Debt Collection: Talk to a free lawyer
You can talk to a free lawyer about your debt collection case.
How can I talk to a lawyer?
- Tell the judge you want a lawyer; or
- Call the DC Debt Collection Hotline at (202) 851-3387.
Why would I want to talk to a lawyer?
There are lots of reasons. Some examples:
- You want to know more about your debt collection case or your case is causing you stress.
- You don’t think you owe the money. Or you don’t recognize the account.
- You want to pay but can’t pay it all now.
- Your money comes from benefits such as:
- Retirement(like Social Security)
- Disability(like SSI or SSDI)
- Child Support
- Workers’ comp
- Your case involves a car accident, and it was the other driver’s fault. Or you had insurance.
- You missed a hearing. Or there was a judgment against you.
- Your case is scheduled for mediation.
If you have mediation scheduled: Know your rights and what to expect.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a meeting between you, the company suing you, and a mediator. The mediator doesn’t work for either side.
What happens at mediation?
- You can make an agreement to resolve your case without a trial. But you don’t have to agree to anything.
- You have the right to ask the other side for information during mediation. If you need more time, tell the mediator you want another mediation instead of a trial.
- If you want a payment plan, you can negotiate the terms. For example:
- The total amount you agree to pay
- How much you pay each month
- When your payments are due
What should I know about payment plans?
- Make sure you can afford any payments you agree to make. Be sure you can pay on time.
- If you agree to a payment plan and don’t pay as agreed, the court can issue a judgment against you. That could let the other side take money out of your paycheck or bank account.
- If you get government benefits, talk to a lawyer before agreeing to pay. The law protects most benefits from debt collectors.
Talk to a free lawyer before mediation. Call (202) 851-3387.
This information is for people who have been sued in a debt collection case in DC Superior Court. This information is not legal advice.