Did you just learn that you have been sued by Mandarich Law Group (or one of Mandarich Law Group’s debt buyer clients, such as Velocity Investments, LLC or a similar entity)? You’ve come to the right place.
First Distinguish Between Being Sued and Receiving a Letter
This article primarily addresses what to do when you have been sued. Being sued is different than simply receiving a collection letter. If you have been sued, then probably somebody came to your door and handed papers to you. Whether you were personally served or not, the papers look different than an ordinary letter, and one of the papers will say that it is a “Summons”.
Alternatively, if you simply received a letter in the mail, and it looks like an ordinary letter, it is not the same as a lawsuit, i.e., it is not the same as being sued. You can check out my thoughts about responding to simple collection letters, here.
If you’ve been sued by Mandarich Law Group do not call them, and do not talk to them
I know, technically this is a “to-don’t” rather than a “to-do” but I’m still counting it as one of the three. (For more “don’ts” here is a list of the five most common mistakes consumers make when they are sued.)
Think about it, their objective in any conversation is to get you to give them the money that you and your family are relying upon. It is easy for them to mislead you, because as a law firm that has just sued you they are on their home turf, and you, my friend do not know the territory or the rules.
Remember that great scene in “Escape From New York” where Snake Plissken (Kurt Russel) faced off against some tough guys? Here’s how the scene went:
Snake: I’m gonna give you as*h**** a chance. What do you say we play by Bankok Rules?
[Snake picks up a can and the four tough guys back up and get ready.]
Snake: Now, nobody draws until this hits the ground.
[Snake throws the can straight up. The four tough guys watch it arc high into the air. Snake draws his revolver and kills them all.]
[The can then hits the ground.]
Snake: [Smirking at the dead men] Draw.
Don’t be like those tough guys.
It is true that if you talk with the good people at Mandarich Law Group, they may offer you a “deal” to settle right away. Who knows, maybe even 50% off if it’s a big debt.
But, there are strings attached that will strangle you (as you will find out after you foolishly electronically transfer your first payment) and Mandarich Law Group will then soon have a judgment against you for the full amount.
You’ll be scratching your head asking “how did that happen, I thought we had a deal?”
You may then hear the sound of Snake’s tin can hitting the ground.
Second, Be Cautious When Hiring Someone to Help You
There are people out there (some of them attorneys) who are glad to charge you lots of money and do absolutely nothing for you. There are companies that focus on “debt settlement” where they will ask to see your credit report and try to do a sales job on you to address your “whole financial scene” when in fact you called to focus on a single compelling problem, namely that you have been sued.
You’re not looking to be sold on expensive services that you do not absolutely need this minute.
Let me tell you a little secret: In a pinch, you could represent yourself.
It is surely better to be represented by an ethical attorney who knows what they are doing, but ultimately you could do it yourself, and that’s better than going with somebody you don’t trust. Obviously, the best option is to hire somebody you do trust.
Third, File a Response With the Court Within 30 Days (or Hire an Attorney)
You must file a response with the court within 30-days of when you were served with the lawsuit. Mandarich Law Group wants one thing more than anything else: They want you to fail to get your answer filed in time.
If you fail to file a timely response, Mandarich Law Group may be able to get a “default judgment” against you. That means, without your input, the court will give Mandarich Law Group a judgment against you for the full amount they are asking for. Mandarich Law Group can seek a judgment against you as soon as you blow the 30-day deadline. Even if a later court hearing date has already been scheduled.
Don’t blow the deadline.
I’m attorney, Ian Chowdhury and I defend California consumers against debt-collection lawsuits. Find out how to schedule a free 15-minute telephone consultation.