that means that, well, it could be a notice of judgment that you won, right. So it could be a noticeable judgment that the defendant won the lawsuit. But more likely, I think in this situation, it sounds like it's probably a notice of judgment saying that the plaintiff won the lawsuit. So usually what we want to do is they want to settle. So even if the plaintiff gets a notice of judgment, we've interviewed lots of debt collection attorneys. We understand kind of what they're doing, have a good relationship with a lot of them. And oftentimes what they tell us is that even if the debt collector gets a judgment against the consumer. The debt collector still wants to settle because it costs a lot of money to garnish people's wages. File for the writ of garnishment, get all the garnishment stuff in place, collect the money out of every out of the paycheck. So there's still an opportunity to settle. That's one option. You can try to offer settlement. You can try to file a motion to set aside judgment. You want to make sure that your answer document was received properly. If you used us, most likely, very likely, was, You want to check on that. You can also oftentimes appeal. Probably won't be a good option, but you can try to appeal. If there was a hearing and you didn't know about the hearing and you didn't show up to the hearing, then that might be grounds for requesting, like, a retrial, a rehearing, something along those lines. If you can show that you had no way of knowing about the hearing. I'm glad I can help all of you out. I sincerely hope that all of you win your lawsuits.

Viewer Question: I responded with SoloSuit to a loan debt and was told winning is a lost cause. But settling is fairly easy, correct? If so, what about just calling the attorney directly to see if I can get 45%?

George: Yeah, Jeff, that sounds like a good move for sure. If you feel, like, real confident in your negotiation skills and you're okay with kind of working through some of the legal ambiguity, yeah, by all means. We're glad we could help you file an answer. And one of the main purposes of filing an answer is giving you leverage to settle the lawsuit. So sounds like a good move. Just try to identify the phone number for the collector. Usually they like to work on the phone. If you can find an email, I would recommend emailing the attorney instead, because the attorneys are more decision makers. If you call, you'll get the kind of like the low level employees of the collection firm. Whereas if you get an email for the attorney, it'll go right to the email and they'll be able to make decisions. They'll have more power to make a decision to sell. Also on the phone, it's a real time negotiation on email. It's asynchronous giving you a little bit more power. Yeah, we certainly have a lot of customers that settle the debt on their own. You're also welcome to use SoloSettle if you want us to do it for you. Whatever you want to do there. Sounds like a good plan.

Viewer Question: If you lose your suit, what happens next?

George: Great question. We're working on a content series for each state that will answer this question a little bit more, which will be about wage garnishment in every state and trying to go over what the options are after someone loses a lawsuit. So if you lost your lawsuit, usually what's going to happen is the collector is going to try to identify your assets. Number one, an employer like, who is employing you? Number two, what property do you have? Do you have a house? Do you have a car? And then after they identify the employer, they're going to file a write of garnishment in court. So they'll get permission to garnish your wages from the employer. So the employer, instead of writing the full check of your wages to you, the employer will write a portion. Up to 25% of the check varies by state to the collector instead. So it's pretty rough, but around 4 million people in the US. Have their wages garnished every year. And then on the property, they'll try to get a lien if they find out there's a house, try to get a lien against the house. Meaning if you sell the house in the future, the collector will be paid off of the sale first. They also might try to get a lien against the car.

Viewer Question: I used SoloSuit over a month ago to answer a citation for petition. I denied everything. I filed it with the court and mailed a copy to the attorney. Crickets since then.

George: All right. I wish I had a little crickets sound bite, but there we go. Yes, nothing from them. That's pretty common. Again, citation petition. Those are the words for complaint and summons in some states like Texas or Oklahoma. What to do so you can try to file an Answer to, you can try to send them a settlement offer. You can also just try to wait and see if they eventually dismiss the case. Sometimes if the plaintiff doesn't take any action on the case, the judge will send like an order for dismissal because of lack of prosecution, meaning that the plaintiff doesn't do anything on the case. So the judge is just going to get rid of it out of court. All right, coming down the final stretch here, we got a lot of questions in here I haven't been able to get to. I'm going to go like an extra five minutes or so because we got a lot of people here just to try to get through all I'm going to go rapid fire. Let's see.

Viewer Question: I used the [SoloSuit] service to answer a suit. Yesterday I saw that order of referral mediation to DRC in Texas was listed. Is this the same as filing a motion to compel?

