Take Creditors and Collection Agents to Small Claims Court
How to prepare for the hearing?
Be well documented for the day of hearing. Keep in mind all the events related to your
case that occurred so far. Try to remember them, step by step in the order they occurred
Collect as many evidences as you can.
A good presentation in the court is necessary for you to win. Make a picture of the
presentation in your mind. You must show your attempt for an out-of-court settlement
with the other party in front of the judge.
Carry a printed copy of the laws (the FDCPA and the FCRA) on the basis of which you
have filed the case because the judge might not know all the business laws.
On the day of the hearing:
Don’t hesitate because the hearing in Small Claims Court is very much informal. You
will be called after you report to the court. There will be a swearing and after that you
will be asked to explain your problem. Be short and precise. The judge may place his/her
questions also and ask you whatever he/she wants to know. After listening to the
defendant, and inquiring either party, the judge announces the decision.
What if either party fails to appear in the hearing?
If, for any reason, you are unable to make it on the day of hearing, your case will be
dismissed. On the other hand, if the other party fails to appear in the hearing, you will
win the case and the other party has to pay the amount you claimed for.
When and how will I get my money?
The Small Claims court does not appoint anyone to collect your money from the other
party. If they fail to do the payment within 30 days or within the time decided by the
court, you must take legal advice from an attorney. He/she may ask you to place a copy
of the judgment in the civil docket of the court. Then you can claim their property
(wages, bank accounts, cars and other personal belongings).
Can I go to other courts if I lose my case in the Small Claims Court?
If you lose your case in the Small Claims Court, you can approach higher courts within a
certain time limit. So get to know the last date of your filing the case from your county
courthouse clerk. The fee charged by Superior courts is usually higher.
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