George: I'm not sure. It sounds like kind of a nuanced situation in each court, but oftentimes courts have court sponsored mediation. It's different from arbitration, private arbitration. Our motion to compel arbitration forces a lawsuit into a private arbitration outside of the court system entirely. But oftentimes courts use court sponsored mediation.

Viewer Question: I got sued for debt starting in 2018 and was still going on. The court last issued this sue Ponte and the note notice of trial and strikes this action from the trial calendar.

George: Looks like the text is a little bit garbled there, Jack, but if things were striked, then maybe the case was tossed out of court. But just try to check the docket, make sure there's no hearing coming up. If there is, make sure you attend the hearing. There's a document file. Make sure you respond to it.

Viewer Question: My husband was served a civil warrant by a processor for a $1200 medical debt from 2020. Supposed to go to court April 11.

George: If you're served a civil warrant, usually only a couple of states in the East Coast do that kind of thing where they'll have a warrant instead of a complaint. Some documents use the language of, like, make an appearance. What they actually mean is file an answer. So you want to double check to make sure you aren't supposed to file an answer. Some states that do warrants, you don't have to file an answer. You just show up in court. If that's the case, you have to show up in court on the day they're hearing, and then it's up to the plaintiff to prove that you actually owe the debt. And you can just, usually the common argument is harping on the idea that the plaintiff can't prove that you owe the debt because they don't have documentation. Okay.

Viewer Question: Should I settle if I don't want to pay them anything, or file a motion to compel arbitration?

George: If you don't want to pay them anything because you don't owe them anything, the best case of action usually is to proceed with the lawsuit until it gets dismissed or until there's a hearing, and then you win. If you don't want to pay him anything, then you can't settle. Because you can't really settle for $0. Right? You have to offer them something to settle. If you file a motion to compel arbitration, that might increase the likelihood that the case gets dismissed.

Viewer Question: Who does the offer go to? In the notice of judgment, they didn't give any instructions. Do I go to SoloSettle?

George: Yeah, if you use SoloSettle to make an offer, the offer goes to the email addresses of the collectors. Right now you have to provide us the email addresses, but we make sure the offer is great. Send the offer to them, and that's where it goes.

Viewer Question: I reached out to settle a debt with middle and funding and offered it a little over 50% for the debt, which I felt was fair, but they counter offered 80%. Do I have any wiggle room to counter offer?

George: Yeah, it depends on how you define wiggle room. You can always make a counteroffer for whatever you want. The question is, what's going to get you to a settlement with SoloSettle? So far, one of the main things we've identified in the trends of negotiation is that. If the person makes an offer that is within 20% of the acceptable range of the collector, then it's more likely to settle. If it's outside the 20% range, it's less likely to sell. So 80%, that's a 30% difference. So pretty significant. 80% is the most common counter offer from attorneys. Very commonly, they counter 80% based on our experience of debt settlement space. Oftentimes they won't go any lower than that. Sometimes they will, but you're probably not going to get below 20% of the 80%. So I think if you really want to settle the debt, you're probably going to have to do like 70% to 75%.

Viewer Question: Do I have to be in court if there's a specific date in the summons?

George: So if there's a date in the summons, usually that's going to be saying, like, an appearance. You have to appear by this time, usually by filing a written answer. So usually that date will be the time that you have to file an answer by usually, like, 14 to 30 days. If it's not that date and it says a hearing is on this date, then, yes, you have to show up in court. If you don't show up for the hearing, then you lose automatically. Usually the judge will just rule in favor of the other person.

Viewer Question: I'm in Texas. I answered a lawsuit I'm trying to settle, but it seems they don't want to settle if they don't want it. What happens when I'm the judge and with them?

George: So make sure you bring to the hearing, make sure you bring any documentation that you have of the settlement attempts. Print that out, bring that with you to court. Sometimes you can make a case, hey, I tried to settle. These guys being ridiculous. I should roll my favor because they don't want to settle. But oftentimes attorneys won't settle until, like, the day before the hearing. Oftentimes it's pretty common. Probably most settlements actually take place in the courthouse. So you show up, you see the attorney, he's like, hey, let's settle before we have to do this thing.

Viewer Question: Can you file bankruptcy on gambling debt? Cash advance, credit cards, then pandemic hit help.

George: Gambling debt… Interesting. I'm not sure about that. Offhand, I'm not sure of any reason why not. Most debts are expungeable through bankruptcy. Student loan debts have not. But gambling debt haven't heard anything to the contrary, but I'm not sure.

Viewer Question: I'm in Tennessee. My husband was served by a process server March 10 for medical debt from 2020 for one $1200. The docs were a summons to penal court April 10. What do we need to do?

George: Okay, so if you're served on March 10 in Tennessee, we have a little deadline calculator on that you can find if you search deadline calculator. Tennessee Served on March 10. I'm just going to punch this into the deadline calculator. Here the deadline in Tennessee. Is 30 days. You have until April 8 to respond. So that's right around the corner. It might be a little bit later than that, but the earliest likely date is April 8 to respond. So usually when you receive a summons, even I believe in Tennessee, you have to file a written Answer. Usually, my experience, you don't have to show up in court. Usually what they're looking for is an initial written answer to be filed. You can use SoloSuit to respond. You want to jump on that ASAP, because oftentimes in most cases, we do take a couple of days to get your answer into the court.

Viewer Question: Hired an attorney, but who's not able to negotiate a settlement without me signing for judgment. Any thoughts?

George: Yeah. So it's actually really common to be required to sign for judgment with the settlement. Usually what it is is a stipulated motion for a stipulated judgment. Imagine the attorney would explain this to you, but how the settlement agreements usually work is the collector. Let's say you owe a $10,000 debt, you settle it for a $6,000 lump sum payment. Collector says, hey, this person will pay me $6,000 within 30 days, the person will sign this motion, the settlement agreement with this motion for stipulated judgment. We'll file the motion for stipulated judgment in court, and if the person doesn't pay me the amount within the 30 day period, then they'll automatically lose the lawsuit based on the stipulated judgment. And BOP, BOP, BOP. There you go. So stipulated judgment is usually the best thing that you can get, and it's pretty common. You just want to make sure that you pay the money, and usually you won't have any problem. Stipulated judgment doesn't necessarily mean that there's judgment against you. It means that you're settling on the credit report. It will show like a settlement instead of a judgment in most cases if things are done properly.

Viewer Question: If I motion for arbitration and lose my case, will I need to pay any fees for the arbitration?

George: Again, a nuanced question. That depends on what it says in the arbitration clause in the agreement. Most arbitration clauses and credit card agreements will require that the person bringing the lawsuit pays for the arbitration. So usually it'll require the debt collector to pay for arbitration because the clauses are phrased in such a way to prevent people from suing the credit card company, it's not phrased in a way to really protect the credit card agreement like the company from suing you. Right? So usually it anticipates the credit card company triggering the clause, not the debtor. So you have to read the credit card agreement for the official standing on that. But in most cases now you wouldn't have to pay the fees for arbitration. And we really haven't heard of hardly any cases going to arbitration after a motion to compel arbitration is filed. Usually the case just gets kind of, like, dropped for the most part, or arbitration isn't granted, and then sometimes the person might lose after that, or they might win. All right, last question here.

Viewer Question: I'm in Maryland found online, have a summons on February 15, but I was not served. But I have a hearing on May 5. What do I do? Is that a trial sentence?

George: All right. You should check out our blog post on Maryland. Maybe Hannah can add that into the chat. We have an article, like how to respond to that lawsuit in Maryland. Maryland is a little bit weird, a little bit nuanced. I'm not sure, but off the top of my head, most states require you to file a written answer. Again, I'm not sure if Maryland does. If there's a hearing that's scheduled, you just want to make sure that you show up to that hearing, bring any documentation of the debt that you have, and prepare making a case. You can watch more of our YouTube videos, like Preparing for Going to Court. We have some great videos on that. And there you go. I think you're asking, is it a trial? Usually the word hearing and trial are used interchangeably in courts. So usually a hearing is the same thing as a trial. Like, you go there are two parties talking before the judge. The judge is going to make a decision. If it's just a general hearing, the judge will make a decision on the entire case. If it's a hearing for a motion, the judge will just make a decision on that one motion. There you go.

All right, folks, thanks for your questions. Glad we had some answers for you. Again, a caveat. I am not an attorney. I'm not your attorney. This isn't legal advice. Doesn't replace the advice of an attorney. You can't rely on it. This is legal information that I'm giving you. I'm them. And there you go. Glad we could chat. Take care. Have a good one. Hope we can help you out with solo suits. Wish you all the best.

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